The hype surrounding Karl-Anthony Towns when he left the University of Kentucky for the NBA was palpable, with teams in the league salivating dreaming about having him start at center. The big man proved he could hold his own in the pros, and today he was named the unanimous 2015-16 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year.
The Nike-sponsored baller, according to the NBA, is the fifth unanimous winner since 1984, when Ralph Sampson of the Houston Rockets won the award. The Minnesota Timberwolves are the first team in 42 years to have back-to-back winners of the award, with Adidas-sponsored athlete Andrew Wiggins winning it last season.
The 7-foot center received all 130 first-place votes — 650 points total — from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks finished second (363 points), followed by Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets in third (59 points). Scoring for first-place votes was five points, three points for second-place votes, and one point for third-place votes.
Throughout the season, Towns wore a shoe he was very familiar with, the Nike Hyperfine 2014. He not only wore the shoe during his rookie season but also wore it during his one college season with the Kentucky Wildcats.
Towns averaged 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game this season.