Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes is the 2021-22 Rookie of the Year, beating Evan Mobley and Cade Cunningham in what was a tight race for the award. Naturally, the youngster was ecstatic to fulfill one of his goals this season.
After helping the Raptors beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 110-104, in Game 4 on Saturday to avoid a sweep, Barnes opened up about the honor and why it was so important to him.
“It was a goal of mine all year to try to win it but I didn’t want to overthink it or do too much. I just played my role, did what I had to do, and winning helps with it as well,” Barnes said, per Josh Lewenberg of The Sports Network.
Scottie Barnes edged Evan Mobley by just 15 points in the ROY voting, which is said to be the smallest margin since the current voting format started 19 years ago. The Raptors' rising star accumulated 378 points with 48 first place votes, while the Cleveland Cavaliers big man had 363 points on 43 first place votes.
Cade Cunningham finished third in the voting with 153 points.
Scottie Barnes on what Rookie of the Year means to him, and hearing the news from Vince Carter:
“It was a goal of mine all year to try to win it but I didn’t want to overthink it or do too much. I just played my role, did what I had to do, and winning helps with it as well.” pic.twitter.com/J40sKVV9VU
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) April 23, 2022
Barnes certainly deserves the honor, though. He has been the most consistent rookie from start to finish, and while the likes of Mobley and Cunningham had several dominant games, the Raptors youngster was just too difficult to ignore on the ROY voting.
Of course it is just the start of what could be a brilliant career for Barnes, and sure enough, he's off to a great start.