The NBA has a few awards every season, some matter, some do not. Some are team awards, and some are individual awards. One of the individual awards that almost never has anything to do with immediate team success is the Rookie of the Year award. Out of these frivolous awards (awards that don't need you to be playing for a winner), this is probably the one that matters the most. Winning ROY means a few things. First of all, it means you had a good rookie year. It's important to perform well as first impressions on the professional level count for a lot. If you won the ROY award that means you had the attention of the league, the players in it, the coaches, and the media. No one wins this award without that -- so yeah, Glenn Robinson's 21.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.5 apg, and 1.4 spg weren't good enough compared to two guys he was statistically superior to. Winning the ROY puts you on the fast track to one day being an All-Star, being able to demand the highest of salaries in free agency, and of course, being marketed -- he who wins ROY has an easier path to success on and off the court.
Many fans don't care about awards and recognition. But I do. I do because I know that those things give players an unfair advantage when on the court. Refs give you the benefit of the doubt more. And any advantage you can get helps your team win games. ROY winners help their team win games, by their actual play, and by the benefits afforded to them because of their status. Long have we Utah Jazz fans suffered at the hands of Michael Jordan / Kobe Bryant / LeBron James types. Stars who wreck us because of star calls. To be competitive as a small market team we need a star more than ever to combat the systematic disadvantages we cannot change.
So let's look at the 2013-2014 NBA Rookie of the Year race.