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5 NBA Players who were unanimously named Rookie of the Year

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Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns posting up Blake Griffin
Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns posting up Blake Griffin

The NBA Draft is held every year right after the conclusion of the NBA Finals, to select the best players coming out of college from the United States and from overseas.

All the non-playoff teams from the previous season participate and pick according to the Lottery Process, which takes place at the annual NBA Draft lottery, with the first pick going to the winner of the Lottery.

Since the start of the 1952-53 NBA Season, the Annual Rookie of the Year award has been conferred to the best Rookie of the regular season.

The winner of the award is selected by a panel of Sportswriters and Broadcasters across the United States and Canada. The Voting is cast for the First (5 points), Second (3 points), and Third position (1 point). The Rookie with the highest aggregate points wins the prestigious Rookie of the Year Award.

In most seasons, the race for the Rookie of the Year is neck to neck, which often leads the voting panel into divisiveness.

However, there have been five instances in the history of the NBA, where the Rookies were so dominant, that they ended up receiving all the First place votes and, as a result, won the award resoundingly.

So, here are five rookies who were named unanimously Rookie of the Year.


#5 Ralph Sampson (No.1 Pick 1983 NBA Draft, Selected By the Houston Rockets)

The 7 foot 4-inch tall center was so dominant in his early career that he was named an All-Star in his Rookie season
The 7 foot 4-inch tall center was so dominant in his early career that he was named an All-Star in his Rookie season

NBA Career Accolades

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NBA Rookie of the Year (1984), 4 X NBA All-Star (1984-1987), NBA All-Star Game MVP (1985), All NBA Second Team (1985)

Rookie Season Stats: 21.0 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.4 bpg, 2.0 apg

One of the most promising talents of his generation, Ralph Sampson Jr., back in his heyday, was a force to be reckoned with.

The 7 foot 4-inch tall center was so dominant in his early career that he was named an All-Star in his Rookie season. For his first three seasons with the Rockets, Sampson averaged a double-double of 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

In one of the most memorable moments of his career, he helped the Rockets beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1986 Western Conference Finals behind a buzzer-beater to take them to their Second ever NBA Finals.

However, injuries began to take their toll on his slender body and after three knee surgeries and numerous back issues, he was out of the NBA by 1992.

For his efforts and contributions in the NBA, he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.


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