CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving began his first pro season as the top pick and ended it as the top rookie.Cleveland's smooth, playmaking point guard has been chosen as the NBA''s Rookie of the Year, a person familiar with the voting told the Associated Press on Sunday.Irving's selection is hardly a surprise since the 20-year-old led all first-year players in scoring - 18.5 points per game - and renewed hope for Cleveland's franchise. He'll receive the award on Tuesday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the league has not yet announced the winner.ESPN.com and The Cleveland Plain Dealer first reported Irving's win.Results of the voting won't be available until Tuesday, but it's safe to assume Irving's victory will be lopsided. After Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio suffered a season-ending knee injury, Irving was far and away the best all-around player in the rookie class.The Cavs used the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft to select Irving, who played in just 11 games as a freshman at Duke because of a toe injury. However, it didn't take long for the 6-foot-3 Irving to establish himself as one of the game's rising stars.With a fearlessness on the floor, Irving made clutch shots, orchestrated fourth-quarter comebacks and managed to keep the Cavs competitive and in the playoff picture for several months before they traded guard Ramon Sessions in March and injuries took their toll.Irving is the second Cavaliers player to win the award, joining LeBron James in 2004.Irving's is the final postseason award to be announced by the league. On Saturday, James, who spent seven seasons in Cleveland before signing with Miami, won his third MVP award in four seasons.Irving recently treated himself to a postseason vacation in the Bahamas. In June, he's expected to play on the Cavs summer league team in Las Vegas and will be part of a U.S. Select Team which will train against the American Olympic team going to the London Games.
The Bulls are suspending Rajon Rondo for one game.
The organization sent out a press release Monday morning with the announcement their point guard would miss Monday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers for conduct detrimental to the team.
Hoiberg on Rondo: "He and I met yesterday. Had a good meeting. He’ll meet us at the plane tonight. He’ll be back in uniform tomorrow."— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) December 5, 2016
Rondo's history is littered with behavioral issues.
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He was suspended by the NBA one game almost exactly a year ago for using a "derogatory and offensive term towards an official" as a member of the Sacramento Kings.
Rondo is averaging 8.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game this season in 17 contests.
It was hard to tell who was more excited Sunday afternoon: the Bulls players or the 400 kids who stopped by the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry as the team passed out Christmas gifts for kids who reside in the Chicago family housing development.
Robin Lopez was carrying about Benny the Bull, much to the surprise and delight of many kids who were in attendance, while Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo took photos and passed out gifts to every child.
Rondo established roots in Chicago long before becoming a Bull, but has become entrenched in the months since signing with the franchise, being a part of the 17th annual holiday party.
“It’s definitely an honor. An honor to be a Bull,” Rondo said. “Since Day 1 when I got here I thought they were the best organization as far as giving back to the community, and it shows. They do it without hesitation.
“Very welcoming. The people have been great. The kids have been here since Day 1 supporting us as well. It’s very exciting.”
Bulls volunteers served lunch provided by Papa John’s, Coca-Cola and Edy’s Ice Cream, as the holiday party is one of the 30 events the Bulls are organizing as part of the team and NBA Cares’ “Season of Giving.”
“It’s no problem for any of us,” Lopez said. “Look at Raj, look at Jimmy, they’re having a blast out there. They’re having as good of a time as the kids out there.”
Being a California native, the newfound snowfall added to the atmosphere for Lopez.
“This really feels like Christmas,” Lopez said. “I can feel the spirit inside with the kids and the looks on their faces when they walk in and see the toys, they see Jimmy Butler and they’re so excited to be a part of it.”
Whether it was Barbie Dreamhouses, or Nerf basketball rims, the kids were ecstatic to see the Bulls and to pick out the toys being distributed by the Bulls’ stars.
“Very humbling. Over 400 kids. And every kid comes through all smiling and excited,” Rondo said. “Some of them don’t get toys all year and this time of year is about giving. I’m very humbled.”
Butler has been around Bulls Charities since being drafted in 2011, so although this is old hat, he hasn’t lost any of the spirit that comes with doing events like this year after year.
He posed with kids for photos and cracked jokes to the younger basketball fans.
“Feels good. I just like being here. It’s what this time of year is all about, seeing these kids smile,” Butler said. “I love kids, I love this city, I want everybody to be happy all the time. However I can make that happen, especially around Christmas and the holidays, I’ll do.”
Lopez is quiet to many who see him on the floor, but his eyes lit up around the kids and made Benny the Bull his personal prop by picking him up and carrying him through the museum.
“Every time I see it, it’s a wonderful feeling. To think I’m a small part of it, I can’t begin to describe it,” Lopez said. “Any opportunity I get to work with kids, that’s always easy yes in my book. I’m a big kid at heart. Any time I can go play, I’m in.
“It’s indescribable. I got so many great gifts as a kid, and blessed in so many ways. Just to be able to give back in any facet, that’s an easy yes.”