The 5: Suns to earn 1st Team All-Defense honors before Mikal Bridges

May 22, 2022, 11:00 AM
Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to pass against Raja Bell #19 0f the Phoenix Suns in...
Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to pass against Raja Bell #19 0f the Phoenix Suns in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2006 NBA Playoffs April 28, 2006 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges was voted to the NBA’s First Team All-Defense as announced Friday, becoming the first Suns player to do so since 2007.

Phoenix has not had a player make the Second Team since 2008, as Bridges just missed the cut with an 11th-place finish last year.

Bridges finished second in First Team votes and in the Defensive Player of the Year race behind Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart.

Here are the five most recent Suns players to make the First Team All-Defense before Bridges ended the drought.

Raja Bell, 2006-07

Bell made the Second Team in 2005-06 before making his only First Team the following season.

The then-30-year-old started 78 games for a 61-win Suns squad.

He made the First Team with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, San Antonio Spurs forwards Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen and Denver Nuggets center Marcus Camby.

Jason Kidd, 2000-01

Kidd averaged 2.2 steals per game for the Suns in 2000-01, his final year with the franchise.

He had made Second Team the year prior with Suns forward Clifford Robinson, although, he was on the 1998-99 First Team.

He went on the made the First Team twice more in his career.

Jason Kidd, 1998-99

Kidd made nine All-Defense teams in his career, the first with the Suns in 1999.

He stole the ball 2.3 times per game in 50 contests during a lockout-shortened season.

Kidd is second on the all-time steals list.

Dennis Johnson, 1982-83

Kidd broke a lull, himself. Phoenix wing Dan Majerle made a pair of Second Teams during the early 1990s, but Johnson was the last Suns player to crack the top-five for a long time.

Well, top-six.

Johnson actually tied Maurice Cheeks of the Philadelphia 76ers for the spot.

He played 77 games for Phoenix that year and helped the team reach the playoffs with 53 wins.

Dennis Johnson, 1981-82

Johnson made First Team six times in his illustrious career, including in all three seasons he spent with the Suns from 1980-83.

He was also an All-Star in 1981-82 for the fourth straight year.

Johnson was the second Suns player to earn First Team All-Defense honors multiple times after Don Buse did so in 1978-79 and 1979-80.

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The 5: Suns to earn 1st Team All-Defense honors before Mikal Bridges