Roy receives 127 of 128 first-place votes as top rookie

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers recognized early on that guard Brandon Roy's last name was an acronym for Rookie of the Year.

Roy lived up to it, leading all rookies with averages of 16.8 points, 4.0 assists and 35.4 minutes in 57 games, and Wednesday he was awarded the NBA's Eddie Gottlieb Trophy.

"This is 10 times better than I thought it would be," Roy said at a celebration before local school children.

Although Roy was expected to win the honor, he could not stop grinning. As the children cheered, he was joined by teammates, including Darius Miles, Zach Randolph, Ime Udoka, Fred Jones and
Dan Dickau.

"Now that it's over, I want to work hard and get better and be an All-Star," he said.

He received 127 of 128 first-place votes (638 points) from a panel of writers and broadcasters. Toronto's Andrea Bargnani
finished second with 264 points, including the other first-place vote, and Memphis' Rudy Gay was third with 93 points.

"This guy competes. He wants to win, and he'll do anything out on that floor to win ball games," Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan said.

Roy is the third Trail Blazer to win the award, joining Geoff Petrie (1970-71) and Sidney Wicks (1971-72).

The Blazers finished 32-50, with 11 more wins than the previous season, but they failed to make the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Roy was the Pac-10's Player of the Year his senior season at Washington. He was drafted with the sixth overall pick by the
Minnesota Timberwolves, then traded to Portland for the draft rights to Randy Foye.

The 6-foot-6 guard was honored as the Western Conference's Rookie of the Month in January, February and March. He also made the All-Star Game's rookie squad. He scored at least 20 points 16 times, including a career-high 29 against Utah on April 4.

The Blazers aggressively marketed "Roy Wonder," kicking off the campaign in Roy, Ore., and selling T-shirts emblazoned with "My Roy for R.O.Y."

"This is a proud day for the city, the franchise, and Brandon, whose performance this past season speaks volumes to the direction we're headed as a franchise," Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said. "Both on and off the court, Brandon has demonstrated the maturity and poise of a veteran."

In his NBA debut Nov. 1, in his hometown of Seattle, Roy scored 20 points. He followed that with a 19-point game at Golden State.

But heel problems kept him out of 20 games early in the season. An MRI revealed an impingement in his left heel bone but no major damage. As a precaution, he wore a protective boot for a couple of weeks.

Shortly after his return, he had his first career double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) against Toronto on Dec. 22.

"I love Brandon Roy. I love his game. He's so smooth and carefree. It seems like he never turns the ball over," Denver's
Carmelo Anthony said earlier this season. "He sure doesn't seem like a rookie in this league. He's going to be The One in Portland."