Slam-Dunk Champ Blake Griffin Unanimously Wins NBA Rookie of Year Award

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin won another trophy from the National Basketball Association, this time without cuing the choir and dunking over the hood of a car.

Griffin was named the league’s Rookie of the Year today, three months after winning the dunk contest on the All-Star Game weekend. The 22-year-old forward won that contest in front of his hometown fans at the Staples Center after he leapt over a sedan while a gospel choir sang R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.”

Griffin averaged 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in his first professional season. He was the only NBA player to average over 20 points, 12 rebounds and three assists per game this year.

Griffin received all 118 first-place votes, the first unanimous selection since David Robinson in 1990. Washington Wizards guard John Wall was second in the voting, followed by Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins and New York Knicks guard Landry Fields.

The No. 1 draft pick out of the University of Oklahoma in 2009, Griffin sat out the 2009-10 season with a broken knee cap. He is the fourth player to win the award after not playing the season he was drafted, joining Basketball Hall of Fame members Robinson, Larry Bird and Jerry Lucas.

Griffin won the NBA’s Western Conference Rookie of the Month award during all six months of the season, the first rookie to do so since New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul five years ago. He was also the league’s first rookie All-Star since Houston Rockets forward Yao Ming in 2003.

Griffin led Los Angeles in points, rebounds and assists this season. The Clippers finished 32-50, their 17th losing season in the last 18 years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York enovywilliam@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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