James captures Rookie of the Year
New York, NY (Sports Network) – LeBron James was named the NBA Rookie of the
Year on Tuesday.
James beat out Denver’s Carmelo Anthony for the honor, despite Anthony
leading the Nuggets to the playoffs for the first time since the 1994-95
James, who was the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft, became the
first Cavalier to win the prestigious award. James averaged 20.9 points, 5.9
assists and 5.5 rebounds and helped improve Cleveland’s win total from 17 in
2002-03 to 35 this past season.
James received 508 points, including 78 of a possible 118 first-place votes,
while Anthony finished with 430 points — with the other 40 first-place votes
— in balloting by sports writers and broadcasters. Dwyane Wade of the Miami
Heat was third with 117 points.
He became only the third rookie in NBA history to average at least 20 points,
five rebounds and five assists in a season, joining Michael Jordan and Oscar
James, who was named the Eastern Conference’s Rookie of the Month in every
month this season, got the Cavaliers within one game of eighth-place Boston.
The 19-year-old James scored a season-high 41 points on March 27, which made
him the youngest player in NBA history to score at least 40 in a game. He also
scored at least 30 points on 13 occasions.
The superstar guard, who came into the league straight out of high school, had
the best selling jersey in the league and also drew a sellout crowd to
Cleveland’s Gund Arena 16 times.
Anthony, who led Syracuse to the national championship in 2002-03, was the
third overall pick after just one season with the Orangemen. He averaged 21.0
points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists for his team, which finished eighth in
the West and is battling Minnesota in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Phoenix Suns’ Amare Stoudemire, who was also drafted out of high school,
was named the Rookie of the Year for the 2002-03 season.