Breaking into the NBA Quite Nicely

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers, is just the fourth player to win the KIA NBA Rookie of the Year award unanimously. Photo Credit: Jon Gaede/News4usonline.com.
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers, is just the fourth player to win the KIA NBA Rookie of the Year award unanimously. Photo Credit: Jon Gaede/News4usonline.com.

NEW YORK – Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers is the recipient of the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, the NBA announced. Lillard was a unanimous selection, having totaled 605 points as he received all 121 first-place votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.

Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers was the last unanimous selection (2010-11).

The New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis finished second with 306 points and the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal finished third with 94 points. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Among first-year players, Lillard ranked first in scoring (19.0 ppg), assists (6.5 apg) and minutes (38.6 mpg). According to NBA.com/Stats, the Trail Blazers had an offensive rating of 105.0 points (per 100 possessions) when Lillard was on the court compared with 93.5 points (per 100 possesions) when the first-year player was on the bench.

When on the court, Lillard assisted on 36.5 percent of Portland’s field goals while scoring 23.9 percent of his team’s points.

Lillard, the sixth overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, made a clean sweep of the Kia NBA Rookie of the Month Award in the Western Conference this season. He set an NBA rookie record by making 185 three-point field goals, surpassing the 166 triples made by Golden State’s Stephen Curry during his 2009-10 rookie campaign.

As part of its support of the Rookie of the Year Award, Kia Motors America (KMA) will donate a new 2014 Kia Sorento LX CUV to LifeWorks Northwest, a leading non-profit, community-based prevention, mental health and addiction agency committed to supporting a healthy community in the greater Portland metro-area.

Kia Motors will present a Sorento to the charity of choice of each of five 2012-13 season-end award winners as part of “The Kia NBA Performance Awards.” Following this season, Kia Motors will have donated a total of 26 new vehicles to charitable organizations since its support of the NBA’s prestigious season-end honors began in 2008.

The 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award is part of a series of on-court performance awards called “The Kia NBA Performance Awards.” The series, currently in its sixth season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between KMA and the NBA, and included five of the league’s most prestigious year-end honors: Most Valuable Player Award, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man Award, Most Improved Player Award, and Rookie of the Year.

For the first time, the series also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month during the regular season.  Kia Motors is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and the Kia Optima is the league’s Official Vehicle.

For more information on “The Kia NBA Performance Awards” visitNBA.com/Awards.

The Eddie Gottlieb Trophy is named in honor of Eddie Gottlieb, one of the NBA’s founders who coached the Philadelphia Warriors to the NBA championship in 1946-47.

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