What 10 NBA Records Will Never Be Broken?
10 NBA Records That Will Never be Broken
There’s an old cliché that gets floated around in sports-talk often that simply says: records are made to be broken. In that statement’s plainest form, the inference is that any record can be broken at any time and that there is always going to be a player or a team that comes along that can break a record. In many cases, that cliché holds true, but it’s not always the case, at least in the NBA.
There are multiple records in the National Basketball Association that you would have to qualify as unbreakable. They are just too era-specific or just so impressive that it’s hard to imagine a performance like that ever being duplicated. However, there are some that people might think fit into that category that actually don’t.
One that specifically comes to mind is Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game from 1962. Obviously this is a record that has stood for a long time and the closest anyone has come to breaking the record was Kobe Bryant when he scored 81 points in 2006. Given that, it seems like this record would, in fact, qualify as one that won’t be broken.
However, it still feels like someone, someday could potentially break Wilt’s record. Hypothetically imagine a scenario where Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka are out for a big game and Kevin Durant has to take on all of the scoring. There’s no doubt that Durant, if need be, could net 100 points in a game. Whether something like that will happen or not is uncertain, but it still feels like a record that could plausibly be broken.
Having said that, there are plenty of records, some belonging to Chamberlain, that feel like there is almost no possible way that they will ever be broken. Anything is possible, but it’s highly doubtful that these 10 records will ever be broken.
10. Wilt Chamberlain's 50.4 Points Per Game In 1961-1962 Season
Chamberlain’s record of 100 points in a single game may seem touchable in theory, however his points per game average for the season where he had that 100-point game seems entirely out of reach. 50.4 points per game is an absolutely absurd average. To put it in perspective, the highest points per game average in 2000s was in the 2005-2006 season when Kobe averaged 35.4 points per game. That doesn’t even hold a candle to Chamberlain’s average.
The most likely candidates would have to even come close in the league right now would be Durant, LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony. In the case of James and Durant, it’s unlikely because they play on teams with other stars. In Anthony’s case, defenses focus on him so much that he probably wouldn’t be able to reach the level of Wilt. That record seems quite safe.
9. John Stockton's 15,806 Career Assists
John Stockton absolutely dominated when it comes to earning assists over his NBA career. Over his 19-year career, he dished out 15,806 dimes, by far the most in the history of the league. As of right now, it doesn’t really look like anyone, particularly any player in the league right now, is going to touch that record.
Jason Kidd and Steve Nash are the two closest active players to Stockton’s record, but Kidd trails him by over 3,500 and Nash is over 5,000 behind. Considering both Kidd and Nash are on the wrong side of 35, Stockton’s record won’t be broken any time soon and probably will never be.
8. A.C. Green's 1,192 Consecutive Games Played
In today’s NBA game, we marvel at the endurance and toughness of a player that plays an entire 82 game season without missing a game. A.C. Green didn’t miss a game over 14 consecutive seasons which resulted in him playing an NBA record 1,192 consecutive games. Given the physicality of basketball and the things players’ bodies endure, that’s absolutely absurd.
The closest active player to Green’s streak is Westbrook with 362 consecutive games played and the next closest after him is Omer Asik with just 199. Considering how far both of those streaks are away from Green’s, hisrecord is one that may never even have anyone come close to.
7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 38,387 Career Points
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored an absurd 38,387 points over his career which is 1,400 more points than Karl Malone, the second placed player on that list. The closest active player is Kobe with 31,617, but with his recent Achilles injury and the fact that he’s played so many seasons in the league already, it feels like Bryant will probably come up short.
What makes this record so unlikely to be broken is the simple fact that Kareem was so good for so long. He played an unreal 20 seasons in the NBA and was an elite player over that entire time. Even with advances in medicine and other things, it’s hard to imagine someone achieving what he did.
6. Wilt Chamberlain's 48.53 Minutes Per Game in 1961-1962 Season
Wilt appears once again on this list with a record that may be one of the most unbreakable on the entire list. This season in the NBA, Luol Deng led the league in minutes per game at 38.7. That’s how absurd it is that Chamberlain played 48.53 minutes per game for a season. Regulation time of a game is only 48 minutes and he played more than that per game. That’s ridiculous.
A team would have to play an incredibly high number of overtime games in a season and a player would have to play almost every minute of every game for them to get to Wilt’s record. In reality, though, even Tom Thibodeau, famous for giving players tons of minutes, could pull off allowing a player to beat this record of Chamberlain’s.
5. Jose Calderon's 98.1 Free Throw Percentage in 2008-2009
In the 2008-2009 NBA season, Jose Calderon went to the foul line 154 times. He hit an unreal 151 of those free throw attempts to earn the best free throw percentage in a single season at 98.1 percent. That’s absolutely absurd for even the best of free throw shooters in the league.
The simple fact that Calderon posted such an extremely high percentage makes this record seem unbreakable. He missed three free throw attempts over an entire 82 game season! That’s not common. A player would essentially have to not miss at all to break Calderon’s record and it doesn’t exactly seem like that’s going to happen.
4. Los Angeles 33-Game Winning Streak in 1971-1972 Season
The Los Angeles Lakers' NBA record 33-game winning streak was almost broken this season as the Miami Heat came up just short with their 27-game winning streak. However, what the Heat’s streak showed is just how unbreakable the Lakers’ winning streak really is in the grand scheme of things.
There’s entirely too much parity in the NBA today for breaking that winning streak to seem possible and that’s in addition to the other trials, such as staying focused, that arise during a long winning streak. The Lakers winning streak was the perfect storm of right team in the right era and it’s hard to imagine that ever happening in that way again.
3. Oscar Robertson's 41 Triple-Doubles in 1961-1962 Season
While some people might argue that Oscar Robertson’s averaging a triple-double for a season is a record that won’t be broken, the more unbreakable record might be the 41 triple-doubles he accrued over that 1961-1962 season. In the past five seasons, Rajon Rondo has the most triple-doubles in one season, last year when he accrued only six of them.
It would be possible to average a triple-double, but not have as many as the Big O had that season, which is why that record seems to be the more unbreakable one. That’s just so many games with unbelievable production that it’s hard to imagine it happening with the league the way it is today.
2. Bill Russell's 11 NBA Championships
The thought of a player winning 11 NBA Championships in the NBA today seems like a complete impossibility, which is why it feels like Bill Russell’s record for titles won will never be touched. The active leaders in titles are Kobe and Derek Fisher, each with five, but both of those guys are in or nearing the twilights of their careers.
If you had to choose two guys that could accomplish breaking Russell’s record, it would be LeBron or Durant. However, James would likely have to win a ring every season until he retires and Durant would have to get a title in around 75-80 percent of his remaining seasons. That just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen, leaving Russell’s record in-tact.
1. Rasheed Wallace's 41 Technical Fouls in 2000-2001 Season
There are a lot more prestigious records to own, but Rasheed Wallace’s 41 technical fouls in the 2000-2001 season are possibly the most unbreakable record in the NBA. First and foremost, there will never be a player as charismatic and vocal as Wallace in the league; he’s simply one of a kind and will never be duplicated.
The other important part is that ‘Sheed set the record prior to 2004’s “Malice in the Palace” incident. After that, the league severely increased their discipline regarding the behavior of players and the penalties regarding technical fouls and ejections. No player is going to want to deal with the heavy penalties that would result from more than 41 technical fouls. Though it may not be the way he imagine, Wallace will forever live on with this record.