May 2, 2007
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy was chosen as the NBA's Rookie of the Year on Wednesday after leading all rookies with an average of 16.8 points, 4.0 assists and 35.4 minutes in 57 games.
Roy received 127 out of a possible 128 first-place votes (638 points) for the award, known as the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy, from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters. Roy matched the 99.2 percent vote total that Chris Paul received last season. That number stands as the highest percentage of votes since David Robinson won the award unanimously in 1989-90.
"I first heard about it this morning. (Portland) Coach Nate McMillan had called," Roy explained. "I wasn't able to get to my phone and he left a message and just said, 'I want to be the first to officially congratulate you on winning the Rookie of the Year award.'
"I've been anticipating it for a couple days now, but it was just something about that moment when he said it to me on the answering machine. It just made me feel good. It really made me feel like people appreciate my game. To hear that I won 127 out of 128 votes, it just further validated that point. It was an exciting feeling."
Toronto's Andrea Bargnani finished second with 264 points and Memphis' Rudy Gay was third with 93 points.
Roy was drafted with the sixth overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves, then traded to Portland for the draft rights to Randy Foye.
Roy was named the West's Rookie of the Month in January, February and March. He also made the All-Star game's rookie squad.
The 6-foot-6, 229-pound guard ranked in the top-10 among rookie leaders with 4.4 rebounds, 1.18 steals and four double-doubles.
"It's rare to see a rookie step in, assume a leadership role and become a go-to guy as Brandon did this past season," said McMillan. "Brandon is a phenomenal young talent and has a chance to become a very special player in this league."
A key component to Portland's 11-game improvement from a season ago, Roy shot .456 from the floor, .377 from 3-point range and .838 from the foul line in 57 games (55 starts). He scored 20-plus points 16 times, including a career-high 29 points April 4 vs. Utah.
"My expectations were to come in and contribute, but not be a go-to guy my rookie season," Roy said. "I felt I'd be a guy who could step up and make big shots here or there or contribute where I could. But when I came back from my injury, I was the go-to guy and that let me know I really could play in this league."
Roy becomes the third Trail Blazer in franchise history to take home the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy, joining Geoff Petrie (1970-71) and Sidney Wicks (1971-72).
The product of Seattle's Garfield High School is the first University of Washington player to win Rookie of the Year honors. He is the first player from a Pacific-10 Conference school to receive the award since Arizona's Damon Stoudamire in 1996.
Just one other Husky has been recognized with an individual NBA honor as Detlef Schrempf was a two-time Sixth Man award recipient in 1990 and 1991.
Roy was the Huskies' first Associated Press first-team All-American selection in 53 years and was voted the 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year by the conference's head coaches.
"I think it will change people's perception of me, but I'm still trying to remain the same guy I've always been. That's humble and hard working," Roy said. "I think more people will take notice of me, but I'm still going to be the same Brandon Roy because that's the guy who got to this level."
As a UW senior in 2006, Roy posted the school's fourth-highest single-season scoring total and eighth-highest assist figure.
Roy led UW with 666 points and 135 assists his senior season. He ranked second among Pac-10 players with a 20.2-point scoring average and was fourth among playmakers with 4.1 assists per game. The 20.2 points per game was the highest figure by a Husky since Chris Welp averaged 20.8 in 1987.
The four-year UW letterman displayed a remarkable all-around game as a collegian. He finished among the Pac-10 leaders in eight of the 13 statistical categories the conference compiles. Along with second in scoring and fourth in assists, Roy ranked second in assist/turnover ratio (1.80), third in field goal percentage (50.8%), fifth in 3-point percentage (40.2%), fifth in free throw percentage (81.0%), ninth in steals (1.4) and 11th in rebounds (5.6). He led the team with 26 blocked shots, an average of 0.8 per game that ranked 11th in the conference.
Roy sparked a late-season run of eight consecutive UW wins in 2006 and was rewarded with three consecutive Pac-10 Player of the Week awards between Feb. 13-27. That has been done only one other time in the Pac-10 over the course of one season, by Arizona State's Eddie House in 2000.
Roy registered 20 or more points in 19 games last season, including a UW record of nine consecutive 20-point performances. He averaged 23.0 points in three NCAA Tournament games, including 28 in an opening-round victory over Utah State.