NBA Rookie of the Year 2021: For the first time since the 2004-05 season, a Charlotte player has been named NBA Rookie of the Year. LaMelo Ball beat Tyrese Haliburton of the Sacramento Kings and Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves for the award, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball has been voted the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, sources tell ESPN. Announcement expected soon.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 16, 2021
LaMelo Ball was selected 3rd overall, played 8 games in March before he was sidelined indefinitely with a fractured right wrist. Preceding the injury, Ball was averaging 18.5 points, 5.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals for the Hornets.
LaMelo Ball became the 3rd youngest player in NBA history to record 30-5-5
🕺🏾 3rd youngest player in NBA history to record 30-5-5
💕 Led all EC rookies in PTS and ALL rookies in AST and STL per game.
🛸 Only rookie in last 60 years to lead the league in total PTS, AST, REB & STL at the All-Star break.
CONGRATS @MELOD1P! 👏🏽
🔗: https://t.co/HMmT1jyfU4 pic.twitter.com/M6rqayTPpP
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) April 1, 2021
Ball landed in Charlotte after being taken with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 draft. He was regarded by many as the best player in last year’s draft class, but concerns about his fit with teams picking in the top two spots and his shooting caused him to have a modest slide.
LaMelo Ball vs. Anthony Edwards this season:
LaMelo Ball ROTY season:
He and Luka Doncic are the only rookies in NBA history to average 15/5/5 and 1.5+ threes in a season. pic.twitter.com/H1A3bMc8Vf
— StatMuse (@statmuse) June 16, 2021
NBA Rookie of the Year 2021: LaMelo Ball Stats
Even before becoming a full-time starter, Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double. He dropped 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists in a 113-105 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 9.
In his first 21 games as a starter, he averaged 19.5 points on 42.6 percent three-point shooting, 6.2 assists, and 5.8 rebounds. He suffered a fractured right wrist on March 20 against the Los Angeles Clippers that required surgery and initially seemed like that was the end of his rookie season.
The Hornets announced on April 19 that Ball’s wrist was healed and he could return to basketball activities.
After returning to the lineup on May 1, he ended the regular season averaging 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game.