Apr 8 2011
This year’s top three candidates for Rookie of the Year are Blake Griffin, John Wall and Landry Fields. Whether these guys are lighting up (Ricky Williams voice) defenses on the offensive end, or locking down great scorers; their impact has been felt in the NBA. But before we get into this year’s candidates, let’s check out past winners of the ROY award because it tells us a little something about becoming a long time BALLER in the NBA.
Past winners, starting with the best to ever do it:
Michael Jordan (’85), Patrick Ewing, Chuck Person, Mark Jackson, Mitch Richmond, David Robinson, Derrick Coleman, Larry Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Grant Hill/Jason Kidd (tie), Damon Stoudamire, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, Vince Carter, Elton Brand/ Steve Francis (tie), Mike Miller, Pau Gasol, Amar’e Stoudemire, LeBron James, Emeka Okafor, Chris Paul, Brandon Roy, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans.
For the past 26 years (28 winners) there has not been 1 true BUST (Kwame Brown voice) to ever win Rookie of the Year. Sure guys like Mike Miller, Derrick Coleman, Damon Stoudamire, and Check Person were not perennial All-Stars, but they were not busts either. Mike Miller had many good years in Memphis. Derrick “give me a damn cheeseburger” Coleman, averaged 16.5 points and 9.3 rebounds for his floppy career. Damon Stoudamire and Chuck Person were ite.
So it is fair to say that if you win the ROY award you are destined to have a solid NBA career, unless your name happens to be…well… Kwame Brown.
So without further or due let’s go over this year’s top candidates who are front runners for the 2010-2011 ROY award. Actually hold on one sec, why the hell is Blake Griffin considered a ROOKIE? The guy was the 1st overall pick 2 years ago in 2009, not 2010. Why does the NBA claim that if a player misses their entire 1st season, as Blake did with a stress fracture in his left knee cap in 09, he/she (juwanna Woman ?) is considered a rookie?
Wouldn’t a player like Griffin, who misses action on the court still have an extra year in contact with players, trainers, and coaches that help them develop. Wouldn’t they have an unfair advantage over true rookies, who only have 1 summer to prepare and learn the system?
Enough of my whining…here are your candidates…
1. Blake Griffin (not a real rookie, whatever)…
Blake has done straight work this year. Whether he is dunking on former Knick Timothy Mozgov, or leading the sorry ass Clippers with 22.5 ppg, 12.2 rpg and a 50.5 % shooting percentage. Blake should and will win this year’s award. Blake also had a 47 point, 14 rebound performance against the Indiana Pacers, and just a couple nights ago had 35 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Blake is one scary player in the open court, and if he can improve his mid-range game he might be an MVP candidate sooner than later. It should be interesting to see what the Clippers do this off season to keep Blake happy and stay competitive in an always tough Western Conference. The Clippers do have a solid core returning in Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Mo Williams, DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe and Randy Foye. Wait…did I just write something positive about the Clippers? Damn it.
2. John Wall (real rookie)
Despite a sub par shooting percentage (40.8%), John “Ice Cream Paint Job” Wall did not forget his talents in Kentucky. Wall has averaged 16.3 ppg, 8.5 apg, 1.7 spg and at one point this year had a very impressive Triple Double against the Utah Jazz. However, what impresses me more than anything about Wall is his ability to pass the basketball and make others around him better. And not only a little bit better, but Wall makes players around him MUCH better. Bonafide scrubs JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche and Jordan Crawford have had their best year playing with Mr. Wall. McGee is now a 10 and 8 guy every night, Blatche averages 17 points a game along with 8 boards, and even more impressive is the development of Jordan Crawford. Since getting traded to the Wizards from Atlanta, Crawford has averaged 13 more points per game (17.1 ppg), has shot much better from the field, and has gained the reputations as a dangerous offensive weapon. Plus his name is Jordan.
3. Landry Fields (another real rookie)
Not only has Spike Lee wore Landry’s jersey from day 1, but Landry has been ballin ever since he first put on a Knick’s uniform. The Stanford grad averages 10 points a game along with impressively shooting 50% from the field, and 40% from downtown. He is also the Knicks’ most valuable defensive player in that he can guard players at multiple positions, is a solid rebounder (6.3rpg), and more than anything is the only Knick who constantly gives maximum effort on the defensive end. What makes his stock even higher is that the KNICKS actually drafted a player who can play the sport of basketball. The Long Beach native was drafted in the 2nd round (39th overall) and is the best Knicks player drafted pick since Gandhi.
Because I am on the subject, here are a list of some typical Knicks draft picks over the years: Jordan Hill (8th, ’09), Renaldo Balkman (20th, ’06…the next “Dennis Rodman” [Isiah Thomas voice]), Dijon Thompson (’05), Mike Sweetney (9th, ’03), Maciej Lampe (’03), Donnel Harvey (22nd, ’00) and my favorite pick of All-Time FREDERIC WEIS (15th, ’99) who never decided to come to the US from France, and the last time anyone saw Frederic, this happened…[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk_vlsLwUy0[/youtube]