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
Ray Allen v Kobe Bryant / -/GettyImages
7 of 15

9) Hakeem Olajuwon

Widely regarded as one of the greatest centers in NBA history, former first-overall pick Hakeem Olajuwon put together a rather impressive rookie campaign with the Houston Rockets. Starting all 82 games, he averaged 20.6 points, 11.9 rebounds 1.2 assists, and an impressive 2.7 blocks per game his rookie season.

Olajuwon made an immediate impact on both ends of the floor with his athleticism, shot-blocking ability, and scoring prowess. He helped lead the Rockets to a 48-34 record, a significant improvement from its 29-53 record the previous season.

He scored at least 20 points in 47 games and recorded 56 double-doubles. He grabbed at least 20 rebounds four times as a rookie highlighted by two instances in which he scored at least 30 points as well, proving early on that he was a force to be reckoned with.

Olajuwon finished in second place behind Michael Jordan for the 1985 Rookie of the Year Award. The Dream received just 26.3 percent of the votes as His Airness took home the first of many awards. Although he wasn’t named the Rookie of the Year, his rookie season was a strong indication of the Hall of Fame career that would follow.