Hornets' LaMelo Ball wins NBA Rookie of Year

By Emre Asikci

ISTANBUL (AA) – LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets has won the 2020-21 NBA Rookie of the Year award, NBA announced on Thursday.

"Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball is the recipient of the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the 2020-21 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year," said an official release on the NBA Communications website. "He is the third player to win the annual award with Charlotte, joining Larry Johnson (1991-92) and Emeka Okafor (2004-05)," it added.

Ball averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds in 28.8 minutes in 51 games, leading all rookies in assists and steals and ranking second in points and rebounds.

He is the seventh rookie to average at least 15 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in a season since steals became an official statistic in the 1973-74 season, joining Magic Johnson (1979-80), Penny Hardaway (1993-94), Steve Francis (1999-00), Chris Paul (2005-06), Michael Carter-Williams (2013-14) and Ben Simmons (2017-18).

He received 84 first-place votes and got 465 total points from a global panel of 99 sportswriters and broadcasters.

The 19-year-old was also named to the US Team for the 2021 NBA Rising Stars rosters.

– New Orleans Pelicans part ways with head coach

The New Orleans Pelicans and coach Stan Van Gundy have mutually agreed to part ways, the Pelicans announced on Thursday.

"On behalf of Mrs. Gayle Benson and the Pelicans organization, I would like to thank Stan for the integrity and professionalism that he demonstrated during his time in New Orleans, as well as the commitment and work ethic he brought to our team," Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin said in a statement.

Van Gundy, who was named the seventh manager in franchise history last year, compiled a 31-41 regular-season record in one season with the Pelicans.

He has a career regular-season record of 554-425 with Miami (2003-06), Orlando (2007-12), Detroit (2014-18), and New Orleans.

– Contract ends between Wizards, Scott Brooks

The Washington Wizards confirmed on Thursday that they would not extend their contract with manager Scott Brooks.

"We have been committed to taking the proper steps over the last two seasons to develop our young players, bring in pieces to complement Bradley Beal and build a winning environment that will ultimately lead to sustained on-court success," General Manager Tommy Sheppard said in a statement.

Brooks, 55, was inked as the team's coach in 2016.