This race had about as much suspense as the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the Thunder/Lakers series, but now it is official:
Kyrie Irving is your NBA Rookie of the Year.
The announcement and presentation came Tuesday morning in Cleveland, where Irving had praised heaped upon him by his coach Byron Scott (via Jason Lloyd of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Sulia):
“From a coaching standpoint, one of the easiest guys I ever had to coach and deal with,” (Scott said).
Irving, in turn, thanked his father.
“I love you man. We’re going to bring this back home, put it on the mantle and put flashing lights on it so it shines throughout the house.”
Irving was the runaway winner of the award, getting 117 of the 120 first place votes (and I’d love to hear the explanation from whoever voted for Kawhi Leonard and Iman Shumpert). The former Duke player and No. 1 overall pick last June averaged 18.5 points and 5.5 assists a game, shot 39.9 percent from three, became a dangerous late game threat, and gave the fans in Cleveland hope for the future.
Here are the top 5 vote getters (with total points):
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland (592)
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota (170)
Kenneth Faried, Denver (129)
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio (47)
Iman Shumpert, New York (33)