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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8) Karl Malone

Karl Malone scored over 36,000 points in his 19-year NBA career, but he wasn’t operating at full tilt from day one, as his final career numbers may lead you to believe. In just his second season in the league, he led the Utah Jazz in scoring and began transforming into a perennial All-Star, but when Malone first arrived in Utah, the Jazz were still Adrian Dantley’s team.

With multi-time scoring champion Dantley in the fold, the Jazz didn’t have to rely on Malone’s scoring as a rookie, like it would throughout his career. While sharing the court with the likes of Dantley and legendary shot blocker Mark Eaton may have inhibited his counting stats, King Karl didn’t let that stop him from showcasing his talent potential.

He recorded 32 double-doubles as a rookie and although he struggled with efficiency some nights, he still shot nearly 50 percent from the field while averaging 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. His potential as a connector on offense was also on full display, recording at least five assists in 13 games with a 2.9 average on the season.

He enjoyed a solid rookie campaign, but New York Knicks legend and first-overall pick Patrick Ewing led all rookies in points (20) and rebounds (9) per game and was voted the 1986 NBA Rookie of the Year.