The 2012 NBA All-Rookie first and second teams were announced by the league on Tuesday, and remarkably, Sacramento Kings pint-sized point guard Isaiah Thomas was snubbed of his rightful honor.
While fellow point guards Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio very rightfully deserved spots on the first team, it's impossible to rationalize the idea that Detroit's Brandon Knight got the nod over Thomas, who was relegated to joining the second team instead.
It would be a mistake to say that Thomas surprised anyone by what he was able to do this season—the No. 60 overall pick was downright dazzling and turned himself into a key part of the Kings' future going forward. He didn't just shock us, Thomas literally redefined what it meant to be "Mr. Irrelevant" in the NBA draft.
Thomas' play as a starter was fun to watch, and he still produced despite being very obviously underutilized by Sacramento. He averaged 14.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.0 steals while shooting 47.7 percent from the field in a starting role. Not too shabby for the very last overall selection in the draft, right?
Conversely, Knight, the player whose spot on the first team should have gone to Thomas, averaged 13.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 0.8 steals on just 41.3 percent shooting while running with the starting five. Despite being selected 52 picks (No. 8 overall) before Thomas, it's pretty clear which player had the better numbers as a member of the starting lineup.
Who was more deserving of a spot on the All-Rookie first team?
Thomas undoubtedly got the short end of the stick, and that seems to be a common theme in this season's award process. It's absolutely baffling to see some of the choices that have been made, and it's furthering the idea that the anonymous voting process needs to be replaced by one that includes full disclosure.
I hope that Thomas receives the attention he deserves from both media and fans next season, because he's got a game that shouldn't get ignored any longer. The kid not only deserves he belongs in the league, but the Kings now actually have another young player who can be a part of turning around the franchise's future.
One thing is certain: Thomas will use this snub as further motivation to take his game to new heights.
Here is the full breakdown of how both the first and second All-Rookie teams looked, courtesy of NBA.com.
Kyrie Irving, PG Cleveland Cavaliers
Ricky Rubio, PG Minnesota Timberwolves
Kenneth Faried, PF Denver Nuggets
Klay Thompson, SG Golden State Warriors
Iman Shumpert, G, New York Knicks*
Kawhi Leonard, G/F San Antonio Spurs*
Brandon Knight, PG Detroit Pistons*
Note: Asterisk denotes a three-way tie for the fifth spot.
Isaiah Thomas, PG Sacramento Kings
MarShon Brooks, G/F Brooklyn Nets
Chandler Parsons, SF Houston Rockets
Derrick Williams, F Minnesota Timberwolves
Tristan Thompson, PF/C Cleveland Cavaliers