Patience is a virtue.
That’s especially true in today’s sports world, where high draft picks are expected to play, and play well, right away.
If they don’t, rabid fans and impatient coaches don’t seem willing to wait for them to develop.
But counting out a player after a bad first season is unfair and unwise.
Some of the greatest stars in sports history were hugely disappointing as rookies. I’m talking players who would go on to be considered icons of the game!
For the purpose of this list, we prioritized players who entered the league with high expectations and received plenty of opportunity to prove themselves early on.
Jimmy Butler, for example, averaged just 2.6 points per game his rookie season, but he was drafted 30th overall and didn’t receive much playing time.
Bad? Sure. But 30th overall picks rarely look spectacular out of the gate.
With that in mind, these are 15 star athletes who overcame nightmare rookie seasons.
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