Friday, April 30, 2010

Sacramento's Tyreke Evans Wins NBA Rookie of the Year Award

Two days after word leaked of the impending announcement, Kings guard Tyreke Evans was officially named the 2009-10 NBA T-Mobile Rookie of the Year on Thursday.

Tyreke Evans has won hundreds of trophies in his young basketball career and many of them seem to have lost an arm, a basketball or some other piece in his mother's care.

Evans beat out fellow guards Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings in balloting. The Kings' rookie racked up 67 of 123 first-place votes, and appeared among the top three on every single ballot. Curry, the Warrior, finished second, earning 43 first-place votes and appearing on all but four ballots.

Jennings, whose Bucks lead Atlanta 3-2 in the first round of the Eastern Confernce playoffs, finished third. He earned 12 first-place votes, and made 112 of 123 ballots. Some combination of Evans, Curry and Jennings appeared on all but 15 ballots. The single first-place vote not claimed by that troika was given to Hornets guard Darren Collison.

Evans is the first Rookie of the Year for the Kings since the team moved to Sacramento in 1985. Phil Ford won the 1978-79 R.O.Y. while playing for the Kansas City Kings.

Evans was the first rookie since LeBron James to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game. Evans, James and Kobe Bryant were the only three NBA players to accomplish that line this season. The Kings leaned on Evans heavily during the season, both on the court and off. Sacramento improved its record by eight games, despite trading away three players (John Salmons, Brad Miller and Kevin Martin) who started for the team for more than half of 2008-09. Evans was the centerpiece of the Kings' marketing efforts, as well, with the team holding a "Reke R.O.Y Night" at ARCO Arena to celebrate the rookie in March.

Chicago's Taj Gibson and Minnesota's Jonny Flynn each earned two third-place votes a piece, finishing behind Collison, who in addition to his first-place vote had one second and nine thirds.

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