This slideshow shows us some of the best rookie seasons since from the 2003-04 season to the present day. The players on this list are destined for greatness or are already great. Feel free to disagree. This is in no particular order by the way. I may have forgotten about some guys who had great rookie seasons as well. Sorry if they happened to be your favorite player.
Rookie Stats: 42% fg, 21.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.8 apg
Hard to argue against these stats. One of the most popular players in the game. He lost a very close race of Rookie of the Year to LeBron James. The saddest thing in my opinion about him is that he will always be compared to LeBron James even though they don't exactly play the sameway at all. He will become a Hall of Famer one day if he keeps improving on his breakout playoff performance, in which he started to develop the leadership qualities and played the defense that we have always wanted to see him play. I think that he has finally made it to the round table of Elite basketball players along with Kobe, LBJ, and CP3. Apart of the 2003 draft class that produced four of the best young players in the league: Melo, LBJ, D-Wade, CB4. I think that it is safe to say that the Nuggets got a steal in Melo at the third spot in the draft.
His favorite player growing up was probably: Michael Jordan
Rookie Stats: 52% fg, 12.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 1.7 bpg
In just five seasons he went from being a very raw teenager to a Superstar in the league. Thought of as the next generation Shaquille O' Neal. I think that he is still pretty raw offensively, as he is still developing his post moves. He is completely a dominant force on the defensive end. He inspires his team on defense. I think that the Magic got everything that they asked for in the former first overall pick from the 2004 draft.
His favorite player growing up was probably: Shaq Diesel.
Rookie Stats: 43% fg, 5.1 rpg, 7.8 apg, 2.2 spg, 16.1 ppg
I think that people love to hype Derrick Rose up as the soon to be greatest point guard in the NBA. But there is a reason he may not ever become the best. Chris Paul not only has less physical capabilities as he is shorter and isn't as athletic. But, he is smarter, he is a strong leader, he also put up superior numbers over Rose even though his team was much worse. He had more assists, rebounds, steals, while playing one less minute than Rose this season. I know it may not be much but, I just wanted to put that out there. He became the best point guard in the league along with Deron Williams in just five seasons. How in the heck did he become the fourth pick in that draft.
His favorite player growing up was probably: Isiah Thomas.
Rookie Stats: 47.5% fg, 16.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 6.3 apg
I'm sorry about that last slide Rose lovers. I do have respect for Rose, but I think that people are kind of overhyping him. But anyway this native of Chicago has everyone believing that he can carry them back to prominence. He has freakish athleticism and speed. He helped the Bulls make their way back into the playoffs as the seventh seed. He is the reigning Rookie of the Year as he won the award decisively. One thing that still lingers on in my mind that worries me about Rose is that he depends heavily on his speed and athleticism in games. So much that he could end up being another Steve Francis, meaning that his style of play could end up making him injury prone. But, I'm just being paranoid.
His favorite player growing up was probably: Michael Jordan
Rookie Stats: 45% fg, 16.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.0 apg
He helped turn the Jailblazers back into the Trailblazers. He helped bring a floundering franchise back to the forefront of the NBA. A former Rookie of the Year, the Trailblazers got a huge steal from the Timberwolves when they decided to trade him. He is a great leader and he inspires his teammates. The Trailblazers got way more out of a guy who had a hard time finding a basketball program that would accept him than anyone ever would've expected.
His favorite player growing up was probably: Ray Allen; Reggie Miller
Rookie Stats: 43% fg, 20.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.8 apg
This former Rookie of the Year could one day give LeBron James a run for his money as the best player in the World. He has freakishly long arms, great athleticism, the speed of a guard, and the body of a power forward. I think that it is hard to say anything about him that hasn't already been said.
His favorite player growing up was probably: Tracy McGrady.
Rookie Stats: 43.8% fg, 18.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 apg
The jury is still out on this guy after his stellar rookie season. In my mind he is destined for greatness. I even dedicated a whole article based on this. He can get a bit trigger happy sometimes, and his shot selection is questionable sometimes. But, he has a killer instinct, he has a great work ethic, is extremely coachable, and has leadership abilities. He can take his team on his back, while making the big time shots that most players can't make. He is one of the best jump shooters in the league already. He is a pure scorer. He can play both the point and two spot. He plays defense very well for a rookie. He gives his heart out in every game from start to finish no matter what the score is. He would've surely been the Rookie of the Year in another draft. To a certain extent I think that he believes that he is the second coming of Kobe Bryant. I was joking on that comment. Even though if you watch him play you can tell who his favorite player is. One of the smoothest players in the game. He is already my favorite player in the NBA.
His favorite player growing up was probably: Kobe Bryant.
Rookie Stats: 45.9% fg, 11.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.4 bpg
To a lot of people his career is starting to eerily similar to Kevin Garnett's. The star player on a team with a lot of scrubs. An organization that doesn't build the team around him correctly. Well I don't think that Bosh's situation is anywhere near as bad as KG's was, but I think that he is the next generation KG. If not when you watch him play you can tell who his favorite player was growing up. He doesn't play defense all that well. He doesn't have the same intense In Your Face leadership the KG has, but despite that he is one of the best young players in the league.
Favorite player growing up was probably: Kevin Garnett.
Rookie Stats: 46.5% fg, 16.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.5 apg
This guy is probably the third best player in the world. I hate the fact that he is injury prone. He has freakish athleticism and speed. He has a crazy ability to finish at the rim with some crazy circus shots. He has improved his mid-range shooting ability. He could've been Rookie of the Year in another draft. Wade also helped Gary Payton, Alonzo Mourning and the Miami Heat get the championship ring that had eluded them for so long.
Favorite player growing up was probably: Michael Jordan.
Rookie Stats: 41.7% fg, 20.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.9 apg
Of course I couldn't forget about him. Arguably the best player on the planet. Reigning MVP of the league, James led the Cavaliers to the best regular season record in the history of the franchise. He turned around a losing organization, while overcoming one of the most hyped up debuts in the NBA, resulting in arguably the best season for a guy to come right out of high school. Former Rookie of the Year, James continues to break records becoming the youngest player to do almost anything. He can play any position on the floor. James definitely lived up to all of the hype that surrounded him.
Favorite Player growing up was probably: Magic Johnson
I seriously considered putting Emeka Okafor on this list over Dwight Howard. (Just for the record I do know who became the better player.) But, statistically his rookie season was better than Howard's look them up you may be surprised.
Other Honarable Mentions: