NBA Most First Team Selections

By Andrew D

May 23, 2022

Image Courtesy of Alamy

There are few individual achievements in basketball that better indicate a player’s elite performance during a season than making an All-NBA team.

It is still considered to be one of the greatest achievements that any professional player can aspire to.

There are only 3 All-NBA Teams created each season and they have a combined total of 15 spots to be filled.

Even making third-team shows that a player is considered to be in the top 15 of all players that season. That’s not something to be taken lightly.

Which players have been selected to the most All-NBA First Teams?

Throughout the entire history of the league, there have only been a small handful of players who were selected to at least 10 All-NBA First Teams.

All of them on this list are legends of the game. Hall of Famers or those who will eventually be in the Hall of Fame. Each of the elite superstars on this list had a truly extraordinary career and won numerous individual and team accolades.



10 All-NBA First Team Selections

  • Born – September 16th, 1934 – Washington, D.C.

  • Died – March 22nd, 2021 – RIP

  • Measurements – 6’5” (1.96m) – 225lb (102kg)

  • NBA debut – October 22nd, 1958

  • Position – Small forward

  • Teams – Minneapolis Lakers, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Games – 846

  • Career – 14 years

  • Points – 23,149 (27.4 per game)

  • Rebounds – 11,463 (13.5 per game)

  • Assists – 3,650 (4.3 per game)

Even to this day, 5 decades after his final game, Elgin Baylor sits at 33rd place on the list of highest scorers of all time in the NBA. To think that he achieved this with such a low number of games (846) is truly remarkable. His inside/mid-range scoring game was unrivaled in his day but it was never enough to take him all the way to an NBA title. Baylor remains one of the greatest players ever to set foot on a basketball court and not take home the ultimate prize.

What he did take home were 11 All-NBA Team selections. 10 of them in the First Team. His rookie season saw his first inclusion and he was also named Rookie of the Year.


10 All-NBA First Team Selections

  • Born – December 12th, 1932 (89 years old) – Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Measurements – 6’9” (2.06m) – 205lb (92kg)

  • NBA debut – October 30th, 1954

  • Position – Power forward / center

  • Teams – Milwaukee Hawks/St. Louis Hawks

  • Games – 792

  • Career – 11 years

  • Points – (26.4 per game)

  • Rebounds – (16.2 per game)

  • Assists – (3 per game)

One of the most talented players of the late 1950s and into the 1960s; Robert Lee Pettit Jr. was an unstoppable force in the paint under the basket.

In 1956, Pettit was the first-ever recipient of the NBA’s most valuable player (MVP) award. He won the award again in 1959 and was named the NBA All-Star game MVP 4 times in his career.

His dominance is evidenced by him making 11 straight All-Star teams and 10 All-NBA First Teams in an 11-year career! Sensational.

Bob Pettit was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1971


10 All-NBA First Team Selections

  • Born – August 9th, 1928 – (93 years-old) – New York

  • Measurements – 6’1” (1.85m) – 175lb (79kg)

  • NBA debut – November 1st, 1950

  • Position – Point guard

  • Teams – Boston Celtics, Cincinnati Royals

  • Games – 924

  • Career – 14 years

  • Points – 16,960 (18.4 per game)

  • Rebounds – 4,786 (5.2 per game)

  • Assists – 6,955 (7.5 per game)

Robert Joseph Cousy was a 13-time NBA All-Star and 6-time NBA champion.

Hall-of-Famer Bob Cousy made an incredible 10 All-NBA First Team selections and 12 All-NBA appearances in total. Cousy operated as the point guard and main playmaker for Bill Russell’s legendary Boston Celtics. One of the most prolific, dominant teams in the whole of NBA history.

Considered the original dominant point guard, Cousy led the league in assists an incredible 8 times during the 50s and 60s and was a bastion of consistency.

Cousy was an integral part of the success of his team and was also recognized and rewarded individually. In October 2021, Cousy was honored as one of the league’s greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA’s 75th-anniversary team. He is one of only 4 players to be named in the 25th, 35th, 50th, and 75th-anniversary teams.

Cousy was also the first president of the National Basketball Players Association.

To say that his impact and influence on the game of basketball has been monumental would be an understatement.


10 All-NBA First Team Selections

  • Born – May 28th, 1938 (83 years old) – Chaplain, West Virginia

  • Measurements – 6’3” (1.9m) – 175lb (79kg)

  • NBA debut – October 19th, 1960

  • Position – Point guard, shooting guard

  • Teams – Los Angeles Lakers

  • Games – 932

  • Career – 14 years

  • Points – 25,192 (27 per game)

  • Rebounds – 5,366 (5.8 per game)

  • Assists – 6,238 (2.6 per game)

Jerome Alan West is known for many things. Being the inspiration behind the NBA’s iconic logo is perhaps the most obvious of them that often overshadows some of the others.

Even though he only managed to get his hands on 1 NBA title during his outstanding 14-year career, West was a prolific scorer and top-level playmaker. He improved the players around him and is one of the greatest of all time. No question.

Jerry West made the NBA All-Star team in every single season of his Hall of Fame career!

He made 12 All-NBA teams, 10 of them on the First Team.

After his playing career, Jerry West was the coach, and then the general manager of the Lakers.

Olympic gold medallist in 1960. Named in both the 35th and 75th NBA anniversary teams. Named one of the greatest 50 players in NBA history in 1996. Phew


10 All-NBA First Team Selections

  • Born – April 25th, 1976

  • NBA debut – October 31st, 1997

  • Teams – San Antonio Spurs

  • Games – 1,392

  • Career – 19 years

  • Points – 26,496 (19 per game)

  • Rebounds – 15,091 (10.8 per game)

  • Assists – 4,225 (3 per game)

  • Seals – 1,025 (0.7 per game)

  • Blocks – 3,020 (2.2 per game)

Tim Duncan was the rock-solid force for the San Antonio Spurs, over the whole of his 19-year-career, which saw them win 5 NBA Championships. Tim Duncan is considered by some to be the greatest power forward in NBA history, and it’s hard to argue against that. He just got on with business in a pragmatic, effective manner and was the bedrock that flair players could leap off to achieve even greater heights. He was not known as “Fundamental” for nothing. A great defensive player and passer, Timmy did whatever was necessary to win games.

Tim Duncan was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 3 of the NBA Finals he won with the Spurs. He made it onto a whopping 15 All-NBA Teams across his career and an incredible 10 of them were First Team selections.

Timothy Theodore Duncan is one of those players that don’t necessarily grab the headlines with fancy play and world-beating athleticism. They just stoically and methodically perform to the best of their abilities time and time again. Other players must love to have had Duncan on their side as he made everyone’s life easier.

Except for the opposition of course…


10 All-NBA First Team Selections

  • Born – April 16th, 1947 (75 years-old) – New York

  • Measurements – 7’2” (2.18m) – 225lb (102kg)

  • NBA debut – October 18th, 1969

  • Position – Center

  • Teams – Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Games – 1,560

  • Career – 20 years

  • Points – 38,387* – (24.6 per game)

  • Rebounds – (11.2 per game)

  • Assists – (3.6 per game)

  • Steals – (0.9 per game)

  • Blocks – (2.6 per game)

*NBA record for most points scored

Arguably the most accomplished all-around basketball player in NBA history. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played 20 seasons in the NBA and made 19 All-Star Teams. 10 of his 15 All-NBA Team selections were First Team ones. KAJ was, quite literally, a one-off in the annals of the sport.

He was effectively unstoppable at center ever with his trademark “Skyhook” shot. He couldn’t be blocked from taking those shots and was almost never contested while doing so.

Across his two full decades of professional basketball in the NBA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar accrued an astounding array of records and achievements.

  • 6 x NBA Championship titles.

  • 2 x NBA Finals MVP

  • 6 x MVP

  • 35th, 50th & 75th NBA Anniversary team selection

Born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.

He took his Muslim name in 1971 after leading the Milwaukee Bucks to their (and his) first NBA Championship.

In his 20 years on the court, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s teams made the NBA Playoffs 18 times and passed the first round in 14 of those. On his retirement in 1989 (aged 42), he was the NBA’s all-time points leader (38,387), games played (1,560), field goals attempted (28,307), field goals made (15,837), blocked shots (3,189), Defensive rebounds (9,394), personal fouls (4,657), and career wins (1,074).

To this day he remains the all-time leader in points, field goals, and career wins.

In 2007, ESPN named him the best center in NBA history and the 2nd best player overall after Michael Jordan.

To say this is a staggering achievement in league history seems to be somewhat missing the mark. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a ground-breaking, unstoppable force in the NBA and he tore up all the rules and anybody that got in his way on the court.

Kareem was made a global cultural ambassador by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.

The guy even trained under Bruce Lee and appeared in a film with him for goodness’ sake.



10 All-NBA First Team Selections

  • Born – February 17th, 1963 (59 years old) – Brooklyn, New York

  • Measurements – 6’6” (1.98m) – 198lb (89kg)

  • NBA debut – October 26th, 1984

  • Position – Shooting guard, small forward

  • Teams – Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards

  • Games – 1,072

  • Career – 15 years

  • Points – 32,292 (30.1 per game)

  • Rebounds – 6,672 (6.2 per game)

  • Assists – 5,633 (5.3 per game)

  • Steals – 2,514 (2.3 per game)

  • Blocks – 893 (0.8 per game)

There are legends in any sport. They are the individuals who come along and annihilate our previous notions of what is physically possible. Their exploits and talents take us to new places and bring us new levels of excitement and respect for their skills.

They set the sport alight and dazzle fans and opposing players alike. Rip up all the rules and record books. Transcending the very sport itself. Across the whole of sporting history (yes, we did just say that), there have been very few characters that have become globally recognized even in places that don’t give a hoot for the sport that made them famous.

Michael Jordan is one of those people

He operated at a level that was so far above most of his competitors that it was hard to find enough superlatives to describe his game. His consistency was unparalleled, as were his skills.

Jordan made it onto 14 All-Star Teams and 11 NBA All-Teams (10 of them First Team) during his 15-year career.

His first 3 NBA Championships were on the bounce until his year off interrupted the flow. On his return, another 3 followed. Again in straight seasons. This included a then-record of 72 regular-season wins.

He was 6-times the NBA’s Finals MVP and took the scoring title (best points-per-game average over a full season) 10 times in 15 years. He holds the NBA records for career regular-season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and career playoff scoring average (33.45 points per game). Defensive player of the year. All-Defensive First Team joint leader. The list goes on and on.

It’s hard to hyperbolize when talking about Michael Jordan. Arguments may rage as to whom is the greatest NBA player of all time. There are so many factors that it is an impossible question to answer.

What is for certain, however, is that MJ changed the face of basketball forever. He brought a level of desire to win and willingness to work at it that few had seen before. His competitive nature drove him ever onwards in the pursuit of more and more wins. His mental and emotional strength were there for all to see and inspired countless youngsters across the globe.

We were dragged along in his wake and marveled at what a phenomenon he was…

In 1999, he was named the 20th century’s greatest North American athlete by ESPN.

Let’s not forget that he removed himself from the NBA for a full season at the very peak of his powers and 3 more in his first serious retirement. Who knows what other records might have been achieved if his NBA career had been a 19-year one instead of 15?

A truly remarkable man who made the NBA all the better through his efforts.


11 All-NBA First Team Selections

  • Born – July 24th, 1963 (58 years old) – Summerfield, Louisiana

  • Measurements – 6’9” (2.06m) – 250lb (113kg)

  • NBA debut – October 25th, 1985

  • Position – Power forwards

  • Teams – Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Games – 1,476

  • Career – 19 years

  • Points – 36,928 (25 per game)

  • Rebounds – 14,968 (10.1 per game)

  • Assists – 5,248 (3.6 per game)

  • Steals – 2,085 (1.4 per game)

  • Blocks – 1,145 (0.8 per game)

Karl Malone was incredibly influential in his 18 seasons with the Utah Jazz. The gifted forward made 14 All-Star Teams and 14 All-NBA Teams. 11 of those were All-NBA First Team appearances.

His Hall of Fame career also includes 2 MVP awards. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, Malone was never able to put his hands on an NBA title.

He was honored by being included in both the 50th and 75th NBA anniversary teams. He was also a gold medal winner in both the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games.

His 36,928 career points put him 3rd behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James. He still holds the NBA record for most free throws attempted and most free throws made. As another player on this list who only played for two teams, it seems that feeling secure and stable within a franchise really helps players to shine and give their all.

Karl Malone is also tied in 2nd place alongside Kobe Bryant for most All-NBA First-Team selections.

That is surely no mean feat


11 All-NBA First Team Selections

  • Born – August 23rd, 1978 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Died – January 26th, 2020 (aged 41) – RIP

  • Measurements – 6’6” (1.98m) – 212lb (96kg)

  • NBA debut – November 3rd, 1996

  • Position – Shooting guard, small forward

  • Teams – Los Angeles Lakers

  • Games – 1,346

  • Career – 20 years

  • Points – 33,643 (25 per game)

  • Rebounds – (5.2 per game)

  • Assists – 6,306 (4.7 per game)

  • Steals – 1,944 (1.4 per game)

  • Blocks – 640 (0.5 per game)

Some would argue that Kobe Bryant was the most accomplished Los Angeles Laker in the history of the franchise. Who are we to argue? He ties for 2nd place in this list with Karl Malone. Each of them with an almost unbelievable 11 All-NBA First Team selections.

Kobe Bryant spent years dominating the league and was the NBA’s number one guard for almost the whole time. In this regard, he is safely in the realm of Michael Jordan.

With his 5 NBA Championship titles and 2 Finals MVP trophies, Bryant sailed into the Hall of Fame.

He has the 2nd highest number of individual-player points in a single game (81). He remains the all-time leading scorer in Lakers’ history and the only guard to play 20 seasons. His 18 All-Star selections are the 2nd most ever and he has the most consecutive appearances as a starter. Four NBA All-Star Game MVP awards tie him with Bob Pettit for the most in league history.


Bryant wrote a best-selling book that revealed just how much hard work and dedication was required to operate on his level. He was the epitome of the old adage that success is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.

Yes, he was surely one of the most naturally gifted ever to shoot hoops. But he worked his butt off to hone those skills and improve constantly. Modern sports stars can no longer find they are born into a particular sport and need to do no more than simply show up and dominate. It is a fiercely competitive world and Kobe Bryant was a true role model in terms of being the first one in and the last out.

His life, and those of all those unfortunate souls who happened to be with him that fateful night, was cut tragically short. His legacy remains and no matter what the future holds for the NBA, the name Kobe Bryant will live on long after we are all gone.


(Image credit: Tim Shelby)


13 All-NBA First Team Selections

  • Born – December 30th, 1984 (37 years old) – Akron, Ohio

  • Measurements – 6’9” (2.06m) – 250lb (113kg)

  • NBA debut – October 29th, 2003

  • Position – Small Forward, Power Forward, Point Guard, and Shooting Guard

  • Teams – Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Games – 1,366

  • Career – 18 years (ongoing)

  • Points – (27.1 per game)

  • Rebounds – (7.4 per game)

  • Assists – (7.4 per game)

  • Steals – (1.6 per game)

  • Blocks – (0.8 per game)

As the only active player on this list, the extraordinary LeBron James is the man who will inevitably go on to shatter all existing longevity awards.

At this point in his career, LeBron James is still competing at a quite unbelievable level. James is, once again, most likely to appear on the All-NBA First Team this season. That would be a frankly mind-boggling 14th selection.

LeBron James’ list of achievements over his career is an almost ridiculous one

He has:

  • 4 NBA titles

  • Finals MVPs x 4

  • 4 MVPs

  • 18 All-Star Team selections (tied in 2nd place behind Kareem)

  • Most consecutive All-Star selections with (tied with Kobe Bryant on 18)

  • 13 All-NBA First Team selections

  • 2 Olympic gold medals

  • NBA Playoffs scoring record

  • Career 2nd most points

  • 7th most career assists

  • First player in NBA history to accumulate $1 billion in earnings as an active player

It’s hard to find the words to adequately describe what James does and how he continues to do it with such consistency. He is like a machine that runs on pure dedication, skill, and hard work. Truly an inspirational athlete whom not many would argue against as the greatest small forward ever.

We are privileged to live in a time when we can witness another unstoppable, other-worldly basketball force the likes of which the world will never see again.


The individuals in this list have made league history so many times that it makes our heads spin. Between them, they have created a legacy of sporting excellence that stands up not just in our beloved NBA but across all sports. We’re not naive here at The Jump Hub – we know we’re bound to be biased. But the achievements here must surely be on a par with the most impressive of any sport and we feel that some of them are among the very best.

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