Though he garnered more votes than the center on the second team, Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders was left off both of the NBA’s all-defensive teams.
Sanders received four first team votes and 16 total points, tying him with Denver’s Andre Iguodala for the most votes for a player not on either of the two teams.
Though he won the league’s Defensive Player of the Year honors, Memphis center Marc Gasol garnered just five first team votes and 12 total points. The only explanation for Gasol making the second team over Sanders is that Milwaukee’s big man had to have been listed on the ballot as a forward.
The media votes on Defensive Player of the Year, while NBA coaches vote for the all-defensive teams. Gasol is just the fourth player in 31 years to win Defensive Player of the Year and not make the first team, as Tyson Chandler (2012), Dikembe Mutombo (1995) and Alvin Robertson (1986) suffered a similar fate.
Sanders, 24, finished second in the league in blocked shots per game, averaging 2.86 blocks per game in his breakout season.