As the 2009-2010 NBA season begins to wind down the individual awards become a common topic of conversation. Will the MVP go to Kobe Bryant or Lebron James? Who will be the standout for the Sixth Man of the Year Award? Will Dwight Howard garner another Defensive Player of the Year award? And then there’s the Rookie of the Year contest. This award will most definitely go to Tyreke Evans!
From the beginning of this season Tyreke Evans has shown the skill and maturity of a seasoned veteran, not a rookie. He is currently averaging 20.3 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, and 5.6 assists per game. Evans is on pace to join Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and Lebron James as the only NBA rookies to average at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game. All three players won Rookie of the Year honors in their respective seasons. There’s no reason to assume Tyreke Evans won’t win his.
In the beginning of the season Blake Griffin was the talk of the draft, but that quickly faded as injuries began to strike. Evans immediately emerged as a new generation “human highlight film.” While Evans kept consistent in his play, Milwaukee Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings started to turn heads. With a 55 point night on November 14th against the Golden State Warriors, Jennings showed he was a star in the making. However, his play has tapered as of late. With nights scoring two, three, and four points in the month of February some may say he has hit the “rookie wall.” He is currently averaging 15.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 6.1 APG.
The recent applicant to the Rookie of the Year debate is Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. After a slow start to the season he has turned heads in recent weeks. Starting around the middle of January he has been on a campaign unrivaled by nearly anyone in the NBA. At this point in the season he is about the only threat to Evans’ Rookie of the Year honors. Curry is currently averaging 16.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 5.5 APG.
If the Rookie of the Year Award was given for the best two months of play then there could be a legitimate argument for both Jennings and Curry. But since the award is for the best rookie season as a whole then Tyreke Evans must win. His consistent play on a nightly basis is a joy to watch. An NBA coach wants nothing more than to know what he is going to receive from his player night in and night out.
Tyreke Evans has a skill set reminiscent of Magic Johnson. Maybe Evans will never aspire to that kind of greatness but he has the potential. He already has the body of a 25 year old and the decision making skills of a 35 year old. He stepped into a team that belonged to Kevin Martin and ripped the authority away. The best defenders in the league have had a go at him and see themselves on the wrong side of an ESPN highlight. And last but not least, Evans carries himself like he doesn’t even know he’s capturing the awe of the NBA.
With all the awards up for grabs in the coming months, one is already decided. The Rookie of the Year Award goes to…the Sacramento Kings Tyreke Evans!