Issue 112: Let’s Get EXTREME! With NBA Records

I celebrated my birthday earlier this week and realized something that most people probably know by the time they’re seven — you set a personal record every day for how old you are.

By tomorrow, I’ll be older than I am today. And by Sunday? GOODNESS GRACIOUS, don’t even get me started. I’ll be creakier than Olmec on Legends of the Hidden Temple.

Despite time reminding us how another year has gone by and how little we’ve grown, getting older really isn’t an impressive record in the grand scheme of things.

But you know what IS impressive? These five NBA extremes.

Wilt Chamberlain will not come out of the game

I’ve written about Wilt “sadly my middle name is not actually The Stilt” Chamberlain before, but this was a fascinating bit I left out (and I’m so sorry about that).

During the 1961-62 season, Chamberlain set an NBA record with 50.4 points per game. That’s pretty darn incredible, sure, but I’m more intrigued by his other record that year.

In 80 games, Chamberlain averaged 48.5 minutes per contest.

Even back in the 60s, NBA games ran for 48 minutes. And this man played more than that every single night. He was on the floor for 3,882 of a possible 3,890 minutes.

That kind of stamina is unprecedented and will never be seen again. Meanwhile, I got a charley horse while sitting down at my computer the other day.

On the other hand, Don Boven does not care for staying in the game

I hope Don Boven’s name also makes you softly say “moo” but in any case, he has an NBA record that has stood for nearly 70 years.

In the 1951-1952 season, Boven was a member of the Milwaukee Hawks. He fouled out of a game. Okay, no biggie, it happens, we’ve all done it.

Then Boven fouled out of the next game. And the following. Then a fourth and a fifth. And in the sixth game, he once again committed six fouls and was ejected.

For you math whizzes, that’s 36 fouls in six games. And six games in a row where Boven was ejected — an NBA record.

Despite this impressive feat, Boven only finished third in total fouls that year. He played just three seasons in the NBA, but his legacy still lives on thanks to an unwillingness to soften up on defense.

Nikola Jokic moves slowly but triple-doubles quickly

Nikola Jokic won this year’s MVP — something I predicted back in January but foolishly did not throw my life savings on — and became the lowest draft pick to do so.

That wasn’t the first record Jokic set, though. In 2018, he was popping bottles (of water) by halftime.

Okay, that was a terrible setup for this record: with 1:54 left in the first half of a game against the Bucks, Jokic recorded his 10th assist. That gave him a triple-double in speedy fashion.

In just 14 minutes and 33 seconds of court time, the big Serbian had already reached double-digit points, rebounds, and assists. By halftime, he had 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists. That’s a solid line for an entire game.

I got a quadruple-double once in an intramural game and recorded my final steal with literally one second left on the clock. Jokic played against actually good players and had more than a half to spare.

Wow, this has really just turned into a way to make me feel bad about myself…let’s go to the next record.

Scotty Hopson proves one doesn’t have to be the loneliest number

Scotty Hopson is a sometimes headband-wearing, always super-athletic guy out of Tennessee. He’s bounced around the world a TON, literally playing for at least two teams every calendar year.

He’s also played for two NBA teams in that stretch: the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 and the Dallas Mavericks in 2018.

With the Cavs, he averaged a spicy 3.5 minutes per game. In Dallas, that bumped up to eight minutes. Granted, he only played two games in Cleveland and one with the Mavs, so it’s a grand total of 15 minutes.

But in those 15 minutes, Hopson pulled off something unusual. He scored exactly one point with each team.

He may find himself back in the NBA someday. Though I kind of hope if he does, he keeps up his one-point-per-NBA-franchise trend.

Either way, his passport probably looks amazing.

Rasheed Wallace and technical fouls — name a more iconic duo

Rasheed Wallace racked up 317 technical fouls during his career (and one Chappelle’s Show “appearance”) and during the 2000-01 season he set a record that will never be broken. Like…there’s absolutely zero chance this will ever be surpassed.

That year, Wallace recorded 41 technical fouls. That’s a tech every other game. Since then, no other player has recorded more than 19 techs in a season.

Why? Because the league instituted a “Sheed rule” beginning with the 2006-07 season. Once you get to 16 technical fouls in a year, you get suspended a game and fined $5,000. Each subsequent tech is another $5,000 and every two techs is another fine and suspension.

Had that rule been in effect during the 2000-01 season, Wallace would have been fined $125,000 and missed 13 games, forfeiting an additional $1,997,560 in game checks. Woof.

Of course, that reputation for arguing meant Wallace would receive technicals for fairly innocuous actions, like saying “ball don’t lie” or tossing a towel.

Yet this is probably the best tech of them all. Whack!

Want even more silly records? Check out this installment from many moons ago. We were so much younger then…

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


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