Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 at 12:30 pm  |  58 responses

Kyrie Irving Wins NBA Rookie of the Year Award

by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

UPDATE: The League confirmed the obvious today, naming Kyrie Irving the top rookie this season. The vote was nearly unanimous: “Irving totalled 592 points and received 117 first-place votes from a panel of 120 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio finished second with 170 points and Denver’s Kenneth Faried finished third with 129 points (one first-place vote). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. [...] The top selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, Irving joins Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Allen Iverson and, LeBron James as the only No. 1 overall draft picks to average at least 18.0 points and 5.0 assists. In addition, he is one of only six rookies in league history to average at least 18.0 points, 5.0 assists, and 1.0 steal while shooting at least .450 from the field, joining Johnson, Jordan, Alvan Adams, Grant Hill, and Tyreke Evans.”

He was the first overall pick in last summer’s NBA Draft, and now he’s on the verge of officially being named the League’s top rookie.

After being the overwhelming favorite for much of the lockout-shortened season, Kyrie Irving will reportedly win the award this Tuesday.

From the AP and Plain Dealer:

Kyrie Irving began his first pro season as the top pick and ended it as the top rookie. Cleveland’s smooth, playmaking point guard has been chosen as the NBA”s Rookie of the Year, a person familiar with the voting said. Irving’s selection is hardly a surprise since the 20-year-old led all first-year players in scoring – 18.5 points per game – and renewed hope for Cleveland’s franchise. He’ll receive the award on Tuesday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the league has not yet announced the winner.

“This season has been a special one for me,” Irving said on April 27, a day after the Cavs finished with a 21-45 record. “We overcame a lot of obstacles during the lockout-shortened season. It’s been a learning experience. I grew as a player from the mental standpoint, getting used to the NBA grind.” [...] Irving becomes just the second Cavs’ recipient of the NBA honor. LeBron James, who like Irving was a top overall pick, won the award in 2004.

Kyrie Irving blew away other rookies by posting numbers of 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and 3.7 boards in 51 games. He also shot 46.9% from the field, 39.9% from the 3-point line and 87.2% from the free-throw line.

Cleveland Cavaliers fans will be expecting even bigger things (in terms of numbers and wins) from the 20-year old next season.

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , ,

  • Hart

    Well deserved

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    And Cleveland basketball fans still say they’re cursed . . . landing Irving so soon after losing Lebron? Wow.

  • LA Huey

    More obvious than Harden as 6MOTY?

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Walt Frazier Jr.

  • JMM


  • Heals

    Good angle Huey, and I really don’t know…

  • dan

    lets all hope that cleveland will really win a chip b4 lebron does. nice outlook so far :D

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    huey, about even i guess, no contest in both cases

  • Omar

    Should be unanimous.

  • http://twitter.com/niyosimba niyosimba

    Be realistic Dan.

  • Ismael

    Well deserved, Kid was CLUTCH!

  • http://Www.achtamsterdam.nl Phil

    If they get Davis…the could content really really soon, even if the get kidd- gilchrist

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Philo, walt frazier, jr? The boy nice but not that nice.

  • Kyle

    JTaylor – His rookie numbers are around Frazier’s career numbers. If he continues to improve he can put up crazy stats.

    Phil – If they don’t get Davis they better take Beal, I believe he will be the top scorer out of this draft.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    I’ve learned better than to trust stats from high profile rookies on teams needing stars. See: Evans, Tyreke; Okafor, Emeka; Jennings, Brandon. Kyrie is a good player, but I really think his peak is 22-5.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Kyrie Irving isn’t anywhere near the defender that Frazier was. And never will be.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    his shooting % is really really good, especially since he has the license the gun it.

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    Kid definitely deserved the ROY, but some of the praise I’m hearing about him is just too much.
    Some Cavs fan on Twitter exploded because my dude said Anthony Davis might be the best prospect since Oden/Durant in ’07.
    Man, he’s good and has a chance to be great, but on that Cavs team I would’ve been shocked if he didn’t put up dope numbers.
    Anyways, again, well-deserved tho.

  • Ldub

    Who else would it have been?

  • MAS


  • Rik Smits Mullet

    with cheapskate dan gilbert as an owner. I highly doubt the cavs ever win a chip.
    Still its a good sign for the cavs.

  • Ldub

    Rubio? no….he was injured for too many games and he didnt have the impact on the games like Irving did.

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com Don

    Well deserved. Kyrie Irving balled this season.

  • Ldub

    Rubio? He didnt make the same impact on his team as Kyrie did. This is a no brainer for sure. Plus Rubio got hurt and missed the end of the season!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Rubio had more of an effect on his team. He just wasn’t as good individually. And proof of Rubios impact is pretty obvious. 21 and 20 with him. 5 and 20 without him.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Yeah, Rubio was MUCH better for his team. Kyrie put up great numbers. We all know ROY goes to better numbers instead of wins (Melo/LeBron).

  • Heals

    No Mas…

  • Ldub

    if we switched Rubio and Irving…would the results be the same? Look at who Rubio had around him. Love, Williams, Beasley, etc. Irving had Byron Scott and Jamison. It can go back and forth all day one would assume. Its kind of like this. When Kevin Love drops 30 and 15, You kinda dont notice it (idk if thats because its normal or what)..but if you have Kobe dropping 30 and 15…its like damn, that dude was everywhere tonight. That what I mean by impact. Rubio will get you the double digit assists easily…but IMO Kyrie was keeping his team in the games with his play. Again thats MO.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well Rubio’s biggest impact on Minnesota was defensively. He was an ELITE defensive PG this season. And as soon as he went down, the Timberwolves completely fell apart. Despite having Ridnour, who is an equal defender to Irving, and probably a better passer. (not nearly the scorer though). Rubio had a profound impact on the Wolves. I don’t think Irving could have duplicated that at all, despite being a better player.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    You can’t argue supporting cast cause we saw how incredibly bad the Wolves were without Rubio. Yeah, the names look nice, but record-wise, it was identical to when the Cavs didn’t have Kyrie. Wolves went 5-20 (.200) and the Cavs went 3-12 (.200). So yeah, you can’t argue Rubio’s supporting cast was substantially better, no matter what Kevin Love’s hideously inflated stats tell you.

  • Ldub

    So we are now basing “impact” on the record? I can see both sides to that argument. Because you can have an impact on a game and still lose…(Blake Griffin last year) Stats were similar, but record was still piss poor. All im saying is Irving’s play kept the Cavs in games (scoring wise I guess). We all know this is a scoring league and if that gets overlooked then so be it. If Rubio didnt get hurt and could have added a few more buckets to his average…im sure it would have been a closer race. But almost from the 2nd/3rd week of the season…ppl were ranting and raving about Irving being ROY. Regarding the supporting cast…it is a good/valid point. The styles of the pg’s differ and for that IDK if either of these players would be as respected (in their first year)…if the teams were different. If that is the case then they would be only considered mediocre players. no?

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    congrats to my main man Kyrie! well deserved.

  • Dingo Rob

    Kyrie- Melbourne, Andrew Bogut – Melbourne no skills or NBA players – Sydney. Just thought I’d make that point.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Sam Cassell Jr.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    I believed Kyrie was going to be ROY from about the 3rd week in; that’s just the NBA voting process though. If I wanted to win with one of the rooks (assuming health), I’d take Rubio by a mile. ROY means stats and profile; it’s a glorified PR campaign to give upstart NBA teams a means of spotlight. Works pretty well too. That’s why rooks who bring team success don’t win it versus the numbers guys. That said, both Rubio and Kyrie are good players, I just feel that over the time when they both were healthy, Rubio was a better asset to his team.

  • Heals

    Those who saw both play at least 20 games know Kyrie’s better. It’s not arguable, watch them play…

  • Heals

    “By a mile,” shows your bias. You know even if Ricky is better (he’s not) it’s by a slim margin. This was no PR campaign,”stats and profile,” get that weak shht outta here. How many Cavs games you watch, Wolves games? Still think a mile, if so you’re crazy…

  • http://thesportzbroz.com Adam

    #MTC stand up

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Co-sign caboose, still think Wall will be much better. Very good rookie season though, cant take that away.

  • Mike From Spain

    This season Ricky brought to his team leadership (he called some guys out when they were not defending), basketball IQ (he’s kind of ‘coach on the court’), unselfish play, winning mentality, flashy passing, good rebounding for a guard, elite defense. His impact would have been less if the other players at the end of Minesotta’s backcourt rotation were not so bad/unmotivated. The intangibles Ricky brought made him an inestimable ‘glue guy’ and masked the BBIQ shortcomings of some of his teammmates. Ricky is one of these guys that make players want to share the ball, it’s kind of contagious. That said, it’s likely that Kyrie has more upside and will always be the better scorer. As to whom I would prefer… I guess in a team with offensive-minded bigs I take Rubio, in a team with defensive-minded bigs I take Kyrie. I can’t say I take one or the other as better by a wide margin.

  • ricflairwoo

    i think kenneth faried deserved that,but oh well

  • L Dribble

    Iverson improved Philly by 4 games to just 22 and 60 – most ROYs go into terrible teams so taking records into consideration is difficult. Appreciate the possible argument with Rubio but I don’t think the team’s second half performance was solely due to his absence. It would be difficult to award it to someone who played half a season – it would be like giving Lin most improved player.

  • Pokemon Master Ash Your Mother

    Lebron James is the best cavs rookie of all time.. OF ALL TIME!

  • Heals

    Much love Mike, you got plenty of reasons to say Rubio blindly, but recognize their differences and that either way it’s very close…

  • i_ball


  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    @Philo…those sleepy eyes, can finish with both hands. He’s no Cassell Jr….how bout Rod Strickland Jr.??

  • Pokemon Master Ash Your Mother

    lebron james pissed on u cavs fans.. lebron is the greatest player of all time.. better than mj

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Heals: I said if I wanted to win. I acknowledge that stats-wise, Kyrie is much better equipped to put up better numbers. But point guards like him are a dime a dozen in the league (scoring, athletic types who don’t get wins). Rubio’s record speaks for itself. He had over .500 ball on a team that without him would have been last in the West. So yes, for winning, it’s fair to say I’d take Rubio by a mile. In terms of actual skill level, it’s much closer.

  • RunNGun

    If Rubio didn’t get hurt, this would have been an interesting race. I like Irving but would have gone with Rubio. Rubio meant so much for the league pass darlings and would have put them in at least the 7th or 8th seed in the West. Either way, the league wins. Congrats to Irving.

  • startown

    It would have been a good race Rubio and Irving. I think Irving would have won, but agree with NBK that Rubio had a major impact on his team, and will in the future. He is a unique player. I wonder what the Wolves would look like if they had the #1 pick instead of Cleveland and would have taken Irving?

  • http://www.blogspot.com LLC#12

    Awful that Rubio got hurt, would of been a fascinating race to ROY if he hadn’t. Out for the olympics as well when Spain had a real interesting looking team too, so unfortunate. Credit to Kyrie though, much better scorer than Rubio perhaps ever will be.

  • Jerome

    Congrats Kyrie. The next most hated player in C(LEAVE)land. He’s going to the Heat in two years … just a hunch.

  • jeremys6226

    Great to see Irving playing so well and receiving the deserved recognition as there definitely were doubters when he was selected 1st (only playing 11 games at Duke) but well deserved and look forward for future years

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    I will say this: dude played better than I thought he would.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Should have gone to Greg Munroe..

  • http://www.slamonline.com Teddy-the-Bear

    This was somewhat of an underrated draft class/rookie class, imo. Two great second-round steals in Isiah Thomas and Chandler Parsons, then Kyrie Irving and Rubio (even though he wasn’t drafted at the same time). Kawhi Leonard and Kenneth Faried both became starters. Ever year we’re told how bad the draft class is supposed to be, and every year it turns out the draft was pretty good.
    BTW the Greg munroe thing was a joke… Not very funny at all… Was just trollin’.

  • BBaller

    As a life long SPURS fan, i can’t be happier with MR K.Leonard. Have you noticed when ever he hits a crucial point he just runs down the floor and focuses on D.No waving to the crowd or egotism. That’s a true SPUR and an endearing trait.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Teddy, he wasn’t even a rookie this year.