Sebelum musim 1952–53, Rookie of the Year dipilih oleh para penulis surat kabar; namun, NBA tidak secara resmi mengakui para pemain tersebut sebagai pemenang. Liga tersebut mempublikasikan para pemenang pra-1953 dalam edisi 1994–95 mereka dari Official NBA Guide dan Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia 1994.
^abThough drafted in 1962 by the Cincinnati Royals, Jerry Lucas did not sign with the team until 1963 when he tried to sign with the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League instead. He ended up sitting out the year when the deal fell through. His rookie season with the Royals began in the 1963–64 season.
^abcdefghDenotes seasons in which joint winners were named
^abThough drafted in 1978 by the Boston Celtics, Larry Bird, opted to stay in college for his senior year, did not play in the NBA until 1979. His rookie season with the Celtics began in the 1979–80 season.
^abThough drafted in 1987 by the San Antonio Spurs, David Robinson did not play in the NBA until 1989 due to commitments to the United States Navy. His rookie season with the Spurs began in the 1989–90 season.
^Tim Duncan berkewarganegaraan Amerika Serikat melalui kelahiran, karena merupakan orang asli dari Kepulauan Virgin AS, ia bermain untuk AS secara internasional. Ia mewakili Amerika Serikat pada Olimpiade Musim Panas 2004
^abThough drafted in 2009 by the Los Angeles Clippers, Blake Griffin missed the entire 2009–10 season due to a knee injury. His rookie season with the Clippers was the 2010–11 season.