Report: Lamelo Ball Wins Rookie of the Year in Headline Filled Day

Credit to ClutchPoints for Picture

Lamelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets has won the Rookie of the Year Award for the 2020-21 NBA season, despite missing 21 games to a broken wrist. He beat out Anthony Edwards to win the award, which may be a surprise to many, but not to those who were loyal to Ball, or in fact, to me. Ball averaged 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists, living up to the hype he generated as the third overall pick. Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who finished second to Ball, averaged 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists. However, it is clear that Ball meant more to his team, as the Hornets improved drastically and Ball averaged 2.8 win shares on the season, whereas Edwards only averaged 0.8 win shares.

Credit to the NBA for Ball’s best highlights from his Rookie of the Year Season

June 16th, 2021, was a big day for NBA news, as two different coaches left their teams, and two teams have started looking for a new head coach.

The first head coach is Scott Brooks, as he and the Washington Wizards have mutually agreed to part ways.

Credit to Scott Taetsch of Getty Images for Picture

“We have been committed to taking the proper steps over the last two seasons to develop our young players, bring in pieces to complement Bradley Beal and build a winning environment that will ultimately lead to sustained on-court success. Our organization will always be grateful to Scott for his dedication and work both on the court and in the community over the past five years and I personally admire and respect how he helped keep our team together during the unprecedented events of the last 15 months.”

Tommy Shepard on parting ways with former head coach Scott Brooks

This move does not come as a great surprise, but almost every Wizards fan out there is happy that Brooks is leaving. After joining the team in 2016, the Wizards had some great moments, but never for one moment seemed like championship contenders or even contenders to win the East. There were many unmemorable seasons stuck in mediocrity, not good enough to make the playoffs, but not bad enough to get a top draft pick. Here are some Wizards’ fans reactions to the firing of Scott Brooks on social media:

  1. It’s celebration time!
  5. Our prayers have been answered
  6. The day has finally come
  7. It’s so beautiful
  8. Thank you
  9. Biggest W of all time

Ok, maybe that last one is a little bit crazy, but you get the idea. After going through just about everything I can think of, I did not see, hear, read, or meet a single person that was mad Brooks was leaving. While the Wizards are looking for a new head coach, most Wizards fans agree: anyone would be better than Scott Brooks.

The second head coach that parted ways with his former team (in his case, was fired) was Stan Van Gundy, brother of Jeff Van Gundy and former head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans went a disappointing 31-41 this season and missed the play-in tournament, despite having two All-Star players in Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. Although the team started out 4-2 on the season, it quickly went downhill.

This picture of Jeff Van Gundy is used under a Creative Commons license

“On behalf of Mrs. Gayle Benson (owner of the team) and the Pelicans organization, I would like to thank Stan for the integrity and professionalism that he demonstrated during his time in New Orleans, as well as the commitment and work ethic he brought to our team. This was a difficult decision as I have tremendous respect for Stan both personally and professionally, but we agreed it is in the best interest of our team to move forward in a different direction. We wish Stan, Kim and their family all the best in the future.”

David Griffin, New Orleans Pelicans General Manager, on the firing of Stan Van Gundy

Hear me out on this crazy idea, but maybe the Pelicans should hire Scott Brooks. He’s excellent at developing young talent, he has connections all throughout the league and MVPs to vouch for him, and if he really does run three/four guard lineups, he’ll teach Williamson a lot and could make him into one of the most deadly point forwards in the game.

Or maybe I’m fantasizing a little too much . . .

It’s interesting that Van Gundy was fired, as he was not considered one of the head coaches whose job was in the most jeopardy, unlike Brooks and Terry Stots. This season was incredibly difficult, and unless there was something very wrong with Van Gundy’s coaching, I would have at least kept him one more year. Then again, I’m not David Griffin, so we’ll see if this turns out to be a great decision or a terrible one. Van Gundy had a lot to say on the subject of how difficult this season was:

“It was a hard year personally, because when I took the job, we didn’t know when training camp was going to start or any of that stuff. I had not really given a ton of thought to condensed training camp, condensed season, COVID protocols. That stuff was really, really difficult from a personal standpoint. For me, to go into Detroit and have my kids nearby, and I can’t see them. That kind of stuff. Having to limit people being able to come and visit us and things like that. On a personal level, it was difficult. But on a basketball level, I thought this was a great situation basketball-wise, and it’s better than what I thought it was. I wasn’t happy with the results. I wasn’t happy with myself on some things basketball-wise. But as far as looking at the job as a whole, it’s even better than I expected, and I expected it to be good.”

Hopefully, Van Gundy will find another head coaching job very soon, and I wish him all the best.

Another person has parted ways with a franchise, except this time, it’s not a head coach, but the Dallas Mavericks General Manager, Donnie Nelson. Even though he’s been with the organization for 24 years, many don’t know much, if anything, about him because of how heavily invested Mark Cuban is with the franchise. In fact, Cuban loves his Mavericks so much (one in particular) that when he was asked if he had to choose between his wife and Luka Doncic, he said he would be with his lawyers preparing for a divorce. Wow. Anyways, Nelson’s departure can be attributed to front office politics, as Nelson wanted Haralabos Voulgaris, the Mavericks’ director of quantitative research and development, to directly relay info to him. Instead, the former gambler hired in 2018 opted to relay information directly to the owner, Cuban, and the head coach, Rick Carlisle. While this isn’t the only reason, this friction is a big part, and even though the step down was announced today, it was decided upon on Sunday, June 14th.

Credit to Glenn James of Getty Images for Picture

“I just want to thank Donnie for his 24 years of service to this organization. Donnie has been instrumental to our success and helped bring a championship to Dallas. His hard work, creativity and vision made him a pioneer. Donnie will always be a part of the Mavs family and I wish him all the best.”

Mark Cuban in the team’s official statement regarding Donnie Nelson

Nelson is best known for helping scout, recruit, and draft European superstars Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic. While neither was drafted by the Mavericks, Nelson had been recruiting both of them when they entered the draft, and was able to swing draft-day trades for both, with Nowitzki coming from the Bucks and Doncic coming from the Atlanta Hawks.

There is lots of speculation about what superstars/stars will be moving or leaving during the offseason, so expect lots more from the Mavericks soon.

Aside from major parts of teams leaving, there have also been a slew of injuries that may drastically affect the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

Credit to Michael Gonzales for Picture

Chris Paul, the Phoenix Suns All-Star point guard who was just named to the All-NBA Second Team, has been sidelined from action as he has been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. He is out indefinitely, and there is no news yet if he will play in Game 1. However, since Paul has been vaccinated, chances are his time in the health and safety protocols will be shorter than those who have not been vaccinated. No NBA player has tested positive for COVID-19 this season, a trend the NBA hopes to continue.

Luckily for the Suns, they made quick work of the Denver Nuggets and MVP Nikola Jokic, sweeping them in four games. The other series in the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz against the Los Angeles Clippers, is still ongoing, and if Paul is in the protocols for some time, he will still most likely be able to play in the Western Conference Finals.

Credit to the NBA for Video

“Thankfully we’ve put ourselves in a position where we have time,” head coach Monty Williams said about the situation. “But at the same time, as the coach, I have to think through those scenarios. I’ve thought a lot about it. I haven’t, we haven’t, made a decision yet because we don’t have to, but it is a process for me to think about who starts and the rotation after it.”

Kawhi Leonard, star of the Los Angeles Clippers who was just named to the All-NBA First Team has injured his right knee. More tests are being done to see just how bad the damage is, and while Leonard missed Game Five, there is currently no timetable on his return, and he could miss the rest of the series. This would be detrimental to the Clippers, as they may have trouble beating the Utah Jazz in Games Six and Seven, who have All-Star Donovan Mitchell and Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

Credit to Kevork Djansezian of Getty Images for Picture

The injury occurred during a drive to the basket in Game Four of the Jazz-Clippers series, and Leonard could be seen grimacing in pain. However, he stayed in the game for a little bit after the injury, helping to lead the Clippers to a win. The Clippers are also without center Serge Ibaka, who had back surgery, and if Leonard doesn’t return, there is virtually no chance of them making it to the Western Conference Finals.

Credit to the NBA for Video

LeBron James chimed in on all of this by saying that he told everyone that starting the season back up again so quickly was a bad idea, as more and more All-Stars are getting injured. However, all his slowing down can’t be blamed on injury, as he’s 36 and not getting any younger. He’s also the guy who said that whoever came up with the idea of the NBA Play-in Tournament should be fired.

There was so much NBA news to share, but which part was the most important to you? Let me know in the comments below, don’t forget to follow the NBA Blog so you never miss another post, and as always, have an awesome day!


One thought on “Report: Lamelo Ball Wins Rookie of the Year in Headline Filled Day

  1. As usual another great Blog. Congratulations to Lamelo Ball on being names Rookie of the Year in spite of missing 21 games. I personally think Anthony Edwards deserved that recognition. Happy about Scott Brooks being fired from the Wizards, hope they can find a competent replacement coach and add some talented players to that roster. Stan Van Gundy, now that was a big surprise to me, I like your idea of the Pelicans hiring Scott to help develop younger players and add some bench strength to their roster. The Donnie Nelson situation reminds me of Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys. Whenever an owner like Jerry Jones or Mark Cuban tries to micro manage the day-to-day operations there will always be a point of contention between owner, General Manager and/or Coach. The best thing Mark Cuban can do is hire a General Manager, set the expectations let him run the team and sit back and enjoy the games. BTY rumor has it that Luka Doncic is not very happy about Nelson leaving. Please don’t get me started on LeBron James. To LeBron I say, wake up and see the new faces of the league. They are younger players like Luka Doncic, Lamelo Ball, Zion Williamson, Donovan Mitchell, Trae Young, and others. Please retire now and preserve your legacy.


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