Blog Entry

Grunfeld: Wall should've won Rookie of the Year

Posted on: May 17, 2011 3:18 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Blake Griffin was selected as the first unanimous Rookie of the Year since David Robinson in 1990. Griffin was spectacular not just in terms of highlight plays and dunks, but on the stat sheet too. There really was no question who the top rookie was this season.

But Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld thinks his man should've won the award. Grunfeld told the Washington Post that John Wall should've been awarded Rookie of the Year.

"He should’ve been rookie of the year, except for the rule of a second-year player being eligible ... “Last year, I think Blake did play in a couple of preseason games and he traveled with his team, so he got a feel first. But that’s the rule, and he was deserving, obviously. He had a tremendous year. I thought John had a terrific year, also.”

It was evidently pointed out to Grunfeld that both Larry Bird and David Robinson didn't play the first year they were drafted either and won Rookie of the Year. Grunfeld pointed out that Boston chose Bird without him declaring and that Robinson was serving in the Navy. So neither were actually with their respective teams.

Wall averaged 16.4 points and 8.3 assists in 69 games, was a near-unanimous choice for the all-rookie team and finished second to Los Angeles Clippers all-star forward Blake Griffin, the 2009 No. 1 pick, for rookie of the year.

Grunfeld's not the only person to take the stance that Griffin shouldn't have been eligible. A writer from the New York Post boycotted the voting because he felt that an ineligible player was on the ballot.

My take? All of that is pretty silly. Why should Griffin be eliminated from contention when an injury is what removed him? He didn't play a game so why wouldn't he be a rookie? Sure he got to travel and practice some, but was that really all that advantageous? Griffin was indeed part of a different draft class than Wall. I understand the argument. But in terms of definition, Griffin was a rookie player. This was his second season, but he was still a rookie.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 10:21 am

Grunfeld: Wall should've won Rookie of the Year

We all understand what Grunfeld's saying.  It's not like he was speaking in code.  But he comes off as a lame whiner.  I find it hard to believe that if the tables were turned he wouldn't be singing his own guy's praises and saying how much he deserved it. 

If you haven't played, you're a rookie.  It's not like Griffin was able to practice all year with the team.  He traveled and he watched and he deserved the recognition.  I can't even believe Grunfeld tried to bring up the couple of exhibition games he played.  He just comes off as a complete whiner.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2011 7:56 pm

Grunfeld: Wall should've won Rookie of the Year

I think what the GM is trying to say is that Griffin had a whole year to be with the team, learn the plays and get his feet wet.  He also had a full year of training and getting comfortable with the team, the city, traveling, to see the NBA grind.

Most rookies get drafted, go through orientation, are seeking new homes, go through training camp, preseason and then the full 82 games their first year only about 4 months after they were drafted. 

The rules are the rules though, even if Griffin had a leg up. 

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: May 17, 2011 4:47 pm

Grunfeld: Wall should've won Rookie of the Year

Hypothetically if an NFL player such as Montario Hardesy were to come off his injury from last season and play for the Browns this year and accumulate 2000 all purpose yards and completely blow away the rookie competition drafted this year he still wouldn't win Rookie of the Year honors.  What is the point of having a rookie of the year honor if you can win the class you weren't even drafted in?

Since: Jul 12, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2011 4:21 pm

Grunfeld: Wall should've won Rookie of the Year

I don't disagree, but arguing that Griffin was the better player misses the point. Grunfeld's argument is that Griffin shouldn't have been in consideration at all because he was engaged in team activities last year. It's more an argument about how you define "rookie" than who the better player was this year.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2011 4:01 pm

Grunfeld: Wall should've won Rookie of the Year

Agreed.  Grunfeld looks like an idiot for his comments. 

Since: Oct 5, 2010
Posted on: May 17, 2011 3:24 pm

Grunfeld: Wall should've won Rookie of the Year

I know that there is a such thing as lobbying for your guy but this is absurd. Blake Griffin should have and did win Rookie of the Year in a landslide. Grunfeld is an idiot for thinking Wall should get the awrd. Beyond the numbers, look at the impact Griffin had with his team and the league. Wall was good but really did not impact the Wizards in terms of wins and losses.

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