Jazz broadcaster voted for Williams
By Darnell Mayberry
Ron Boone stands by his vote and wouldn’t change it if he could.
Boone, the 15-year television analyst for the Utah Jazz, was the lone voter among 125 sportswriters and broadcasters to not give his first-place vote to Hornets guard Chris Paul for rookie of the year.
Instead, Boone, a 13-year player in the ABA and NBA, awarded his first-place vote to Jazz point guard Deron Williams. That one vote prevented Paul from becoming the first player to unanimously win the award since David Robinson in 1990.
Boone’s selection might reek of “homer,” but he has an explanation.
“I thought Deron finished stronger in the second half of the year,” Boone told The Oklahoman.. “And I thought the head-to-head matchups that they had Deron played better. That was it.”
Paul and Williams will be forever compared, and Boone’s vote only adds to the debate. Last year, the Jazz selected Williams out of Illinois with the third overall pick in the draft, one spot ahead of the Hornets, who drafted Paul.
The Jazz caught flak for passing on Paul when he sizzled from Day 1 and Williams sputtered.
In 78 games, all as a starter, Paul averaged 16.1 points, 7.8 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 2.24 steals in 36.0 minutes per game. He shot 43 percent from the field.
In 80 games, 47 as a starter, Williams averaged 10.8 points, 4.5 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 0.75 steals in 28.8 minutes per game. He shot 42.1 percent from the field.
The Hornets finished in 10th place in the Western Conference with a 38-44 record. The Jazz finished in ninth place in the conference at 41-41.
But team record, Boone said, played little to no part in his decision. He focused on the head-to-head matchup, which Williams’ Jazz won 3-1.
Paul’s averages: 15.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 2.7 steals, 2.7 turnovers, 39.5 percent shooting from the field.
Williams’ averages: 17 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.0 turnovers, 60.8 percent shooting from the field.
“I just thought he played better,” Boone said. “I was surprised that Deron didn’t get a couple more (first-place) votes,” Boone said.
Let’s just say the Hornets didn’t think so.
“I understand, he’s in Utah, and Deron had a great season,” said Hornets coach Byron Scott, who didn’t know who the voter was. “But he’s out of his mind. He’s got to be joking.”
Said Paul: “That’s even more motivation right there. It’s an honor to get 124 out of 125, but that one, that one is just motivation for next year.”
That's awesome. I would have voted for Paul, but I think the Jazz made the right pick. I really do. Funny that it was Mr. Obvious that missed the obvious as far as ROY.