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The 2022 All-NBA teams were revealed on Tuesday night prior to Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, and there weren’t a ton of surprises among those to actually earn the 15 All-NBA spots. Joel Embiid landing on the second team produced some chatter, as the likes of Jayson Tatum and others pointed out that the league should get rid of positions on the All-NBA ballot so the MVP runner-up doesn’t end up as a second team player.
Still, overall there weren’t a ton of gripes, but when the full voting results were released we did get our annual look at some of the wild one-off votes that inevitably happen. There was a Desmond Bane third team selection that was fairly shocking from Frank Isola, but no third team selection came from further off the board than Kyrie Irving getting a slot on Jalen Rose’s ballot. Irving, of course, played in just 29 games this season by choice, as he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which precluded him from playing in home games in Brooklyn for the majority of the season (and initially was not allowed to play at all as the Nets began the year with a “no part-time player” policy that they dropped midway through the year).
Considering the robust field of guard for All-NBA this season, Irving wasn’t even in consideration for 99 voters, but Rose decided to put him above Trae Young (who it should be noted had better production across 76 games played this season) and the rest for a bizarre third team selection. Ultimately it doesn’t matter as it didn’t keep Young from earning an All-NBA nod but it’s a pretty wild selection that is hard to figure out a defense of.