Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and O.J. Mayo of the Memphis Grizzlies were unanimous selections to the 2008-09 T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced today.
Rounding out the T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie First Team are Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (53 points), New Jersey’s Brook Lopez (49 points) and Miami’s Michael Beasley (44 points)…
The T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of the Los Angeles Clippers’ Eric Gordon (39 points), Minnesota’s Kevin Love (34 points), Miami’s Mario Chalmers (29 points), Memphis’ Marc Gasol (25 points), Charlotte’s D.J. Augustin (tie, 17 points) and Portland’s Rudy Fernandez (tie, 17 points).
The voting panel consisted of the NBA’s 30 head coaches, who were asked to select five players for the first team and five players for the second team, regardless of position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team. Two points were awarded for first team votes and one for second team votes.
What’s disappointing is that we’re not talking about members of the media who, as the cliché goes, don’t stay up to watch West Coast games. Each of these gentlemen had an opportunity to watch each of the candidates. My strongest objection isn’t Beasley (17.28 PER, with value/wins added commensurate to EJ’s), but with Mayo.
One reason to let it go is that Gordon finished sixth in the voting — respectable — but, unfortunately, rookie teams are clustered in groups of five. Bad luck.
Finally, the best rationale for brushing off these relatively meaningless honors is the Woody Allen rap: “Awards! All they do now is give away awards! Greatest fascist dictator: Adolf Hitler.”
The consolation with rookie awards comes with the comfort of knowing that future performance is all that matters. History will judge these kids not by where they landed in the 2009 voting for All-Rookie teams, but what they contribute to the game in the long run.