You may remember the Lakers got off to a terrible start last season when Julius Randle, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 Draft, broke his leg 13 minutes and 34 seconds into his first game in the regular season opener. It was an accurate foreshadowing of a Laker season in which everything that could go wrong did.
After a disastrous season, Julius Randle is back this season. Based on his performance so far during the preseason, it looks like he's ready to pick up where he left off and make a name for himself with a revamped Lakers lineup.
Lakers fans are justifiably excited, and they'd probably start making a case for why he could be Rookie of the Year in his first real season ... except they can't, because he's not eligible, according to the NBA:
1/2: I asked the NBA if Julius Randle might have retained eligibility as a rookie since he played only 14 minutes last year before injury.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 16, 2015
2/2: The NBA determined that once you play in 1 game, it counts as a season. Randle is officially a 2nd-year player. Not eligible for R.O.Y.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 16, 2015
You may remember that players like Blake Griffin and Nerlens Noel, who both completely missed their rookie years with injury, were eligible for the award because they didn't play at all. By the NBA's rules, as soon as you step on the floor in your rookie season, that's your only year of eligibility, even if you break your leg later in the game and gain no discernible experience from your one NBA game.
Yeah, maybe getting worked up over a Rookie of the Year award is silly, but you know what else is silly? This rule. Have a heart, NBA.