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7 NBA Players Who Had the Best Rookie Seasons of All Time

It was Ben Simmons, followed by Luka Doncic.

Now it could be Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, or RJ Barrett. 

NBA fans have seen rookies, and here are the best rookies of all time.

The best NBA rookies of all time

7) Hakeem Olajuwon

Olajuwon would not be The Dream if not for bringing the Houston Rockets to the finals and eventually winning the championships on his second NBA season. He played for 35.5 minutes in 82 games during the 1984-85 season—the year he was drafted. His average score was 20.6 points and 12 rebounds.

At only 22, Olajuwon became one of Twin Towers – the other one being Ralph Sampson. He stayed with the Rockets for 17 years. Olajuwon had one MVP award.

6) LeBron James

James was the No.1 overall draft pick in 2003, at only 19 years old. No one was more hyped than he was, coming into the NBA.

During his rookie season, he played for almost 40 minutes per game. His averages included 21 points, six assists, and 1.6 steals. Cleveland Cavaliers won 35 games on James’ rookie season.

5) Tim Duncan

Duncan was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1997. He was known for his old school game that eventually made him one of the greatest, if not the greatest, power forward in NBA history. 

He went on to play with San Antonio Spurs, bringing them 56 wins on his rookie season, averaging 21 points and 12 rebounds. In his sophomore season, the Spurs won the championship.

4) Allen Iverson

Iverson was the No. 1 overall draft pick for 2006-07 when the Philadelphia 76ers were struggling. 

Iverson did bring the changes that the franchise and the fans were looking for—he was their beacon of hope. He played for 40 minutes per game, bringing in 22 wins for the Sixers. He averaged 23.5 points and 7.5 assists. It was also his career second highest. And two after that, he led the team to its finals appearance.

3) Larry Bird

Bird turned the debilitating Boston Celtics around when he arrived in the team in 1979-80 season. He also helped in bringing the team’s first three championships after his draft in 1981.

He averaged 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 4.5 assists while also giving Celtics a 32-win improvement.

2) David Robinson

Robinson was 1987’s first overall pick. However, he played after two years with the Spurs. Robinson was then committed to serving the Navy.

When he was able to play, he scored 24.3 points and 12 rebounds. Robinson gave the Spurs the most significant leap from 21 to 56 wins. He led the team for seven consecutive playoffs appearance and eventually won two championships. He changed the franchise long before Duncan played with the team.

1) Oscar Robertson

Robertson has the greatest rookie season, becoming a rookie in 1960. He averaged 30.5 points, ten rebounds, and 9.7 assists. He also averaged triple-double in his sophomore year.

Robertson, as he was paired with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, gave his team (Cincinnati Royals, which later became known as Kansas City then Sacramento Kings) their seven consecutive playoff appearances.

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Among Williamson, Morant, and Barrett, who do you think has the best rookie season yet? Let us know!

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5 NBA Players Who Became Coaches

Of the 30 head coaches in the NBA today, about nine of them previously played in the NBA and Europe. 

Based on the study conducted by scholars at Cornell University, an NBA team has a higher winning percentage if its coach is a former star player or had a long-playing career.

Here are some NBA players who became coaches.

1) Bill Russell

Russell is considered one of the most successful players in NBA history. He was one of the two dominant centres of his era, recording 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. His athleticism is comparable with LeBron James.

Russell then became the first Black coach in 1966. He coached for the Boston Celtics, the same team where he had a total of 11 NBA championship titles. Russell took over the coaching position while he was still playing for the team. He continued as a playing coach until the 1968-69 season.

After his coaching stint with the Celtics, he moved on to Seattle SuperSonics and Sacramento Kings. Russell was fired from his coaching stint with the Kings at 17-41. His coaching record was 179-207.

2) Larry Bird

Bird is another Celtic player, and the best small forward in NBA history, who eventually became a coach. He was a scorer and rebounder, becoming one of the earliest three-point shooters the league has had. Bird has a 39.8% shooting average beyond the arc.

Five years after retiring as a player, Bird coached Indiana Pacers for the first time in the 1997-98 season. The team made it to the conference finals in the next three years. He stepped down as a coach and became one of the team’s executives instead.

He has a record of 147-67. 

3) Magic Johnson

Johnson is one of the best point guards in the history of the NBA despite standing at 6’9”. He has five championships under his belt, and his average records per game include 19.5 points, 11.2 assists, and 7.2 rebounds. He was forced to retire from playing at only 31 due to HIV. Before becoming a coach, however, he played for the All-Star and Olympics games as part of the dream team.

He became the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1993-94 NBA season. However, his record was only 5-11. He returned to playing after that in 1995-96 and played for 32 games before he retired for good.

4) Jerry Sloan

Sloan was a shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls when he played, and one of the best shooting guards in the league then. He averaged 18.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Nonetheless, he was more popular as a coach than as a player.

His first coaching job was with the Bulls. His record was 19-32; he was let go of the Bulls as a coach unsurprisingly. He moved on to Utah Jazz as an assistant coach for four years before becoming the team’s head coach. With Jazz, he became a Hall of Famer.

He has a record of 1,809-1,127. Sloan resigned in 2011. 

5) Isiah Thomas

Thomas is considered one of the best guards in history. A Hall of Famer, he has an average record of 21.2 points per game. He led Detroit Pistons to the NBA finals appearances for three years in a row. The team won the 1989 and 1990 championship titles. He retired at only 32 because of an injury.

He continued with becoming a head coach – one of the youngest in history. He started coaching the Indiana Pacers in 2000-01.

His coaching career was not as stellar as his playing career, however. He has a 187-223 record.


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3 Best Performing NBA Teams of All-Time

When it comes to basketball, it’s hard to pin down which the best NBA team of all-time is. Fill an entire room with a hundred fans, and you’d get a hundred different answers.

There is no exact formula when it comes to ranking the best basketball teams in NBA history. That’s 72 years of history and counting!

Good thing, some stats can make the process of determining who the best NBA team is. While at it, while the winning teams’ strategy revolved around outstanding players who work together to win a championship. 

Winning an NBA championship is the culmination of the hard work and dedication of each team and player.

Below are the best performing NBA teams.

Runner-up – 2016-17 Golden State Warriors

Record: 67-15

Playoffs: 16-1

The Stephen Curry-led Golden State Warriors is composed of talented basketball players today. 

The 2016-17 season was the Warriors’ best year so far. The team broke several records including the 16-1 playoff record, the highest winning percentage in NBA history. It was one of the teams to enter the finals the earliest (February 25).  

#3 – 1895-86 Boston Celtics

Record: 67-15

Playoffs: 15-3

In the 1984-85 season, Boston Celtics lost the NBA championship to Los Angeles Lakers. Larry Bird and his team were motivated to win against its archnemesis.

The Celtics won the regular season with 67 games. They were able to beat Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, and Chicago Bulls in the playoffs (Eastern Conference). 

The Celtics beat Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals of that season, with an 82 combined wins at the regular season and playoffs.

From the franchise’s best, five players went to be included in the Hall of Famers.

#2 – 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers

Record: 65-17

Playoffs: 12-3

The year before their banner year was a failure for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team did not make it to the NBA Finals. Boston Celtics won the championship then.

The 1986-87 season was an opportunity for the Lakers to reclaim their throne. Magic Johnson led the team, along with equally great scorers James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 

Not only they made it into the Finals but also defeated the Boston Celtics after a historic six games season-ender.

#1 – 1995-96 Chicago Bulls

Record: 72-10

Playoffs: 15-3

The trio of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman of the Chicago Bulls was the epitome of NBA greatness. Theirs was an extraordinary display of offence and defence combined. Such a claim was made evident by their 1995-96 championship.

The year prior was not at all stellar especially that Jordan had already left to focus on baseball. He made a surprise comeback, but Orlando Magic halted their championship bid. The Bulls lost in the second round of the playoffs.

Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman played as they did in the past in the next year. The Bulls finished the season with not just a championship, but an NBA record of 72 wins – the highest in a single season. It is also the first team to have three players in the NBA All-Defensive First Team.


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