NBA / Dec 21, 2009 / 3:45 pm

Who is the Rookie of the Decade?

(photo. Zach Wolfe)

(photo. Zach Wolfe)

One of the main storylines of this young NBA season is the battle for 2010 Rookie of the Year between Brandon Jennings and Tyreke Evans. If these two rooks avoid the rookie wall and maintain their current production (Evans 20 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.1 apg and Jennings 20.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 6.2 apg) we will use their rookie season as a measuring stick for incoming rookies for the next decade.

When looking at the past decade, I wondered which player’s Rookie season stood out the most, which rookie could be considered the rookie of the decade? Below is my ’00s All Rookie Team.

Steve Francis

Stevie Franchise’s rookie season started with an interesting twist. Francis was drafted #2 overall by the Vancouver Grizzlies but he publically expressed his displeasure with playing in Vancouver, citing everything from the distance from his home to endorsements to God’s will as his reasoning. Eventually the Grizz granted Francis his wish and shipped him to Houston. As a Rocket, Steve Francis earned his Franchise moniker by notching 18.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 6.6 apg. He was the Co-Rookie of the year and was part of one of the greatest dunk contests of all time.

Chris Paul

Chris Paul was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets with the 4th pick in the 2005-2006 draft. Paul became the face of a franchise devastated by Hurricane Katrina and was beloved in both Oklahoma City and New Orleans. Chris Paul stood out in his rookie class, leading all rookies in points, assists, steals and minutes. Paul was the 2006 NBA Rookie of the Year and was the western conference rookie of the month every month during the 2005-2006 season. Paul finished the season averaging 16.1 ppg, 7.8 apg and 5.1 rpg, notching his first triple double against the Raptors (24 poitns, 12 rebounds and 12 assists).

LeBron James

No rookie has entered the NBA with as much hype as LeBron James did in 2003-2004. Before he stepped onto the NBA hardwood he signed a six figure deal with Nike. The Akron native was drafted number 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. In his first game he recorded 25 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. He averaged 20.9 ppg, 5.9 apg and 5.5 rpg on route to winning the Rookie of the Year. LeBron James joined Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan as the only rookies to average 20/5/5.

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo didn’t win the Rookie of the Year falling to LeBron James, but his rookie campaign was so impressive I had to include him on the all decade rookie team. After being selected 3rd overall (behind everyone’s favorite bust, Darko Milicic) in the 2003 draft, Carmelo went on to lead the Nuggets to a 26 win turn around and a playoff berth. Anthony became the first rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since the Admiral in the 1989-1990 season. During his rookie season Carmelo became the youngest player to score at least 40 points in a game, the 2nd youngest player to score 30 points in a game and the 3rd youngest player to reach the 1,000 point plateau. ‘Melo’s output of 21.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg, and 2.8 apg earned him Rookie of the Year consideration. When LeBron was named Rookie of the Year many felt the considerable hype about James prevent Melo from getting his due as co-rookie of the year.

Elton Brand

Elton Brand stands out among all of the rookie bigs from the ’00s. The 2000 Rookie of the Year posted 20.1 ppg and 10.0 rpg as a rookie for the Chicago Bulls, better numbers than he putting up this season. Statistically he put up better numbers than Dwight Howard and Yao Ming as rookies. Brand came to the Bulls when they were desperate for a star player to replace their franchise player, Michael Jordan. Brand was seen as the leader of the new young Bulls. Brand earned Co-Rookie of the Year honors with Steve Francis and hit the NBA with the same stride he left Duke with.

Honorable Mention: Kevin Durant, Brandon Roy

Who would be your Rookie of the Decade

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  • q

    Aside from James, right?

  • bigdoggchad

    Melo was better than LeBron that year.

  • Ian


  • Michorizo

    “LeBron James joined Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan as the only rookies to average 20/5/5.”

    Tyreke Evans 20-5-5

  • q

    Michorizo, by the end of the season, smartie.

  • http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/ProphetGK ProphetGK

    Too bad this question already has an answer, he’s the face of the league for a reason…

  • turambur

    @4 Let’s hold off on crowning Evans just yet. We’re not even a third of the way through this season, and the Rookie Wall is a real thing. If he still has those averages in April, he’ll get all of the props that he deserves.

  • Dagomar

    Lebron. And that was right out of high school. Amazing stuff.

  • b

    co-rookie of the year was the biggest joke. co-anything is a huge cop out but especially in 2000. brand played for a miserable team and only shared in the fun because he was the #1 pick. francis deserved it, i put very little stock in a 20-10 season for a 17 win team. The stat-padding is pretty weak too, 20.1 points and 10.0 boards? think he had his eye on those while the bulls continually got stomped?

    odom had an equally impressive season for an equally inept clip team but brand got the pub cause he went first. either way francis deserved that award all by his lonely.

    hopefully the voters can decide on somebody this year and save us from any co-roy crap

  • dlee9

    Yao Ming!

    He may not have had monster stats his rookie year, but Yao Ming was probably the most important link between the the NBA and its global fans.

    The impact of Yao Ming was felt beyond stats….Definitely Rookie of the Decade.

  • NTstateOFmind

    Kwame Brown?

    …nah, but for real its Chris Paul. No one had the impact on their team the way he did on the Hornets that season (and their lack of depth).

  • Yoooo

    Amare had a damn good rookie year. Melo was definitely the ROY too. He got robbed due to excessive LeBron Dick blowing.

  • hahns

    kd should not even be mentioned. his rookie year was not that great- he put up a bunch of points on a bad team shooting horrible percentages.

  • Itsakademiks

    Didn’t Wade go to the playoffs his rookie yr?

  • QazQami

    q said “aside from James, right?”


  • Michorizo

    Tyreke is tearing it up

  • LakeShow84

    I like what #10 said on Yao Ming.. that might be true because i remember it being such a big deal.. Yao Ming really did kind of open the world to international basketball..

    IM NOT SAYING HE LITERALLY DID IT ALL BY HIMSELF.. BUT it sort of made China the official sister basketball continent at the time and now we got basketball SUPERSTARS constantly going over there during the offseason for tours and so on..

    but there werent any BLOW YOU AWAY rookies this decade.. Not like a Jordan or a Shaq or even a Grant Hill.. Lebron would be the closest but Melo shouldve won ROY that year and definetely had a better rookie campaign.. Lebron couldnt get his team to the playoffs in the east.. Melo CARRIED the Nuggets to the playoffs in the West.. Melo kind of messed up Lebrons rookie year in my eyes..

  • Skeez

    Damn no mention of Wade? Not only did the man help turn the Heat around he went farther in playoffs than James and Melo and he still has something that those two dont have…..a ring. He DEF got overlooked cuz of the LBJ v. Melo debate

  • fLaVa

    agree with yoooo…

    Melo should of definately be the ROY that year ahead of LBJ.. they had a better record and was also in the west and helped DEN make the biggest jump from wins in the previous season.

    yet LBJ still won cuz of his stupid hype and sterns face is LBJ’s ass..

  • http://bt.davka.info/ SparkyJ23

    Soo much LeBron dick blowing – you do realise with ‘Melo, Dwade,CP and The Centaur, that his future chance of a ring isn’t a given

  • ab_40

    the first rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since the Admiral in the 1989-1990 season. to me it’s melo. and if it weren’t for some blowouts back in the day grant hill would also be in that 20-5-5 rookie club. leading DENVER to the playoffs that year was impresive. and it’s good to see that he has finaly found his niché as a player.

  • karizmatic

    Come on Rookie of the decade is obviously Lebron, it doesn’t even matter whether he had a better rookie year than any of the guys mentioned, no one came in with more hype, more pressure to live up to the hype, more talent and likewise more bust potential than Lebron, given that he took a weak team to the finals within his first few years in the league I got to give it to him, In my opinion Wade is the only other person that can even compete with him for rookie of the decade. This shouldn’t even be a debate in my opinion.

  • QQ

    Imma hate Bron for being a classless bitch sometimes, but come on now.

    Is this even a question?

    It’s Bron. It’s not even Rookie of the Decade. He has the best rookie season since 97, Duncan’s rookie year.

    Melo better than Bron on their rookie season? No.

    Melo has the better team (made the playoffs) but Lebron is still the better rookie that year.

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    Which player’s Rookie season stood out the most? None really, how about these guys rookie seasons: Michael Olowokandi, Kwame Brown, Jonathan Bender, Jay Williams, Dajuan Wagner, Rafael Araujo, Eddie Griffin, Nickoloz Tskitishvili, Robert Traylor, Darko Milicic

  • Dragonyeuw

    going by position

    Pg: Evans
    sg: Wade
    Sf: melo
    PF: Amare?
    C: Yao

  • Hollywud15

    Its obviously Melo.
    Lebron had a better one than cp, franchise, and brand, but lets not forget Melo was clearly robbed for the rookie of the year award

  • weng santos

    Stricly on rookie year performances?


  • http://www.bf3ars.blogspot.com bfears

    lebron easily. & ima melo fan

  • Celts Fan

    Melo was better than LeBron their rookie years, but damn, 20 and 10 as a rook? Gotta go w/ Brand, then Melo, then Bron, then CP3, then Ben Gordon (he was like 4th in the entire NBA in PPG in the 4th quarter – aka winning games in the clutch – his rookie year and won 6th man.)

  • Mo

    NTstateOFmind, yep, CP helped his team to 20 more wins the season after he was drafted. That’s impact.