Young responds to Simmons' Rookie of the Year pick

NBA.com Global on Apr 05, 2019 07:06 AM
Young responds to Simmons' Rookie of the Year pick
FILE - ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 23: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks makes the game winning basket during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 23, 2019 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA.com staff report

Just a few days ago, reigning Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons quickly, and perhaps dismissively of any competition, stated Luka Doncic would be his pick for the 2018-19 award.

Two days and one game against Atlanta later, another rookie might have made a strong case to sway the vote.

Hawks guard Trae Young, whose steadily rising campaign has drawn notable support from several other league sources, popped off for 33 points, 7 rebounds and 12 assists in a 130-122 victory over Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).

After the game, Young responded to a prompt, acknowledging he saw Simmons' comment, and suggested that "maybe [Simmons] thinks differently now."

Though the Hawks (29-50) are eliminated from the playoffs and the Sixers (49-29) are looking ahead to the postseason, Atlanta has recovered from a 7-23 start to essentially play close to .500 ball (22-27) the rest of the way. Potentially adding two top-10 picks to the existing young core could lift the Hawks into playoff contention quicker than anyone expected, meaning this is a budding rivalry with a chance to earn some competitive teeth.

Time, and award season, will tell. NBA Awards -- including the Kia Rookie of the Year trophy -- will officially be revealed on June 24 (June 25, PHL time) in a televised ceremony on TNT.

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