The 29-year-old averaged 21 points a game for Golden State and has been a key member in the team’s three championships. He seemed irritated when told the news that he was left off the list after the team’s Thursday practice.
“I mean, that’s cool and all, but like when you go to five straight Finals — I respect those guys — but when you go to five straight it takes more than just a couple All-NBA guys,” Thompson said. “It’s like an all-time team, but whatever, I’d rather win a championship than be third-team All-NBA, so it’s all good.”
Walker Takes Last Spot
Charlotte’s Kemba Walker was the last guard named to the team. Six players at that position are voted by media members. Thompson finished eighth, with Washington’s Bradley Beal ahead of him.
Houston’s James Harden and Curry were on the first team, Portland’s Damian Lillard and Boston’s Kyrie Irving were on the second team, and Walker and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook on the third team.
“I can’t control it,” Thompson said. “Do I think there’s that many guards better than me in the league? No. But that’s the reason we’re still playing, so I don’t even want to get into it, honestly.”
Because Thompson was left off the list he is set to lose about $30 million. The 2011 collective bargaining agreement has a provision that would have allowed him to sign for a total of $221 million over five years if he had made the All-NBA squad. Not the most the team can offer is $191 million. Thompson is a free agent after the NBA Finals.
Because Walker was selected to the squad, he is eligible for the supermax contract. He is also set to be a free agent this summer.
James Drops Down
The other members of the first team joining Harden and Curry were forwards Paul George of OKC and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, as well as Denver’s center Nikola Jokic.
The second team forwards were Durant and Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard. Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid was named the center.
The third team’s center was Utah’s Rudy Gobert. The forwards were Detroit’s Blake Griffin and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.
This is the first time James has not been on the first team since 2007.
James did extend his streak of consecutive All-NBA selections to 15. That mark tied him with Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in history.
It was a frustrating season for James, who missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The 34-year-old signed with the Lakers last year, and could not lead the team to the postseason.
He also suffered a groin injury on Christmas Day against the Warriors. He missed 17 games, the most as a professional.