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"Rookie of the Year" winners who went on to become NBA Champions (Video)

The Skyhook
The Skyhook
Sudhir Bose
Modified 20 Mar 2019, 14:54 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

A dream contestForgiveness it to be plead for for stating the obvious, but basketball is a massive sport and the NBA is the jewel in it’s crown. With millions of fans worldwide, the global phenomenon that is the NBA has thirty talent-laden teams that go toe-to-toe for the trophy and championship rings at the end of the season.As with every sports team, each has its mainstays. But the mythical superstars were at one point debutants, with no prescience of their legacies that would be carved in stone, just fire in their bellies and passion for the game.The annual influx of exciting new talent is one of the major things that adds to the allure of the biggest professional basketball league in the world. Every year, fans and players wait with baited breath as new additions are made to every franchise in the form of youngsters from colleges, schools and smaller professional leagues worldwide. It is a pleasure to watch these raw youngsters, brimming with talent, evolve into superstars and Hall Of Famers. But one statistical point of contention amongst all lovers of the game, irrespective of analysts, experts or the junta, is the number of championship rings that adorn their hands when they call it a day.That figure is not pitifully small, but there are some names that will be remembered over others. Here’s our list of the top 10 most famous NBA “Rookie of the Year” Award winners whose consistent excellence earned them and their teams Championships.  

Also read: 5 Best NBA Rookies of all-time

#1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Entering the NBA as Lew Alcindor, Jabbar’s recruitment by the Milwaukee Bucks was decided by a coin-toss they won with the Phoenix Suns for the 1st overall pick of the 1969 NBA Draft. Jabbar announced his arrival on the big stage by claiming the 2nd spot in the league’s scoring leaders and 3rd in rebounders en route to the ROTY. He also declined the Nets’ offer of $3.25 million for the Bucks’ $1.4 million contract, saying he didn’t wish to tarnish the dignity of the game.

Six NBA titles, six NBA MVP awards, nineteen All-Star appearances and being considered the greatest of all time should be enough to claim the top spot on this list, but the clincher was his “Skyhook”, the rudimentary version of which I have a bias for. 

Jabbar suffers from migraines, which he assuages with marijuana usage, drawing legal ramifications. Upon discovering that he had a form of leukemia in 2009, Jabbar started treatment that sent his cancer into remission in 2011. 


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Published 26 Oct 2015, 22:22 IST
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