15 NBA legends who never won Rookie of the Year

The 2024 NBA Draft will hopefully feature a new generation of stars but only one can win Rookie of the Year and here are 15 NBA legends who never won the award.
Ray Allen v Kobe Bryant
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10) Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley is regarded as one of the greatest players to never win an NBA championship, and the same can be true for Rookie of the Year. Drafted fifth overall in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, he joined a veteran-laden team just two years removed from their last NBA title that included Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Maurice Cheeks. 

Despite being listed at 6’6” and severely undersized for the power forward position, Barkley developed a reputation as one of the most efficient scorers and greatest rebounders of all time. As a rookie, he set the foundation for his stellar career averaging 14 points and 8.6 rebounds on 54.5 percent shooting and recorded 29 double-doubles. 

Despite his solid numbers and helping his team to an impressive 58-24 record, Barkley had no shot at winning the Rookie of the Year Award. Unfortunately for Sir Charles, he was drafted the same year as Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon and Michael Jordan aka Black Jesus.

Both Olajuwon and Jordan enjoyed historical rookie seasons and Barkley didn’t receive a single ROY vote. While he was an afterthought in the ROY conversation, his play earned him a spot on the NBA All-Rookie team.