Northbrook, Ill. — Derrick Rose, who led his hometown Bulls to the playoffs and restored hope to a franchise in disarray, was the runaway pick as the NBA’s rookie of the year.
Rose became the third Bulls player to win the award Wednesday, joining Michael Jordan and Elton Brand. He received 111 first-place votes and 574 points from a national panel of sports writers and broadcasters; runner-up O.J. Mayo of the Memphis Grizzlies received five first-place votes and 127 points.
Rose’s selection was hardly a surprise, after the No. 1 overall draft pick led all rookies with 6.3 assists per game and was second in scoring average at 16.8, and established himself as the franchise’s first true cornerstone since Jordan.
The only other players who received first-place votes were Brook Lopez of the New Jersey Nets and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Eric Gordon of the Los Angeles Clippers rounded out the top five.
Saunders to coach Wizards
Washington — Flip Saunders officially has the job on the Washington Wizards’ bench, complete with an $18 million, four-year contract and the task of picking up the pieces from one of the worst seasons in franchise history. The Wizards said Wednesday that Saunders would be their new coach. Saunders succeeds interim coach Ed Tapscott, who finished the season when Eddie Jordan was fired after a 1-10 start.