Philadelphia rookie Michael Carter-Williams has joined Shaquille O’Neal as the only NBA players to win a Rookie of the Week award to open a career.
Carter-Williams won the Eastern Conference honor after averaging 20.7 points and 9.0 assists in a surprising 3-0 week that included victories over Miami and Chicago. The No. 11 pick in the draft had nine steals in the 76ers’ season-opening victory over the Heat, the most ever in an NBA debut.
O’Neal won the award in 1992 while playing for Orlando.
Kevin Love won the Western Conference award after leading Minnesota to a 3-0 week and averaging an NBA-best 29.7 points.
Wizards’ Wittman fined
Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman has been fined $20,000 by the NBA for using profane language during a postgame news conference.
Wittman swore while discussing the Wizards’ 109-102 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
The coach was particularly upset with his players’ defensive effort in the game. Among his comments: “You’ve got to respect the game, your opponent. ... Everything you get is ‘No, we’re OK.’ We’re not OK. We’re 0-2. We’re not OK.”
The Wizards have since dropped to 0-3. They play the 76ers again on Wednesday.
LeBron nearing milestone
LeBron James is on the verge of another milestone.
The Miami Heat forward has scored at least 10 points in 499 consecutive regular-season games. He goes for No. 500 tonight when the two-time defending NBA champions visit the Toronto Raptors.
James would become only the fifth player in NBA history with that many consecutive games of 10 or more points. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it twice (with separate streaks of 787 and 508 games), and Michael Jordan (866), Karl Malone (575) and Moses Malone (526) are the only others to accomplish the feat.
James says he was unaware of the stat until being asked about it after Miami’s win Sunday night over Washington. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says the team does not want to take James’ greatness for granted.