The voters clearly did not see what the Kentucky Knicks fans saw all season long…
On Wednesday–amidst a non-stop avalanche of random NBA news–the league quietly let it slip that Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball had won the 2020-21 Rookie of the Year Award. Not big news, considering he was the favorite for the majority of the season, even after he suffered a wrist injury near the end of the season with Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards stepping up his game to an extra gear.
*Side note, Edwards’ teammate on the Timberwolves, former Kentucky Wildcat Karl-Anthony Towns, was not a fan of the ROY results.*
But what was somewhat shocking was one name, in particular, that was left off the ballot: New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley.
According to the ballot, Ball received 465 total points, Edwards picked up 309 points, Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton deservedly earned 114 points, but it was Saddiq Bey of the Detroit Pistons who beat out Quickley for the last spot on the ballot, picking up three third-place votes.
Below is the entire ballot.
The main reason I say that I’m shocked is because there are only four names listed here. Typically, in past years, at least five names and as many as 10 could make the list, and this Kentucky Knicks viewer finds it hard to believe that not a single voter gave Quickley at least one third-place nod.
But hey, Ball, Edwards, and Haliburton were incredibly good this past season, so maybe the decision wasn’t all that difficult in the end–those three were the best rookies from this class by a considerable margin. And to the credit of Saddiq Bey, he was one of the lone bright spots on a terrible Detroit Pistons team. But at the same time, Quickley was playing meaningful minutes for a playoff squad putting up numbers that weren’t all that different from Bey. Quickley went 25th while Bey went 19th in the 2020 NBA Draft, so they both outperformed expectations based on where they were picked.
But one thing is for sure, the Knicks taking a gamble on Quickley in the first round has turned out quite nicely for the franchise thus far.
See for yourself.