Every year the NBA rookies get together for a photo shoot. They are then surveyed on a variety of topics but they are not allowed to vote for themselves or college/NBA teammates. One of the questions they are always asked is who is their favorite NBA player. The answer was a mild surprise. Most would expect the best player in the league-LeBron James– to be the favorite of the rookies. Or, perhaps Steph Curry. Or even the Players MVP- James Harden. No. No. And no.
It was Kevin Durant. 21.2% of the rookies voted him their favorite player. Followed by Kobe Bryant with 18.2% of the vote. And then, Lebron James (15.1%). Steph Curry was tied with Dwayne Wade for fourth-9.1%.
The rookies were also asked who was going to win Rookie of the Year. To no one’s surprise it was Jahlil Okafor and the voting wasn’t particularly close as Okafor got 41% of the vote. Stanley Johnson, the guard out of Arizona, came in second with 19.4% of the vote. Karl Anthony Towns came in third with 12.9%.
It must be noted that last year’s winner in this category, Jabari Parker, couldn’t make it through the season.
No surprise which rookie will have the best career. Okafor was the runaway winner followed by Towns, Justin Anderson and Emmanuel Mudiay. Knicks fans will be happy to know that the rookies think Kristaps Porzingas has some game; he received votes.
The most athletic rookie? Justin Anderson of the Mavericks, followed by Pat Connaughton and Willie Cauley Stein. Are they as athletic as last year’s winner, Zach LaVine? Doubt it.
The best shooter? Devin Booker (Phoenix). Pat Connaughton (Portland). R.J. Hunter (Boston). Let’s hope they surpass Doug McDermott’s numbers of a year ago. The rookies voted McDermott the best shooter and he hit 66% of his free throws, 31% of his three pointers and shot 40% overall. Clearly, the rookies don’t know everything.
Nets rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is considered the best defender. Stanely Johnson came in second, followed by Justise Winslow.
Lakers rookie, D’angelo Russell, is thought to be the best playmaker. Last year’s winner, Tyler Ennis averaged 2 assists.
The biggest adjustment the rookies will have to make is the speed and the pace of the game. That was voted the number one adjustment, followed by the length of the season and then physicality. But paying taxes received a vote too.
photo via llananba