Damian Lillard named Rookie of the Year in unanimous vote

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We’ve essentially known this for quite some time, but it became official on Wednesday: Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers was named as the 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year.

Lillard’s selection was a unanimous one, as he received all 121 first place votes. The last unanimous winner of the award was Blake Griffin back in 2010-11.

Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets finished second with 306 points, while Bradley Beal of the Wizards finished third with 94 points. A first place vote is worth five points, a second place vote is worth three points, and a third place vote is worth one point in the NBA’s voting process.

Lillard was as deserving of this honor as any player has been in recent memory. Among rookies, Lillard ranked first in scoring, assists, and minutes played, with averages of 19 points and 6.5 assists in 38.6 minutes per game this season. He also set the rookie mark for three-point field goals made in a season with 185, surpassing the 166 that Stephen Curry made in his 2009-10 season.

The complete results of the Rookie of the Year voting are listed below. Shout out to John Jenkins of the Atlanta Hawks for that one third place vote.

Rookie, Team                                            1st               2nd              3rd               Total

Damian Lillard, Portland                       121             —                 —                 605

Anthony Davis, New Orleans                  —                 96               18               306

Bradley Beal, Washington                        —                 14               52               94

Andre Drummond, Detroit                       —                 5                  21               36

Dion Waiters, Cleveland                           —                 2                  15               21

Harrison Barnes, Golden State               —                 1                  5                  8

Chris Copeland, New York                       —                 2                  2                  8

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte         —                 —                 3                  3

Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto                   —                 —                 2                  2

John Jenkins, Atlanta                             —                 —                 1                  1

Report: Otis Smith withdraws from Kings’ job search

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The Kings need to replace Scott Perry – an important vacancy in what has been a clownish front office run by Vlade Divac and overseen by Vivek Ranadive.

Sacramento won’t be hiring Otis Smith, the former Magic general manager who met with the Kings.

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

https://twitter.com/BA_Turner/status/891002351594622976

I wouldn’t beat up the Kings about this. They quite possibly chose not to hire Smith and allowed it be framed this way as a favor to him – a fairly common courtesy.

But that the Kings were even considering Smith, despite all his failings in Orlando, doesn’t bode well for their search.

Kevin Durant breaks Guinness world record in India

AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
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NEW DELHI (AP) Kevin Durant is in India to help the NBA make inroads in a nation of 1.3 billion.

Durant took part in a camp in New Delhi, where the Golden State Warriors star helped set a Guinness world record Friday for the largest basketball lesson – 3,459 participants across multiple venues. The NBA Finals MVP met young players at the NBA Academy, with hundreds more joining by satellite from four other cities across the country.

Durant’s first trip to India is the latest move by the league to grow the game there, much as it is doing in China.

The academy opened in May to train some of the country’s top talents. Since 2008, the NBA has staged more than 1,500 events in 30 Indian cities.

Clippers sound like they’re pulling out of Kyrie Irving trade pursuit

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The six teams – Spurs, Clippers, Suns, Timberwolves, Knicks, Heat – that have reportedly proposed trades to the Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving are falling by the wayside, one by one.

The Heat denied making an offer. And it sounds as if the Clippers’ offer is leading them out of the chase.

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Clippers:

The Clippers have DeAndre Jordan, who has made All-NBA teams in the last three years. They also have Patrick Beverley whose dogged defense and quality spot-up 3-point shooting would fit well with LeBron James, and Beverley would be a lower-paid replacement for Irving at point guard. Their only player on a rookie-scale contract is Brice Johnson, who has disappointed. But they can still trade their 2022 and 2024 first-rounders, theoretically one to Cleveland and one to get a rookie-scale player already in the league.

Jordan would be a bad fit in a frontcourt that already includes Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love and LeBron. But it seems a three-team trade could work.

Alas, if the Clippers have resigned themselves to not finding a three-team trade, that matters much more than whether one is plausible.

Kyrie Irving confidant, reportedly: "He’s saying he’s not about to let LeBron ‘SON’ him"

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In the wake of Kyrie Irving‘s trade request – clearly a reaction to LeBron James – I’ve often thought about the above video.

A reporter asked Irving how LeBron has been like a father to him. A clearly flabbergasted Irving responds: “He’s been a great leader for us. I wouldn’t – I have one father. That’s my dad, Drederick Irving.”

LeBron never called himself Irving’s father. LeBron didn’t direct the reporter to ask Irving that question.

But LeBron’s presence, his leadership, how he presents his leadership all led the reporter down that road. Even if LeBron, like the rest of us, would’ve cringed at the question, the mere fact that he plays on the same team as Irving made it so Irving was put into that awkward position.

So, there may or may not be personal animosity between Irving and LeBron. There could still be a disconnect between the Cavaliers’ biggest stars.

Stephen A. Smith of The Undefeated:

“Kyrie isn’t saying he’s better than LeBron and should be seen that way,” a close confidant of Irving’s told me. “He’s saying he’s not about to let LeBron ‘SON’ him … treating him like he’s the child and LeBron’s the father or big brother he’s supposed to look up to.

“Kyrie knows he’s a franchise-caliber talent. He wants to be treated like it. And he’s tired of hearing about what LeBron needs, and he’s damn sure tired of hearing LeBron sound like he always needs more. As if the crew they have isn’t enough.”

Is this about LeBron repeatedly saying the Cavs needed another point guard last season? He was clearly talking about a backup for Irving, not replacing Irving. Perhaps, Irving or someone close to him took it differently?

Or maybe LeBron makes even more noise behind the scenes about needing more.

He doesn’t have enough – not to have a reasonable chance of beating these Warriors. Irving and Kevin Love lead a strong supporting cast, but Golden State is one of the greatest teams of all time. For LeBron to win another title, he needs more. I don’t blame LeBron for pushing for it.

I also understand that – and so much else of what LeBron naturally invites – wearing on Irving.