What an honor! It was a super competitive race for Rookie of the Year at the NBA Awards, and Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon ended up taking home the honor for his first year in the league.
This was going to be a tough contest for Rookie of the Year at the 2017 NBA Awards on June 26, as the Milwaukee Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon, 24, and Philadelphia 76ers teammates Dario Saric, 23, and Joel Embiid, 23, were up for the title after incredible first seasons in the league. These young guns are helping turn their franchises around and the award went to Malcolm for his incredible rookie season. “This is for the guys that are underestimated,” he said in a very gracious acceptance speech, before saying how much he (and everyone else in the league) worked to make their NBA dreams happen.
Earlier in the day, both Malcolm and Dario were unanimously selected to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie First Team. They each received received all 100 First Team votes from a worldwide panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Joel joined them on the team with 171 points and 82 First Team votes, so we knew the Rookie of the Year race was going to be super tight!
There were cases to be made for each player with their standout first seasons in the NBA. Malcolm may have come to the Bucks late in the game, a second round pick at 36th in the 2016 draft, but proved he was worthy of being in the league in such a big way. His dunks on Cleveland’s captain LeBron James, 32, and Kyrie Irving, 25, in the Bucks’ Dec. 20, 2016 game against the Cavs were SO huge and two of the best plays of the NBA season! With a win, Malcolm becomes the first Rookie of the Year in 60 years to be chosen outside of the first round of the NBA draft.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 27, 2017
— Pathe Ndiaye⛹🏽♛ (@KdTrey_23) June 27, 2017
Malcolm Brogdon is your 2017 Rookie of the Year. pic.twitter.com/qRWvryCZac
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 27, 2017
The Sixers were looking for latest R.O.Y. since Michael Carter-Williams took it in 2014. Dario was named the Eastern Conference’s Rookie of the Month in February and March with his incredible late season play. Overall he averaged 12.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. In March, his teammate Joel said that the power forward was completely deserving of the NBA Rookie of the Year title.
Two years after being drafted by the 76ers and being kept out of action due to injures, Joel finally made his long awaited NBA debut on Oct. 26, 2016 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. While the team lost, in his 25 minutes of play the center showed off all of the promise that the Sixers had hoped for, recording 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Just days later on Nov. 1, he recorded his first career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to the Orlando Magic. He probably would have run away with Rookie of the Year honors had he not suffered a season ending meniscus tear to his left knee that only allowed him to play in 31 games.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of the 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year?