In an unofficial poll Houston's Yao Ming appeared to be the runaway winner of the 2002-03 Rookie of the Year award, Jonathan Feigan of the Houston Chronicle reports.

In an informal poll of 28 voters for NBA postseason awards, Yao was named as the choice for Rookie of the Year by 20 voters, with Phoenix rookie Amare Stoudemire getting the other eight.

"That shows how much of an impact he has on our team and on the NBA," Rockets forward Glen Rice said. "You've got guys constantly talking about how they want to dunk on him, how they want to try everything to stop him. That there alone pretty much says it all."

"Yao's the best rookie in the league," Rockets forward Maurice Taylor said. "Of course they would say it's Amare, but that's because they're biased. I'm not biased. That's an educated vote. But I just think Yao's the best rookie in the league. You can talk about records, what our record was last year (28-54) as opposed to this year.

"There's just his sheer presence. He has more of a presence on the court. Stoudemire is going to be a great player. But I think now, Yao has more of a presence, more of a feel for the game. Stats-wise, it's close. But statistics don't always say who's the best player."