2020-21 NBA Awards

Hornets' LaMelo Ball wins 2020-21 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year

The No. 3 overall pick edges Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton to take home top honors among first-year players.

Official release

NEW YORK — Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball is the recipient of the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the 2020-21 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, the NBA announced today. He is the third player to win the annual award with Charlotte, joining Larry Johnson (1991-92) and Emeka Okafor (2004-05).

Ball received 84 first-place votes and earned 465 total points from a global panel of 99 sportswriters and broadcasters. Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards received the other 15 first-place votes and finished in second place with 309 points. Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton finished in third place with 114 points. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Ball averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.59 steals in 28.8 minutes in 51 games (31 starts), leading all rookies in assists and steals and ranking second in points and rebounds. He is the seventh rookie to average at least 15.0 points, 6.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.50 steals in a season since steals became an official statistic in the 1973-74 season, joining Magic Johnson (1979-80), Penny Hardaway (1993-94), Steve Francis (1999-00), Chris Paul (2005-06), Michael Carter-Williams (2013-14) and Ben Simmons (2017-18). Ball was one of two NBA players to reach all four of those averages this season, along with Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler.

On Jan. 9, Ball recorded 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists against the Atlanta Hawks at 19 years, 140 days old, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to have a triple-double. In other standout performances, Ball posted a career-high 34 points, eight assists and zero turnovers against the Utah Jazz on Feb. 5 in his third career start, and he had 30 points, eight assists, six rebounds and four steals against the Portland Trail Blazers on March 1. Despite missing 21 games with a wrist injury, Ball finished with the second-most assists (313) and third-most three-pointers made (92) by a rookie in Hornets history.

LaMelo Ball put up 15.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game to win Kia NBA Rookie of the Year honors.

Ball was selected as the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in each of the first three months of the season (December/January, February and March). He was also named to the U.S. Team for the 2021 NBA Rising Stars rosters.

Charlotte selected Ball with the third overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Ball played for the Illawara Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League during the 2019-20 season, where he was named the NBL Rookie of the Year.

The Kia NBA Rookie of the Year trophy is named in honor of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Eddie Gottlieb, one of the NBA’s founders. Gottlieb coached the Philadelphia Warriors to the 1946-47 championship in the league’s first season.

The voting results for the 2020-21 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award are below.  The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP.  Complete ballots for each voter will be posted at PR.NBA.com after the announcement of all end-of-season awards.

Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award Winners

1952-53: Don Meineke, Fort Wayne
1953-54: Ray Felix, Baltimore
1954-55: Bob Pettit, Milwaukee
1955-56: Maurice Stokes, Rochester
1956-57: Tom Heinsohn, Boston
1957-58: Woody Sauldsberry, Philadelphia
1958-59: Elgin Baylor, Minneapolis
1959-60: Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia

1960-61: Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati
1961-62: Walt Bellamy, Chicago
1962-63: Terry Dischinger, Chicago
1963-64: Jerry Lucas, Cincinnati
1964-65: Willis Reed, New York
1965-66: Rick Barry, San Francisco
1966-67: Dave Bing, Detroit
1967-68: Earl Monroe, Baltimore
1968-69: Wes Unseld, Baltimore
1969-70: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee

1970-71: (Tie) Dave Cowens, Boston; Geoff Petrie, Portland
1971-72: Sidney Wicks, Portland
1972-73: Bob McAdoo, Buffalo
1973-74: Ernie DiGregorio, Buffalo
1974-75: Jamaal Wilkes, Golden State
1975-76: Alvan Adams, Phoenix
1976-77: Adrian Dantley, Buffalo
1977-78: Walter Davis, Phoenix
1978-79: Phil Ford, Kansas City
1979-80: Larry Bird, Boston

1980-81: Darrell Griffith, Utah
1981-82: Buck Williams, New Jersey
1982-83: Terry Cummings, San Diego
1983-84: Ralph Sampson, Houston
1984-85: Michael Jordan, Chicago
1985-86: Patrick Ewing, New York
1986-87: Chuck Person, Indiana
1987-88: Mark Jackson, New York
1988-89: Mitch Richmond, Golden State
1989-90: David Robinson, San Antonio

1990-91: Derrick Coleman, New Jersey
1991-92: Larry Johnson, Charlotte
1992-93: Shaquille O’Neal, Orlando
1993-94: Chris Webber, Golden State
1994-95: (Tie) Grant Hill, Detroit; Jason Kidd, Dallas
1995-96: Damon Stoudamire, Toronto
1996-97: Allen Iverson, Philadelphia
1997-98: Tim Duncan, San Antonio
1998-99: Vince Carter, Toronto
1999-00: (Tie) Elton Brand, Chicago; Steve Francis, Houston

2000-01: Mike Miller, Orlando
2001-02: Pau Gasol, Memphis
2002-03: Amar’e Stoudemire, Phoenix
2003-04: LeBron James, Cleveland
2004-05: Emeka Okafor, Charlotte
2005-06: Chris Paul, New Orleans/Oklahoma City
2006-07: Brandon Roy, Portland
2007-08: Kevin Durant, Seattle
2008-09: Derrick Rose, Chicago
2009-10: Tyreke Evans, Sacramento

2010-11: Blake Griffin, LA Clippers
2011-12: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland
2012-13: Damian Lillard, Portland
2013-14: Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia
2014-15: Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota
2015-16: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota
2016-17: Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee
2017-18: Ben Simmons, Philadelphia
2018-19: Luka Dončić, Dallas
2019-20: Ja Morant, Memphis

2020-21: LaMelo Ball, Charlotte

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