Grizzlies goalie Ja Morant wins NBA Rookie of the Year over Kendrick Nunn and Zion Williamson

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla .– Memphis Grizzlies goalie Ja Morant won the NBA Rookie of the Year award on Wednesday, collecting 99 out of 100 possible first-place votes for an easy victory.

Morant, who was the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft outside Murray State, finished with 498 points and was miles ahead of Miami Heat goalie Kendrick Nunn, who placed second with 204 points. New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, the first pick in last year’s draft at Duke University, received the final vote for first place and was third with 140 points.

“Man, that’s a blessing,” Morant said on TNT’s “Inside The NBA” pre-game show Wednesday night before the Boston Celtics face the Toronto Raptors. I am truly honored. I put in a lot of work, day after day. It’s been a tough trip but, you know, it all pays off. I still have a lot of work to do, but for the guys, the kids who aren’t heavily recruited right now, it gives them hope. ”

Becoming the face of a Grizzlies team that traded franchise icons Marc Gasol and Mike Conley during and after last season, Morant helped Memphis move from the stage of the NBA’s worst teams to find themselves in the very first league match. at stake here in the league bubble at Walt Disney World Resort last month, before ultimately losing to the Portland Trail Blazers to arrive just before making the playoffs.

The electrifying guard led all qualifying rookies in points (17.6) and assists (6.9) per game, and shot 49 percent from the field. He became the second player in Grizzlies history to win the league’s Rookie of the Year award, joining Pau Gasol in 2002.

Due to the schedule disruption due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is not hosting an awards show this season, as it has in recent years, but is handing out awards periodically during the playoffs, like she did before.

The league has presented four so far: Coach of the Year, won by Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse; Most Improved Player, won by Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram; Defensive Player of the Year, won by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo; and rookie of the year.

The other two awards to be presented are the sixth man of the year and the league’s Most Valuable Player award.

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