Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns crowned unanimous 2015-16 KIA NBA Rookie of the Year
The Rookie of the Year Award
Karl-Anthony Towns, rookie center for the Minnesota Timberwolves, has been named the 2015-16 KIA NBA Rookie of the Year, the team announced early Monday morning. As per the voting, Towns was the unanimous choice for the award, making him only the fifth player after Ralph Sampson (1983-84), David Robinson (1989-90), Blake Griffin (2010-11) and Damian Lillard (2012-13) to be a unanimous ROY.
The twitter account of the Timberwolves press release were the first to officially announce the news:
It’s official: #Twolves f/c @KarlTowns wins 2015-16 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year in UNANIMOUS vote. #Back2Back pic.twitter.com/9qPsOlOi0c
— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) May 16, 2016
With the ROY Award, Towns and fellow teammate Andrew Wiggins make the Minnesota Timberwolves the first NBA franchise with back to back ROY awardees since the Buffalo Braves in 1972-73 (Bob McAdoo) and 1973-74 (Ernie DiGregorio).
“It’s an honor to be named Rookie of the Year by the media,” Towns said. “I owe a lot to our coaches and my teammates for their support throughout the year. I intend to work hard on my craft to improve my game for next season and help our team challenge for a playoff spot.”
From a panel of 130 sportswriters and sports broadcasters, Towns received all the first-place votes to finish up with 650 points, followed up in second by New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis (363 points) and in third by Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic (59 points). Each first place vote carries five points, second place votes carry three points and the one point for a third place vote.
Here are the other players who received a vote on the ROY ballots: (courtesy @MarcJSpearsESPN)
T-Wolves @KarlTowns is the unanimous 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year. The following is the voting results: pic.twitter.com/g1YFeSi2p6
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) May 16, 2016
Well deserved award
Towns, the number one overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, will collect the ROY Award a year after teammate Andre Wiggins, also a number one overall pick (2014), collected it last year. He played and started all 82 games of the season, looking a class above rest of the 2015 rookie class.
He was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month in all six months that the award was handed out, making him only the eighth player in NBA history to win six consecutive Rookie of the Month Awards : Damian Lillard, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul (2005-06), Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James (2003-04), Tim Duncan (1997-98) and David Robinson (1989-90) being the others.
“He’s going to be a Hall of Famer in this league,” Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant said.
It didn’t take Towns a lot of time to prove his worth. He came strong out of the gate to begin the season and by mid-April he had arguably the best season for a Rookie big man since Tim Duncan (1997) with averages of 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. His contributions helped the Timberwolves improve to their win tally to 29 games, 13 more than the previous year. The former Kentucky man also played a key role in helping the team defeat the defending champs the Golden State Warriors, who lost just nine games the entire year.
A host of players average 18+ points, 10+ rebounds but to average those numbers at the age of 20 and shoot 34% from beyond the arc at the same time, makes naming Towns the Rookie of the Year a no-brainer.