Thursday, May 05, 2011

Blake Griffin unanimous rookie of the year

Blake Griffin played his entire rookie season like a man making up for lost time.

Now that the Los Angeles Clippers' dynamic dunker has been named the league's top rookie in a landslide, he's already thinking about ways to improve on a delayed NBA debut that was well worth the wait.

Griffin accepted the Rookie of the Year award on Wednesday, becoming the NBA's first unanimous choice for the award in 21 years.

The No. 1 overall draft pick out of Oklahoma in 2009 missed all of the 2009-10 season after breaking his kneecap in the Clippers' final preseason game. But Griffin returned with one of the most impressive debut campaigns in a generation.

Griffin received every first-place vote from a panel of 118 media members, easily outdistancing Washington's John Wall. The Clippers' 22-year-old power forward is the first unanimous choice since San Antonio's David Robinson in 1990, and just the third in NBA history after Ralph Sampson in 1984. New Orleans' Chris Paul came close in 2006, missing by one vote.

2010-11 NBA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD VOTING
Rookie, Team          1st  2nd  3rd  Total
Blake Griffin, LAC    118    -    -   590
John Wall, WASH        -    91   22   295
DeMarcus Cousins, SAC  -    11   48    81
Landry Fields, NY      -    12   26    62
Gary Neal, SA          -     3   10    19
Greg Monroe, DET       -     1   12    15

Griffin led all rookies in scoring and rebounding while playing in all 82 games for the Clippers, finishing 12th in the entire NBA in scoring (22.5) and fourth in rebounds (12.1) while ranking second among rookies in assists (3.8).

The 6-foot-10 Griffin was the NBA's first rookie All-Star since Yao Ming in 2003, and he won the dunk contest at All-Star weekend in Staples Center with an iconic leap over a car.

Griffin received a maximum 590 points in the voting, while Wall had 91 of the 118 second-place votes to finish with 295 points. New York's Landry Fields received 12 second-place votes and 62 points, but finished fourth in the overall voting behind Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins, who got 11 second-place votes and 81 points. San Antonio's Gary Neal and Detroit's Greg Monroe were the only other rookies receiving votes.

Griffin is the first Clippers player to win the award since Terry Cummings won it with the San Diego Clippers in 1983. Adrian Dantley, Bob McAdoo and Ernie DiGregorio won the award during a five-year stretch with the Buffalo Braves, who moved to San Diego in 1978.

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