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Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving has been named the recipient of the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the 2011-12 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award, the NBA, Kia Motors and Cavaliers announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Irving received a total of 592 points, including 117 first-place votes out of a possible 120, from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. 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 received.
The 6-foot-3 point guard averaged 18.5 points on .469 shooting, 3.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 30.5 minutes per game. He also shot .399 from three-point range and .872 from the free throw line. Among all rookies, he ranked first in points per game (by a margin of 5.7 points) and free throw percentage, second in three-point percentage, assists per game and player efficiency rating (21.5) and fifth in field goal percentage. Irving swept the NBA’s Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award each month this season (Dec./Jan., Feb. and March) with the exception of April, in which he only played in six of a possible 16 games due to injury. He was also named MVP of the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend after posting game highs of 34 points and nine assists and shooting a perfect 8-8 from three-point range.
In receiving the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award this season, he becomes just the second player in franchise history to receive the award (LeBron James) and the third No. 1 overall pick in the past four seasons to win the award, joining Chicago’s Derrick Rose (2008-09) and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin (2010-11). He also joins Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Allen Iverson and James as the only No. 1 overall draft picks to average at least 18.0 points and 5.0 assists and is one of just six rookies in league history to post averages of at least 18.0 points, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steal and .450 shooting along with Alvan Adams, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Grant Hill and Tyreke Evans. He and Larry Bird are the only rookies in NBA history to average over 18.0 points and shoot at least .399 from three-point range.
In the fourth quarter this season, the 20-year-old led all rookies in scoring (6.4) while ranking fifth overall (behind only NBA All-Stars Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and Kevin Love). He also led all rookies in scoring in the final three minutes of games (3.2) and trailed only Chris Paul for the league lead.
On three occasions, Irving scored the game-winning basket or made the go-ahead free throws to lead the Cavaliers to victory: at Boston on Jan. 29, against Sacramento on Feb. 19 and at Denver on March 7. His game-winning layup at Boston made him the third-youngest player (19 years, 312 days) to make a game-winning shot (field goal or free throw) since 2002-03, behind only Kevin Durant (19 years, 48 days) and Shaun Livingston (19 years, 206 days).
As part of its supports of the Rookie of the Year Award, Kia Motors America donated, in Kyrie’s name, a brand new 2012 Kia Sorento CUV to the New Jersey Roadrunners, his former AAU basketball team and program.
The Eddie Gottlieb Trophy is named in honor of Eddie Gottlieb, one of the NBA’s founders who coached the Philadelphia Warriors to the NBA championship in 1946-47.
2011-12 Kia NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Voting Results
|Kyrie Irving, Cleveland||117||2||1||592|
|Ricky Rubio, Minnesota||-||49||23||170|
|Kenneth Faried, Denver||1||30||34||129|
|Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio||1||9||15||47|
|Iman Shumpert, New York||1||7||7||33|
|Klay Thompson, Golden State||-||5||15||30|
|Isaiah Thomas, Sacramento||-||6||10||28|
|Brandon Knight, Detroit||-||6||3||21|
|Chandler Parsons, Houston||-||3||5||14|
|MarShon Brooks, New Jersey||-||1||1||4|
|Kemba Walker, Charlotte||-||-||3||3|
|Josh Selby, Memphis||-||-||1||1|
Kyrie Irving’s Season Highlights
- In his NBA debut, dished out seven assists (to one turnover) and added six points and three rebounds in 26 minutes against Toronto on Dec. 26. Became first rookie in franchise history to have at least seven assists to just one turnover in their NBA debut.
- Recorded the first 20-point game of his career with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes at Indiana on Dec.30.
- Against New Jersey on Jan. 27, scored 21 of his season-high 32 points in the fourth quarter, including 17 in the last 2:58 becoming the first rookie to score at least 21 points in the fourth quarter of a game since Marcus Williams of New Jersey (November 24, 2006) and first player to score 17 or more points in the final three minutes of a game since Vince Carter, who did it with the Nets (April 11, 2006).
- At Boston on Jan 29, scored the game-winning layup with 2.6 seconds remaining. He finished with game highs in points (23) and assists (6).
- Notched a game-high tying 23 points, including shooting 5-5 from the foul line, in 39 minutes against Sacramento on Feb. 19. Trailing by one with 2.9 seconds remaining, Irving knocked down two free throws to win the game.
- Dished out eight assists, to go along with 25 points on 8-15 (.533) shooting in 39 minutes of work against the Pistons on Feb. 21. In the fourth quarter, he scored 17 points on 6-9 (.667) shooting, including 3-3 from three-point range.
- Scored or assisted on the Cavs’ final 12 points in the last 2:36 of the game, including making the game-winning layup with 4.0 seconds remaining, in a 100-99 win at Denver on Mar 7.
- Had a career-high 12 assists, to go along with nine points in 31 minutes against the Thunder on Mar. 9, including scoring the go-ahead basket in the fourth quarter to help the Cavs to a 96-90 road victory, snapping Oklahoma City’s 14-game home winning streak.
- Scored 28 points on 11-16 (.688) shooting and added three rebounds and five assists in 29 minutes at Milwaukee on Mar. 14.
- Recorded his first career double-double with 19 points and 10 assists in 37 minutes against Atlanta on Mar. 18.
- Finished with 29 points, a career-high nine rebounds and nine assists in a career-high 42 minutes at Atlanta on Mar. 21, becoming the only rookie this season to reach totals of at least 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a game.
- Went 6-6 from three-point range and finished with a game-high 29 points on 11-20 (.550) shooting, to go along with a team-high five assists and three rebounds in 32 minutes against Milwaukee on Mar. 30. By shooting a perfect 6-6 from three-point range, he became the first rookie in the NBA to make at least six three’s in a game without a miss since Stephen Curry for Golden State on Jan. 5, 2010. Irving also set the Cavalier rookie record for the most three-pointers made in a game and most three-pointers made in a game without a miss.
- Scored a game-high 25 points on 10-16 (.625) shooting in only 29 minutes at Memphis on April 23. He also added four assists and three steals.