30 NBA players that got better after leaving their first team

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Jalen Rose
Jalen Rose-Mandatory Credit: Tom Hauck /Allsport /

30 NBA players who got better after leaving their first team: 26. Jalen Rose

Jalen Rose was a solid rookie for the Denver Nuggets. He was coming off a run with one of the most famous and popular college teams in history the Fab Five Michigan Wolverines. He was named to the All-Rookie team and came off the bench for two years before being traded to the Indiana Pacers.

His start with the Pacers was less than ceremonious. Rose has told many stories of how he and coach Larry Brown did not get along but when Larry Bird took over, things turned around for Rose in earnest. In the 1999-2000 season, Rose was named the league’s Most Improved Player when he jumped up to 18.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He was even better the following season, reaching 20.5 points per game.

But while he kept getting better, Rose truly shined on the biggest of stages when he made his only appearance in the NBA Finals for the Indiana Pacers. Rose would average 25 points per game in a six-game series against the Los Angeles Lakers. He would slide under Kobe Bryant in Game 2 of the Finals, which would be brought back up by Bryant when he dropped 81 on Rose and the Toronto Raptors years later.

Rose would go on to play for the Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns. He would remain a double-digit scorer throughout his career until his final season in the league with the Suns. Since then, he has become a popular and charismatic media member and the founder of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.