HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS — The highlight of Kyrie Irving’s rookie year in the NBA came three games in, and on a missed attempt at playing the hero against the Indiana Pacers.
That’s when Irving knew he had gained the confidence of Cavaliers coach Byron Scott, the man he knew had to have his back if he was going to fulfill his potential in his first season in the league.
The “bald-headed man’s” confidence in him was of critical importance for the young point guard who collected the 2011-12 KIA Rookie of the Year award Tuesday morning in Cleveland.
Irving totalled 592 points and collected 117 of the 120 first place votes cast by the media members charged with selecting the league’s top rookie. Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio finished second with 170 points (one first-place vote) and Denver’s Kenneth Faried finished third with 129 points (one first-place vote). San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard, New York’s Iman Shumpert, Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas, Detroit’s Brandon Knight, Houston’s Chandler Parsons, and New Jersey’s MarShon Brooks rounded out the top 10 in the voting.