After weeks of anticipation and announcements of the various other NBA regular season awards, the league finally announced Wednesday afternoon the winner of the 2020-21 NBA Rookie of the Year award:
Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball has been voted the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, sources tell ESPN. Announcement expected soon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 16, 2021
While the official voting totals have not yet been released as of 1:45pm PST, it is safe to assume that Minnesota Timberwolves’ rookie Anthony Edwards will have finished as the runner-up for this award, with Sacramento Kings’ rookie Tyrese Haliburton finishing third.
If we’re being honest, this latest news isn’t all that surprising, as it seemed LaMelo was the popular choice early in the season, and despite a historic second half of the season by ANT, many voters had already made up their minds as to which player they would select. Is that the best way to handle regular season awards? Not at all (at least in my opinion), but then again the league has set itself up to allow certain media members to have a direct effect on how much star players can get paid via their All-NBA team votes. In other words, the system for voting on regular season awards is already flawed, so don’t expect common sense to prevail any time soon.
Regardless, my biggest takeaway here is that all three of the likely top vote getters — LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and Tyrese Haliburton — far and away exceeded the expectations that were given to them and proved a lot of media members wrong about the overall talent level of the 2020 NBA draft class (including *some* media members who had ROY votes). Little was expected from last year’s class, and in the span of less than 12 months we’ve already seen a few players emerge as potential superstars, which is great news not only for those fan bases (i.e. Minnesota and Charlotte) but also the league in general.
What does Karl-Anthony Towns think of this latest award announcement?
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) June 16, 2021
Same Karl, same.
But yes — a sincere congratulations goes out to LaMelo Ball on winning the award, and an even bigger congrats goes out to all of the fan bases that get to watch this next crop of super-talented young players ball out for the next decade or more. The future is indeed bright.