Wednesday, April 28, 2004

James, Anthony lead rookie squad

NBA notebook

Staff/Wire reports

LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade were unanimous members of the NBA All-Rookie Team announced Tuesday.

Chris Bosh and Kirk Hinrich also made the first team in voting by the league's 29 head coaches.

James won all six Rookie of the Month awards in the Eastern Conference this season; Anthony won all six in the West.

James, taken No. 1 overall in last year's draft by Cleveland, is the third rookie to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists (Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan are the others). He won the Rookie of the Year award last week.

Anthony led all rookies in scoring average at 21 points and helped Denver reach the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

Miami's Wade ranked among the top five rookies in five statistical categories, while Toronto's Bosh led first-year players in rebounding (7.4 per game) and blocks (1.41), and Chicago's Hinrich led them in assists (6.8).

The second team members were Dallas' Josh Howard and Marquis Daniels, Milwaukee's T.J. Ford, Miami's Udonis Haslem and Washington's Jarvis Hayes.

WILLIAMS TRIAL: A jury began deliberating in the case against Jayson Williams, the former NBA player accused of manslaughter in the shotgun slaying of a limousine driver.

The jury got the case after three months of trial, 43 witnesses and widely divergent versions of what happened the night in 2002 when Costas "Gus" Christofi was killed. Christofi, 55, was killed in Williams' bedroom while the former New Jersey player was giving a tour of his mansion. Williams was playing with one of his shotguns when it went off.

Williams, 36, faces eight charges, the most serious of which is aggravated manslaughter. Collectively, the charges carry up to 55 years in prison.

ARTEST-POPOVICH: Indiana forward Ron Artest challenged Bruce Bowen to a game of one-on-one for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award Tuesday, one day after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich criticized Artest and Pacers coach Rick Carlisle. "Tell his coach, 'Let's play one-on-one for the award,' " Artest said after practice. "I'll give it to him if he can beat me."

Popovich appeared Monday on a San Antonio radio station and said Bowen was more deserving of the award, which Artest won by a wide margin. Bowen finished fourth in the voting.

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