Since Michael Jordan won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award in the 1984-85 season, the player who received the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy has gone on to great success. Patrick Ewing (1985-86), David Robinson (1989-90) and Shaquille O’Neal (1992-93) are all in the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players, Tim Duncan (1997-98) has won four rings and LeBron James (2003-04) is well, LeBron James. But when you look at the complete list, there’s one name that just doesn’t belong: Mike Miller.
While Miller (the Rookie of the Year in 2000-01) has had a solid NBA career, he’s nowhere near lived up to his peers. From Chris Paul (2005-06) to Brandon Roy (2006-07) to Kevin Durant (2007-08) to even Derrick Rose (2008-09), each of these guys have legitimate star power and will be holding down NBA All-Star games for the rest of their career. Miller has never made one.
In my eyes, the only two players that could really battle Miller for this honor would have to be Chuck Person (1986-87) and Emeka Okafor (2004-05). While you may have forgotten, the Rifleman was a legit NBA pro for many years. And while some people’s first thoughts were that Okafor should be given this title, through battling injuries, the guy has averaged a double-double for his entire five-season career. Some other guys who did that: Shaq, TD and Dwight Howard to name a few. Not bad company if you ask me.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to have Miller on my squad any day, and this post is by no means trying to knock him down. If the Wizards are going to win the championship, they’re going to need him to play a large part in it. But amongst a group that includes Allen Iverson (1996-97), Vince Carter (1998-99) and Amare Stoudemire (2002-03), he just doesn’t belong.
What do you think? Of all the Rookie of the Year award winners since Jordan, who has not lived up to the hype?
Follow Aron on Twitter at @the_real_aron.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.