Rookie report and the race for ROY runner-up

Originally Published: March 1, 2006
By Chris Sheridan | ESPN Insider
Trivia time: Only two players ever have won the Rookie of the Year award in a unanimous vote. Who were they?

A hint: Both unanimous winners were big men, but neither was named Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq pulled in 98 percent of the vote in 1992-93, outpolling Alonzo Mourning 96-2. Another hint: Both played their rookie seasons in Texas.

That question has become relevant again as Chris Paul of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets has dominated the competition.

In this season's Rookie of the Year race, the only compelling question remaining is: Who's No. 2?

"Chris Paul has been the guy for months now, but people want to see who's that second or third guy," said Toronto's Charlie Villanueva, who just might be that runner-up. "I think Chris Paul, he deserves it. But I think I have a shot at being runner-up if I keep doing what I've been doing."

The NBA expects to mail more than 120 ballots to writers and broadcasters for Rookie of the Year voting, and Paul stands a better-than-decent chance of becoming the third unanimous winner. The others were David Robinson of San Antonio in 1989-90 (92 of 92 votes) and Ralph Sampson of Houston in 1983-84 (76 of 76 votes).

Paul leads all rookies in points, assists, steals and minutes, with commanding leads in those first three categories. He has led the surprising Hornets into the thick of the Western Conference playoff race as the new floor general for a relocated franchise coming off an abysmal 18-64 season. In other words, case closed as far as who deserves everyone's Rookie of the Year vote.

With that out of the way, let's look at some key questions about the rest of the rookie class:


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