The race for the 2017-2018 NBA Rookie of the Year award featured quite the two-way battle, with Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell squaring off head-to-head for the entire stretch run of the season. The back-and-forth featured Mitchell not-so-subtly insinuating that Simmons shouldn’t qualify as a rookie, calls for co-Rookie of the Year honors, and even a prompt that forced commissioner Adam Silver to declare that the league wouldn’t change its current policies.
In the end, though, the award was (finally) handed out during Monday’s NBA Awards Show and Simmons emerged victorious. It isn’t a huge surprise that the former No. 1 overall pick claimed the award, simply because he was the leader for most of the early portion of the season and his across-the-board performance was quite impressive.