Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant is a shoe-in to win the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, but if somehow Zion Williamson takes home the honors NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is going to be absolutely irate.
When discussing the Morant vs Zion Rookie of the Year race, Barkley says (H/T Bleacher Report’s David Gardner): “I wanna say this about Zion Williamson. He’s an amazing kid from a distance. He’s been a great jolt of energy for the NBA. *BUT* if they screw Ja Morant out of this Rookie of the Year thing, I’m going to be really pissed, and I’m going to blow a gasket on TNT.”
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Zion is doing his very best to make things interesting down the stretch, but it’s highly unlikely he’ll overthrow Morant at this point so Chuck’s gasket is probably safe.
In the 19 games since making his NBA debut on January 22nd, Zion leads all rookies in points and rebounds per game with 23.6 and 6.8, while Morant has averaged 17.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and a rookie-leading 7 assists per game in 58 appearances.
There’s still an outside chance that Zion’s Pelicans can make the playoffs over Morant’s Grizz, which would certainly help his case, but NOLA would have to make up four games over an 18-game stretch to close out the season. And even if Zion appears in each of those 18 contests, he will have only played in a total of 37 games this season and there’s simply now way that’s enough to earn the ROY award, right?
Although, it might be worth it just to see Barkley lose his shit on live television.