Who needs the Guinness Book of World Records when you have your friends here at TheSportster? Throughout the 66 year existence of the NBA, there has always been a player, team, or storyline that has captured viewers’ attention and kept NBA fans sprinting back to watch basketball being played on the greatest stage in the world.
From the years of watching Wilt Chamberlain dominate in the paint, to the jaw dropping spectacle that was the showtime Los Angeles Lakers, to witnessing basketball greatness as Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls completed two separate three-peats, to observing the development of LeBron James from a teenager to a man right in front of our very own eyes, all the way to the Golden State Warriors of today’s NBA who have fought their way into the NBA history books as an all-time great team. In a league with so much greatness happening, there have been quite a few impressive records set during its existence.
Most basketball fans know about Wilt’s 100 point game, and many fans are familiar with Bill Russell being the ultimate NBA champion as he holds the record for the most NBA championships with 11. But there are many records and streaks that aren’t well known by NBA viewers. There are records that seem impossible for anyone to even come close to breaking, in fact: one record on this list technically shouldn’t be possible, but it happened.
If you are ready to increase your NBA knowledge and score some extra bonus points during the next sports history trivia session at the local pub, then join me on my quest to undercover the 17 Craziest NBA Team Records.
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17 Utah Jazz - Mark Eaton: 5.6 Blocks Per Game
The NBA has seen quite a fair share of gargantuan players, but rarely are these behemoths effective in the extremely fast and guard dominated NBA . Standing ridiculously tall, 7-foot-4 to be exact, Mark Eaton found a way to be successful in the NBA as he had a knack for blocking shots. How good was Eaton at shot blocking? During the 1984-85 season, Eaton led the NBA and set the Utah Jazz and NBA record for most blocks averaged per game in a season with 5.6. Who finished second in blocks that year? NBA Hall of Fame big man Hakeem Olajuwon with 2.68. How's that for size?
Another great NBA record held by a member of the Utah Jazz is the NBA assists record held by John Stockton with 15,806 total assists.
16 Atlanta Hawks - Best Month: 17-0
In January of 2015, the Atlanta Hawks took the idea of a New Years resolution to heart, as they pummelled team after team en route to their franchise record 17 wins in a row. Winning that many games in a row is impressive, and winning records of that many games are rare in the NBA, however what makes this record so impressive was the players on the Hawks roster at the time. Jeff Teague, Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver are not NBA household names. So how did the Hawks put together such a magical run? Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer managed to get the most out of his team by coaching good ball movement, utilizing efficient play calling, and undoubtedly using the magical coaching wisdom he gained under Gregg Popovich while working as an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs.
Another amazing NBA record held by an Atlanta Hawks player is the most free throws made in a game without a miss, which was set by Dominique Wilkins in 1990, as he drained 23 free throws without missing.
15 New Jersey Nets - Kendall Gill: 11 Steals in a Game
On April 3rd, 1999 Kendall Gill had a triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 11 steals. Those 11 steals set the New Jersey Nets record and tied the NBA record set by Larry Kenon of San Antonio in 1976. The NBA is long past the days of allowing defenders to put two hands on an offensive player, and as long as scoring puts fans in the seats, the NBA is not going to allow defensive players to beat up on the people trying to score the ball. Therefore I doubt anyone on the Brooklyn Nets will ever manage to accumulate 11 steals ever again, but good luck to any player risky enough to reach enough times or gamble on stealing passes enough times to attempt breaking the record.
14 New York Knicks - Patrick Ewing: 24,815 Points Scored as a Knick
If there was ever an NBA legend that deserved more recognition than he already receives, it would be Patrick Ewing. Largely overshadowed from playing in the MJ era and never winning a title like many others during his time, Ewing is often overlooked as being one of the top 30 players to ever play the sport. Ewing's 24,815 career points is good enough to land him #21 on the all-time NBA scoring list, and unless Knicks' rookie center Kristaps Porzingis really develops into a scoring machine that decides to never leave New York, Ewing's record as the all time best scoring Knick will remain intact.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves - Micheal Williams: 97 Consecutive Free Throws Made
Micheal Williams is not a household name by any means, but he deserves to be viewed as a hell of a free throw shooter. In 1993, Williams set a Timberwolves and NBA record by making 97 consecutive free throws. This record spanned across 19 games before Williams missed a free throw. Since Williams has left the NBA, we have seen tons of great free throw shooters like Steve Nash, Kyle Korver, Jose Calderon and Ray Allen, but even those guys miss every so often. Not Williams, during the 1993 season he showed the NBA what it meant to be truly accurate and dangerous from the charity stripe.
12 Sacramento Kings - Best Comeback Victory
On December 21, 2009 the young Sacramento Kings set a new team record for the greatest comeback in their history after winning 102-98 against the Chicago Bulls after being down by 35 points earlier in the game. I remember watching this game in disbelief as the Kings made basket after basket during the comeback and managed to hold the Bulls to only 10 points in the fourth quarter. Sacramento guard Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 23 points as the Kings made their monumental comeback.
The Kings comeback is second to only the Utah Jazz who once mounted a 36 point comeback against the Denver Nuggets. That Utah comeback was led by none other than Jazz legend Karl Malone.
11 Detroit Pistons - Rasheed Wallace: 41 Technical Fouls in a Season
Rasheed Wallace loved to trash talk his opponents, and even more, he loved to bug the hell out of the the guys wearing the black and white pinstripes. During the 2000-01 season, Wallace set a Detroit Pistons and a NBA record for the most technical fouls in one season with 41! Wallace's signature saying "Ball don't lie!" that he would shout after an opponent missed a free throw that was caused due to a Wallace foul was a comical relief from the otherwise quite scary-natured Rasheed Wallace. In the years since Wallace set the record, the NBA has changed the rules for how players can interact with referees and players can now only have 16 technical fouls in a season before they are forced to sit out games due to suspension.
Not many players can say that their style of play changed the entire refereeing protocol of the league, but Wallace can.
10 Chicago Bulls - Michael Jordan: 6 NBA Finals MVPs
It almost feels like every single Chicago Bulls record worth having is owned by Michael Jordan, so I had quite the number of records to choose from when covering the Bulls-however since the team has never won a championship without MJ, picking the record to be mentioned here was obvious.
Michael Jordan holds the Bulls' record for most Finals MVP awards with six ('91,'92, '93, '96, '97, '98.) How great is that record? Plenty of NBA legends have won multiple championships, but far fewer have won the Finals MVP award every single time. NBA legends Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan all have won titles without being the MVP of the Finals. Shaq won a ring in 2006 with Dwyane Wade winning the Finals MVP, Kobe won his first three rings with Shaq winning the Finals MVP, and Duncan has had multiple teammates such as Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard winning the Finals MVP award.
MJ went to the finals six times, and all six times he walked away with the Championship and the Finals MVP.
If you don't like that record, MJ was also the only Chicago Bull to defeat the Monstars on Moron Mountain. (Space Jam reference for the new NBA fans.)
9 Toronto Raptors - Jose Calderon: 98% Free Throw Percentage
During the 2008-09 season, Jose Calderon probably could have shot free throws with a blindfold on and still made the majority of his shots because he was that good. Jose Calderon holds both the Raptors and the NBA record for the best free throw percentage in a season (for players with enough attempts to qualify) ever by shooting 98% from the charity strip. He finished the season shooting 151-154 from the stripe.
During that 2008-09 season, Calderon managed a streak of 87 straight free throws made; talk about clutch shooting. It's amazing that many of the star big men in the NBA today can't manage to shoot above 60% from the line, meanwhile Calderon barely missed during his magical season.
8 Los Angeles Lakers - A.C. Green: Consecutive Games
The Los Angeles Lakers are possibly the NBA's greatest overall franchise. Jerry West, Magic Johnson , Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and many other NBA legends have worn the Lakers' purple and gold jerseys, but no Lakers player has played more consecutive games that A.C. Green. He played 567 consecutive games with the Lakers, which is a Lakers record, and then he went on to continue playing for the Suns, Mavericks, and the Heat until he finished with 1,192 consecutive games played. A.C. Green is commonly referred to as the "Iron Man" of the NBA for his ability to keep playing no matter how banged up he was. Current NBA players like Derrick Rose could learn a lesson from the determined and strong willed Green.
Another great Laker record and also NBA record is the most blocks in a game, which was set by Elmore Smith in 1973 as he recorded 17 blocks in a game against the Portland Trailblazers.
7 Denver Nuggets - Carmelo Anthony: 26 Consecutive Points
When an NBA player gets hot, it seems like the rim expands and he can't miss. On December 10th in 2008 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Carmelo was HOT. Carmelo scored 26 straight points for the Nuggets. That's right, no one else on his team scored during that time as Melo scored basket after basket against the T-Wolves. Melo also managed to drop 33 total points in 3rd quarter in what is his best scoring quarter to date.
Unless the Nuggets get another ball hogging superstar AND manage to play a team that refuses to double team a player that continues to torch them, this Denver Nuggets record won't be beat.
6 Dallas Mavericks - Bubba Wells: Quickest Foul Out (3 Minutes)
On December 29th, 1997, Bubba Wells created his place in Dallas Mavericks and NBA history as being the greatest "hack" of all time. While facing Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, Wells was placed in the game with the sole purpose of fouling Dennis Rodman and making him shoot free throws, essentially keeping the ball away from Jordan. Unfortunately the Mavericks' plan backfired and Rodman shot a career best 9-12 from the free throw line and of course the Bulls won.
What was the result? The shortest amount of time for six fouls and fouling out of a game in NBA history - 3 minutes.
5 Boston Celtics - Bill Russell: Most Rebounds in a game (51)
The average NBA center aspires to average 10 rebounds a game, but for the most part 10 rebounds a game is for the NBA's elite big men. Bill Russell was not the average NBA big man. Everyone knows about his defensive dominance and his 11 championships, but did you know that he ate rebounds for breakfast?
On February 5th in 1960, Bill Russell set the Boston Celtics record for most rebounds in a game with 51. Only he and Wilt Chamberlain can claim such a statement in the NBA and unless the Celtics use their plethora of draft picks to get a dominant center, I don't think this record is coming down any time soon.
4 Philadelphia Warriors - Wilt Chamberlain: Average Minutes per game (48.5)
Since NBA games are only 48 minutes long, having a NBA regular season average of 48.5 minutes should be impossible for a player, but oddly enough, it happened. In 1961-62 Wilt Chamberlain did not spend much time on the bench, in fact he played every minute possible. So how did he manage to average more than 48 minutes in a game? Easy, he was involved in five overtime games, one double overtime game, and one triple overtime game.
So much for the modern method of making sure to provide adequate rest for superstar players.
3 Miami Heat- Worst Loss in NBA History: 68 Points
Yes, you read that right. On December 17, 1991 the Miami Heat forgot that they had to make shots to win a basketball game. The Miami Heat somehow managed to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers by a SHOCKING 68 points. At what point do fans decide that a game is no longer worth watching? Mark Price and John Battle each scored 18 points for the Cavaliers team that featured eight players that scored in double digits. Luckily Dwyane Wade has since arrived to the Miami Heat franchise and hopefully has helped Miami Heat fans forget about the massacre that occurred against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1991.
2 Orlando Magic - Scott Skiles: 30 Assists
It has yet to be seen if Scott Skiles can be an effective coach in the NBA, but we do know that Skiles could dish it out as a player. He finished his career averaging 6.5 assists per game, which is great-but it is not as impressive as what he accomplished on December 30th in 1990. Skiles holds the NBA record for most assists in a game as he dropped 30 in a game against the Denver Nuggets in 1990. That's a lot of dimes to drop, although I doubt many of his assists were Stephen Curry type, no look assists. Skiles has since then reflected on his record setting night.
"It was a perfect storm,’’ Skiles recalled. "I knew absolutely going in that it was going to be a high assist game as long as we could make shots. You never know sometimes if that’s going to happen, but we had so many fast breaks and (Denver) just literally would in-bound the ball, take three or four dribbles and then shot a three for a good portion of the game. If they had been making them then we’d be taking the ball out of the net and the whole thing doesn’t happen.’’
1 Golden State Warriors: 73 Wins
Move over Chicago Bulls! Say hello to the new best regular season team in NBA history. The Golden State Warriors used the 2015-16 regular season to put together the greatest regular season off all time by winning 73 games and only losing 9 times. This beat the Bulls 1995-96 record of 72 wins, a record that many thought would live forever.
How great was this Warriors team? The 2015-16 Warriors are the first team in NBA history to complete an entire season without losing back to back games. It must stink for all of the Bulls players whose record has now been surpassed, except for maybe one Bulls players, Steve Kerr. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr not only has the record for coaching the team with the most wins, but he also was part of the Bulls teams that set the previous record. Not bad for a second year NBA head coach.
Another unbreakable Warriors record was set in 2015 when Klay Thompson scored 37 points in one quarter. Needless to say he was on FIRE.
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