Duke basketball: Ja Morant trounces Zion Williamson as Rookie of Year

Former Duke basketball standout Zion Williamson. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Former Duke basketball standout Zion Williamson. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Former Duke basketball superstar Zion Williamson was blown away in the Rookie of the Year voting by Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant.

In a completely expected result, Ja Morant ran away with the Rookie of the Year Award voting as the Memphis Grizzlies rookie was named the winner of the award on Thursday evening.

Morant took home 99 of a total 100 first-place votes with the only non-Morant vote being cast for New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson.

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Williamson, despite his stardom and popularity, had no business being in serious contention for the award due to only playing 19 games in his rookie season prior to the NBA’s shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Should Ja Morant had gotten the lone first-place vote that was given to Zion Williamson, he would have joined an elite group of Ralph Sampson, David Robinson, Blake Griffin, Damien Lillard, and Karl Anthony-Towns as the only players to be named as unanimous winners of the Rookie of the Year Award.

The NBA announced that only games played before the league’s shutdown would be considered for regular season awards as each team would not have the chance to play in the additional eight regular season games inside the bubble.

Morant led all rookies with 17.6 points and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 49.1 percent from the field in 59 games played.

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However, winning the award was not good enough for Morant as he wants to know who is the one voter that did not cast his ballot for him.


Despite getting the first-place vote, Williamson did not even finish second in the final voting as Miami Heat rookie Kendrick Nunn recorded 204 total points, 56 second-place votes, and 36 third-place votes, while Zion netted just 140 total votes, 37 second-place votes, and 24 third-place votes.

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Zion Williamson’s teammate at Duke, RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks, came in eighth place in the Rookie of the Year voting with one third-place vote.

Morant, Nunn, Williamson, Brandon Clarke, Coby White, Eric Paschall, Terrance Davis II, and Barrett rounded out the complete Rookie of the Year voting in the unique 2019-20 season.