Kevin Durant passes Kobe Bryant as favorite player among NBA rookies

Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant operates against the Lakers' Kobe Bryant during a game at Staples Center on Jan. 11, 2013.

Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant operates against the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant during a game at Staples Center on Jan. 11, 2013.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Kobe Bryant has fallen behind Oklahoma City All-Star Kevin Durant, at least according to 38 rookies polled by

After receiving 21.2% of the vote a year ago to the question, “Who is your favorite player in the league?” -- Bryant received 19.4% from the 2014 rookie class.

Durant led the field with 25.0% of the votes. Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James trailed Bryant at 12.5%, followed by Carmelo Anthony (8.3%) of the New York Knicks and Paul George (5.6%) of the Indiana Pacers and Kyrie Irving (5.6%) of the Cavaliers.

Bryant missed most of last season with knee and Achilles injuries, playing in just six games.

While Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks) was voted by his peers as the probable rookie of the year with 52.8% of the vote, Lakers rookie Julius Randle received votes as well. Ahead of Randle in the voting were Chicago Bulls’ Doug McDermott (8.3%), Cleveland’s Andrew Wiggins (8.3%), Miami Heat’s Shabazz Napier (5.6%), Philadelphia 76ers’ Nerlens Noel (5.6%) and Orlando Magic’s Elfrid Payton (5.6%).


Randle also received minor consideration for funniest rookie and best defender.

Lakers’ unsigned second-round pick (46th) Jordan Clarkson was a runner-up for most overlooked rookie.

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