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LaMelo Ball wins Rookie of the Year

Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - FEBRUARY 22: LaMelo Ball #2 of the Charlotte Hornets celebrates a play during a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 22, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

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LaMelo Ball is special.

An awesome ballhandler and passer, the Hornets rookie made a strong impression early. That held through Ball’s wrist injury and Anthony Edwards rapid ascension.

Ball – deservedly – won Rookie of the Year.

Full voting with first-, second- and third-place votes and total voting points:

1. LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets): 84-15-0-465

2. Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves): 15-75-9-309

3. Tyrese Haliburton (Sacramento Kings): 0-9-87-114

4. Saddiq Bey (Detroit Pistons): 0-0-3-3

Just four players getting a vote for an award is the fewest since the NBA instituted multi-player ballots for all major awards in 2003. The previous low: Five with 2018 Rookie of the Year (Ben Simmons, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Smith).

There was such a strong consensus around this rookie class. Edwards posted big numbers (but was weighed down by a rough start). Haliburton contributed with savvy passing and shooting.

But this was long Ball’s award to lose, and he didn’t.