As expected, L.A. Clippers forward Blake Griffin was selected as the NBA Rookie of the Year by a unanimous vote, while Wizards rookie point guard John Wall came in second. Griffin missed all of last season with a right knee injury, which technically made this year his rookie season.
Griffin was a human highlight film all season long, dazzling fans with show stopping dunks, including the one that won him the NBA All-Star slam dunk contest, when he jumped over the hood of a car. But in addition to his more showy exploits, Griffin also posted averages of 22.5 points per games and 12.2 rebounds this year.
But Wall turned in an impressive campaign as well, with averages of 16.4 points per game, 8.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 4.6 rebounds.
Griffin also played in all 82 games this season, while Wall missed 13 games, mostly due to a left foot injury he suffered in November along with a right knee injury.
Wall said in his final post season interview that he expected Griffin to win the award, and admitted that his own injury problems might have kept him from at least making it a race between the two of them.
In the voting breakdown, Griffin got all 118 first place votes, while Wall got 91 second place votes and 22 third place votes. Griffin is the first unanimous Rookie of the Year selection since San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson won it in 1990. The only other unanimous winner was Houston Rockets center Ralph Sampson in 1984.
The last time a Wizard/Bullet won Rookie of the Year was 1969, when Wes Unseld won both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player. Earl “The Pearl” Monroe won Rookie of the Year one season earlier, in 1968.