These 15 Star Athletes Had Nightmare Rookie Seasons

First impressions can be deceiving. These 15 legends overcame truly terrible rookie seasons to have stellar pro careers.

Gary Payton

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Gary Payton

Gary "The Glove" Payton's rookie season in the NBA must have been a humbling experience.

Coming out of Oregon State, Payton was a consensus All-American who had set school records in nearly every major statistical category.

He was selected second overall in the 1990 NBA draft by the Seattle Supersonics and was expected to be a big contributor right away.

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Gary "The Glove" Payton's rookie season in the NBA must have been a humbling experience.

Coming out of Oregon State, Payton was a consensus All-American who had set school records in nearly every major statistical category.

He was selected second overall in the 1990 NBA draft by the Seattle Supersonics and was expected to be a big contributor right away.

Payton started every single game his rookie season, but he averaged only 7.2 points per game and shot an abysmal 7.7 percent from 3-point range. He became so frustrated that he even considered retiring.

"I went to my agent, I went to my father, I just said, 'I don't know. I don't know if I'm good enough to play in this league," Payton recalled to the NBA.com.

But he stuck with it, and he hit his stride in his third NBA season.

Today, Payton is considered by many the greatest defensive player of all time. He ended his career with nine All-Star selections, nine NBA All-Defensive First Team selections and a host of other accolades.

Photo Credit: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

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Topics: NBA | SPORTS | NFL | MLB