There can be only one MVP every season in the NBA, but the All-NBA teams offer an alternative honor for the players that can't win the award but have enjoyed dominant seasons regardless. Towards the end of the regular season, there are quite a few candidates that present themselves but even the First Team has just five spots. How those selections are made is also a matter of some controversy.
Currently, players are picked for the All-NBA First and Second Teams according to positions. So that means 2 guards, 2 forwards, and 1 center are selected. But that causes an issue when the two best players in the league are both centers, with one having to contend with a spot on the Second Team despite having been a Top 5 player in the NBA. With that in mind, this season, Nikola Jokic might end up missing out despite being the other MVP candidate alongside Joel Embiid.
NBA analyst Kevin O'Connor believes that the selections in the NBA need to be positionless, suggesting as much during an 'AMA' on Reddit.
"Embiid, Jokic, and Giannis COULD all be first-team though if Embiid is listed as a center and a forward like he was in the past—why should Jokic not be listed as a guard, by the way, when he runs the offense? But that speaks to my feeling that positions should be removed so we're not dealing with those semantics anymore. I've written and ranted about this for years.
"It's ludicrous how, for example, Khris Middleton didn't get named to the third team in 2020 despite having more total points (82) than Ben Simmons (61) and Russell Westbrook (56). But since Middleton's votes were split between guard and forward, he didn't get the edge. I have long believed that ballots should be positionless."
Giannis Antetokoumpo, Nikola Jokic, and Joel Embiid are all big men but all deserve to make it to the All-NBA First Team. Giannis could make it as a forward but it remains to be seen what happens to the two centers. However it pans out, fans of certain players are bound to be disappointed if their favorite misses out.