Between them, they have amassed more than 40 All-Star Game appearances, multiple All-NBA and All-Defensive first team nods, three MVPs and four Finals MVPs. On Oct. 28 and 29 of 2003, however, they were just rookies. That was the date on which LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh would burst on to the NBA scene.
Wade was the first to play in an NBA game, doing so on Oct. 28 against the Philadelphia 76ers. He finished with 18 points in an 89-74 loss to the Allen Iverson-led Sixers. However, Wade’s rookie season would be plenty solid as he earned All-Rookie first team honors and led his Miami Heat to the Eastern Conference semifinals in the playoffs.
James was perhaps the most anticipated rookie in recent memory. He did not disappoint, finishing with 25 points, six rebounds, nine assists and four steals in a 106-92 road loss to the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 29. While his Cleveland Cavaliers would miss the playoffs in the 2003-04 season, James did help Cleveland improve by 20 wins after a 17-65 finish in 2002-03. In addition, James won Rookie of the Year honors, the first of many awards in his storied NBA career.
Anthony came into the NBA with much acclaim as well, having led Syracuse to an NCAA title in 2003. His first game came on Oct. 29 and he delivered 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists in an 80-72 Denver Nuggets win against the San Antonio Spurs. Anthony led his team to the 2004 postseason and earned a spot on the All-Rookie first team, too.
Bosh did not start in his first game, but that did not stop him from being productive in his debut game. He had 11 points, four rebounds and two blocks in the Toronto Raptors’ 90-87 win against the New Jersey Nets. He also made the All-Rookie first team and proved to be a key player on a Toronto team that improved its win total by nine games in 2003-04.
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