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Camby makes All-Defensive first team

DENVER ” Finally, Marcus Camby’s trophy case is getting crowded.

The Denver Nuggets’ 33-year-old center, who won his first NBA Defensive Player of the Year award last week, was named to the NBA All-Defensive first team on Monday for the first time in his 11-year career.

“Honestly, besides winning a championship, that was the only other goal I had,” Camby said as he prepared for Game 4 of Denver’s playoff series with San Antonio

Spurs forward Tim Duncan made his 10th straight NBA All-Defensive first team, and Spurs teammate Bruce Bowen was the top vote-getter in being selected for the seventh time. Bowen, also a forward, received 42 votes, six more than Duncan.

Rounding out the first team were guards Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, who earned his seventh selection, and Raja Bell of the Phoenix Suns, making his first appearance on the team.

Camby, who had made the All-Defensive second team the last two seasons, said he appreciates finally being recognized by the league’s coaches who selected the teams but has a bigger goal in mind.

“I want to win a championship,” he said. “That’s pretty much all I’m thinking about.”

Nuggets coach George Karl said Camby’s recognition was long overdue.

“Sometimes when you’re not on a marquee team or a team that plays deep into the playoffs, some guys get left in the dust a little bit,” Karl said. “And a little bit I think he has stayed at the top of the mountain whereas I don’t think there’s a lot of guys coming to the top of the mountain. He and Ben Wallace are big-time defenders and they’ve stayed there for going on five to 10 years.”

Camby averaged 11.7 rebounds and led the league in blocks (3.30) this season, something he also did in Toronto in the late 1990s when he first entered the league as the No. 2 overall selection out of UMass.

“We were in Toronto,” Camby said with a chuckle. “They didn’t even know we even existed.”

Bowen and Duncan helped the Spurs hold opponents to 90.1 points (first in the NBA) and .433 shooting from the field (third). San Antonio has finished in the top five in both categories in each of Duncan’s 10 seasons.

The second team consists of Chicago teammates Ben Wallace and Kirk Hinrich, New Jersey’s Jason Kidd, Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince and Minnesota’s Kevin Garnett.

Voting was done by the league’s 30 head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own players.


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