The new NBA season has just started. I am so excited and I guess that you are too. The first game of the season has just finished. I hope that you enjoyed, there are 1229 games left. The game wasn’t so good when we talk about the quality of the game and battle between two teams, but the hype is at the top!
So, the opening game is over and there weren’t any significant performances by rookies, but in the past, there were some great performances, that showed everyone that those players will blast the NBA in the future (or the most of them).
10 – Damian Lillard
6th pick from 2012 NBA Draft, better known as Dame Dolla, is at the moment one of the best point guards in the NBA. He was ROY in 2012-13, averaging 19 PPG, 6.5 APG, and 3.1 RPG during that season, becoming the unanimous Rookie of the year (4th in history). And in his debut game, he scored 23 points and made 11 assists in a victory over the Lakers.
9 – David Robinson
The other part of “Twin Towers” Admiral was one of the best big men to play the game. He was the 1st pick in the 1987 draft but would not make his debut until 1989 due to a military commitment, but he would prove to be worth the wait. His debut came against the Lakers, and Robinson put up a monster 23 points and 17 rebounds. Following the impressive performance, Magic Johnson had stated: “some rookies are never really rookies”.
The Admiral's debut!
23p 17r 3b! pic.twitter.com/uMFhKSUc2L
— Fadeaway World (@NBA247FW) October 25, 2016
8 – Allen Iverson
Size doesn’t matter. This man is the proof that this statement is correct. He was 6′ 0″, but he was one of the greatest of this game. Crazy crossovers, lucid handles, and many broken ankles. In the beginning, many doubted in him, but from the first game, he showed his skills.
His NBA debut against the Bucks was something to behold, with Iverson amazing the crowd and leading his team with 30 points as well as dishing out 6 assists. The 6-foot guard also pulled off the first of hundreds of career highlights, soaring for a one-handed dunk to stun the entire arena and make his presence felt around the league.
7 – Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas would go on to be one of the greatest point guards in NBA history and he inspired dozens of modern day guards with his tenacious play. On October 30th, 1981, a very young Thomas would make his NBA debut against the Bucks and would show that he was ready to dominate. Zeke scored 31 points and handed out 11 assists, and importantly the Pistons got the win thanks to his stellar play. He was immediately a Pistons hero, giving hope to a franchise that had won only 37 games in the previous two seasons.
6 – Brandon Jennings
Present Knicks backup point guard and 6th man Brandon Jennings was a beast in the beginning of his career. Jennings went for 17 points 9 rebounds and 9 assists for the Bucks in the season opener against the 76ers, an impressive stat line for a guard to put up no matter how experienced they are. Later in his impressive rookie year, Jennings would drop 55 points, but unfortunately, he has never really topped this first campaign and progressed like many hoped he would.
5 – LeBron James
Have you watched the opening game? The recent game just showed us that LeBron is at the moment the best player in the NBA for sure. He easily dunked, found his teammates when they were open and achieved triple-double at the end. Impressive performance!
But he is like that from his first game. There has never been an NBA debut that was as highly anticipated as this, as LeBron was the most hotly followed high school athlete and he had just signed a $90 million shoe deal with Nike.
Coming straight out of high school is always a risk, but most expected LeBron to excel and he managed this right off the bat. Making his debut against the Kings, LeBron made a statement and would go for 25 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals. James did not even need a quarter to get used to NBA life, as in the first 12 minutes he managed 12 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals, including 2 breakaway dunks.
4 – Lamar Odom
It has been a somewhat turbulent career for Lamar Odom, who is a 2x NBA champion, 6th Man of the Year and part of the All-Rookie First Team for 2000, but also a player with off-court issues and a personality that many have clashed with. “The Candy Man” made his NBA debut for the Clippers against the Sonics in 1999 and he would score an impressive 30 points. He also added 12 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in 44 minutes. He has had plenty of ups and downs, but Odom has proven to be a handful over his career and this was evident from his very first game.
3 – Oscar Robertson
The Big O started as he meant to go on in his NBA debut in 1960, recording a triple-double in a victory over the Lakers. Robertson had 21 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds in the victory, an astonishing accomplishment for a rookie as he proved he was well polished in each area of the game. This would, of course, become the norm for Robertson, who amazingly averaged a triple double in his second season. Robertson is the only player to record a triple-double in his NBA debut, although as this list demonstrates, a number have come very close since.
2 – Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain’s incredible dominance is well known and he is, of course, best known for scoring 100 points in a game. Even as a rookie, Chamberlain was a force to be reckoned with and created havoc for opponents trying to contain Wilt “The Stilt”. On October 24th, 1959, Chamberlain would make his NBA debut for the Philadelphia Warriors and would score an incredible 43 points and pull down a mammoth 28 rebounds. He also impressed in his college debut for Kansas where he scored 52 and had 31 rebounds. This marked the beginning of a remarkable career which forever changed the game.
1 – Michael Carter-Williams
It must be a strange feeling knowing that you are unlikely to ever have a game as complete as your debut, but this is a feeling Michael Carter-Williams must know as he flirted with a quadruple double in his very first game. In a historic performance in 2013, the number 11 pick had a stat line of 22 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds and 9 steals. Carter-Williams also sank 2 clutch free throws to seal the win over the Heat.
His 9 steals are the most by a player on their debut, and also a tied franchise record best with Allen Iverson. Michael Carter-Williams has gone on to impress and notched a few triple doubles, but in his very first game, he almost achieved a rare quadruple double, something that has not been done since David Robinson in 1994.