Clippers' Griffin unanimously voted top NBA rookie
This March 26, 2011, file photo shows Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin, left, going to the hoop past Toronto Raptors' Ed Davis, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was named the Rookie of the Year on Wednesday after a landslide vote, becoming the NBA's first unanimous choice for the award in 21 years.
Griffin received every first-place vote from a panel of 118 media members, easily outdistancing Washington's John Wall. The 6-foot-10 forward is the first to win it unanimously since San Antonio's David Robinson in 1990, and just the third unanimous choice in NBA history after Ralph Sampson in 1984.
Griffin led all rookies in scoring and rebounding while playing in all 82 games for the Clippers, finishing 12th in the entire NBA in scoring (22.5 points) and fourth in rebounds (12.1). The electrifying dunker was the NBA's first rookie All-Star since Yao Ming in 2003, and he won the dunk contest at All-Star weekend with an iconic leap over a car.
"My teammates, every single one, did such an amazing job helping me in a year that was filled with ups and downs, when I was learning a lot about the game," Griffin said while accepting the award at the Clippers' training complex. "Everybody has been unbelievably incredible and really helped me get back from injury to this point. We're excited about where the Clippers are headed. We just laid the foundation, and we can't wait until next year."
The No. 1 draft pick out of Oklahoma in 2009 missed all the 2009-10 season with a broken kneecap, but returned with one of the most impressive debut campaigns in a generation.
Griffin was named the Western Conference's Rookie of the Month six times, becoming the first player to sweep that award since Chris Paul did it with New Orleans in 2005-06. He's the first rookie to average 20 points and 10 rebounds since Elton Brand in 1999-00, and the only rookie among the league's top 45 scorers and top 20 rebounders.
Griffin is the first Clippers player to win the award since Terry Cummings won it with the San Diego Clippers in 1983.