MCW's Historic Rookie Season

by Max Rappaport Writer

Throughout the 2013-14 season, the Sixers were resolute; to borrow from their slogan, this year was about building. And it certainly looks as though the team has found one of the cornerstones necessary in that process in newly named Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams.

It didn’t take long for the 22-year-old point guard to make his mark. Twenty seconds into the first game of his first NBA career, the Sixers’ season-opener against the defending champion Miami Heat, Carter-Williams intercepted an errant pass by Roger Mason Jr. and took it the length of the court for a transition flush. On the ensuing possession, he notched his first NBA assist. And one minute later, a three-pointer and a pair of steals pushed Philadelphia to a 15-0 advantage. 

It didn’t take Philadelphia fans long to realize they were in for something special. Twenty-two points, 12 assists, nine steals, seven rebounds, and one upset win later, the basketball world had taken notice too.

I just got done watching the guy I think will be the Rookie of The Year, Michael Carter-Williams of the 76ers.

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 31, 2013

Six months later, the Hall of Fame point guard’s prognostication was realized. 

Following a historic rookie season, Carter-Williams was named Kia Rookie of the Year (by unanimous vote), becoming the only Sixer other than Allen Iverson (1996-97) to win the award. 

But being named Rookie of the Year wasn’t the only way in which he rewrote the NBA record books. Here are some of the statistical highlights of his rookie campaign: 

• Carter-Williams averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game in 2013-14, becoming just the third player dating back to 1950-51 to lead all rookies in those three categories

• He is the third rookie ever to average at least 16.0 points, 6.0 assists, and 6.0 rebounds in a season and the only player other than LeBron James to do that in the last 10 NBA seasons

• He is just the third player in NBA history to notch at least 22 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds, and nine steals in a game, doing so in his debut game against the Miami Heat

• His nine steals in that game were the most ever in an NBA debut

• His 12 assists in that game were the most in franchise history in a debut game

• He became the first Sixer to notch a double-double in his NBA debut since Maurice Cheeks in 1978

• His 22 points against the Heat were the most by a Sixer in a debut game since Allen Iverson’s 30-point performance against the Bucks in 1996

• Carter-Williams was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played between October 29 and November 3, joining Shaquille O’Neal as the only player to win the honor in his first week as a pro

• He won Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors four times in 2013-14, becoming the first player to do so more than twice

• In the month of March, he averaged 14.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 6.5 assists, becoming the first rookie to average at least 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in a single month since Grant Hill in April of 1995

• Notched 21 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and four steals in the Sixers’ home finale against the Celtics on April 14, becoming the last rookie to hit those marks since Bernard King (NJN) in 1978