Fans at SkyDome booed when the Toronto Raptors picked Damon Stoudamire in the first round of the 1995 NBA draft.
Stoudamire, who turned the the boos to cheers while averaging 19 points, 9.3 assists and four rebounds for the expansion Raptors, won the league’s rookie-of-the-year award Wednesday in a landslide vote.
“Damon has given us a lot of joy and he’s brought a lot to this franchise, a lot to this city,” said Raptor General Manager Isiah Thomas, who congratulated Stoudamire with a kiss.
Stoudamire received 76 of a possible 113 votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Portland’s Arvydas Sabonis, runner-up for the league’s sixth man award Tuesday, was second in the rookie voting with 17. Golden State’s Joe Smith was third with 15.
“This is a great honor,” said Stoudamire, a 5-foot-11 point guard from Arizona. “It’s something I worked very hard for.”
Other players receiving votes were Jerry Stackhouse of Philadelphia (2), Michael Finley of Phoenix (2) and Kevin Garnett of Minnesota (1).