Latest News, NBA / Aug 12, 2011 / 3:30 pm

NBA Records That Won’t Be Broken

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal (photo. Chenoa Maxwell)

Bill Russell‘s 11 NBA championships. Wilt‘s 100-point *insert noun that is exponentially better than “outburst” here.* Oscar Robertson‘s 41 triple-doubles in 79 games during the 1961-62 season. Call me ignorant, but I don’t think they’ll ever break. All these things we’re aware of, but we’re also conscious they’ll never be topped because they were set in a different era.

There’s always lesser records to be broken, however. You want your name cemented into NBA history? There’s ways to do it other than winning a lot or dropping buckets. Sure, it doesn’t mean people will like you, think you’re the greatest or even think you’re good at all. Setting records, though, involves doing something really amazing or incredibly poorly. Either way, such performances will be remembered, even if they come by way of “fluke buckets,” as fellow Dime writer Jaimie Canterbury calls them.

So I set out to find some newer records – some good, some bad – that in this new era of basketball, may never be broken.


John Stockton is the man. From 1,164 assists in a single season, to his single game performances, to his all-time assist record, nothing was a fluke. And it’s unlikely anybody will top any of it even if we have a league where as many as eight teams have quote-on-quote, elite point guards. Stockton holds eight of the top 10 single season records for total assists, and the only current player even close to that is Chris Paul‘s 2007-08 season of 925 total assists, which puts him at the No. 17 slot all-time.

Sticking with assist records, Scott Skiles‘ 30 assists in a single game for Orlando in 1990 might hold strong as well. Stockton was close, dropping 28, 27 and 26 dimes on separate occasions, with Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd and Nate McMillan each having a 25-assist game. Current players who got kind of close were Rajon Rondo‘s 24-assist game in 2010, which is tied with Ramon Sessions‘ game in 2008 while playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.

But putting up frequent assists throughout a whole game – then of course, every game for a season and then a career – is difficult.

The record for most assists in a quarter would make one believe a player could have 50 in a game. Both Steve Blake and John Lucas have registered 14 assists in single quarters, but the most in a half was Bob Cousy at 19. Hence, why Stockton’s frequent appearances on all the assists’ record lists (he still has 4,000 assists more than Kidd for his career) are so incredible, even if he did receive a lot of help from that Karl Malone guy.

There’s a saying that you’ll miss 100 percent of the shots that you don’t take. I think it was Wayne Gretzky who said it, but in my own mind I always imagine it coming out of Kobe Bryant‘s mouth. Or the one friend who tries to mack on every girl at the bar that’s out of his league and has a 5-percent success rate. Either, or.

Missing shots leads to questions. Are you good enough to be taking said shots? Should you take different shots? Should you not take any more shots if you keep missing? Or do you keep launching?

For the Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal‘s 26-point, 17-rebound game on Dec. 8, 2000 against Seattle saw him go an NBA-record 0-for-11 from the foul stripe. We know Shaq isn’t the best foul shooter out there, but still, how can anyone in professional basketball even miss that many shots that are free?

The record books get more ugly, however. In 2001, Boston Celtics forward Antoine Walker shot the same number, 0-for-11 from three-point range. Known as the ultimate chucker, ‘Toine really couldn’t, like, stop? Not only does that record suggest a poor shot and bad shot selection, it suggests delusional logic.

Even worse was Tim Hardaway going 0-for-17 from the field against Minnesota in 1991. Likely, it’s questionable decision-making with a hint of bad luck, and unlike Walker, he at least wasn’t chucking threes “because there are no fours.” Bad luck can play a part in such a number, but at the end of the day, it’s a wonder what it feels like to try putting a ball in a cylinder 17 times (at any level) and never succeeding.

I’m sure many guys have finished their NBA seasons with perfect percentages from the foul stripe. Of course, that’d include dudes who played two total minutes after being called up from the D-League and got fouled one time ever.

But Mr. Jose Calderon of the Toronto Raptors should be applauded for his 98.05 percent shooting foul season record, one that could possibly never be topped. While taking it to the hoop to draw contact isn’t exactly Calderon’s M.O., he still took 154 free throw attempts in 2008-09. Not a big number, but he only missed three, making his record pretty impressive. In second place is Calvin Murphy‘s 1980-81 season for the Rockets, a comparatively low 95.81 percent mark.

Which NBA records will never be broken?

Follow Kevin on Twitter at @offensivelyfoul.

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  • john

    Jordan 63 points in the playoffs, Kobe couldnt do it,nobody will do it.

  • Promoman

    @ john

    Dwight had a shot against the Hawks. Too bad nobody would pass him the ball in the second half.

  • First & Foremost

    You are missing an extra zero in the Stockton vs. Kidd assist total. Four-Thousand+

  • First & Foremost

    Kidd is astounding. Possible the greatest pg ever. I actually think he can translate his talents to a shooting guard role. He is 6’4″ and JACKED. You ever seen kidd’s muscles like during the 4TH qtr? When his arms are like all glistened up and shit? That when you can see true definition in someone’s arms. Anyway, imagine lebron feeding kidd for 3s? Lebron would have more assists than stockton and kidd combined. I’m not even surprised the mavs won. They are unstoppable with kidd running the show.

  • Lee

    Jordan’s record was with 3ot’s. Not so impressive.

  • Shot In Ya Face

    Chris Bosh’s shooting 1-18. The only person who has a chance to break that record is, Chris Bosh.

  • Stradio

    Jordan’s 63 point game was double OT, not triple. And it was against arguably the greatest basketball team ever.

  • 123

    @ first and foremost.
    wtf you on buddy, glistening and shit u got a hard on for him or something?

  • Ian

    still there was ot and people kinda forget that he got swept thats like the lebron three vs the magic really doesnt matter. some jacker would prob get 70 in a playoff game and lose by 25.

  • ZzZzZzzz

    Wow Walker bashing. Is it 1999 again?

    This magazine has become pathetic. Stupid comments making fun of players out of the league. Stupid. That is why your readership is down.

  • First & Foremost

    @ 123: Hey man, don’t judge what I say. How I choose to describe what I see is my biz. Kidd is a stallion. All 210 lbs. of him. I’m just saying that size can translate into becoming a shooting guard. He guards kobe. And kobe is as skinny as can be. He needs more meat on his bone. PAUSE. Also to clarify, what I meant by glistening is science. When someone is wet and moist, you can see more muscle definition. That’s why before sex, I rub my abs with petroleum jelly. It does a good job of showing my 4 pack. One time in the boys locker room at my high school, some guy told me that hint. And I had a class with fine bitches coming up, so I made him rub me down (NO HOMO) all over my torso with Vaseline. I walked into class with no shirt on and the bitches came flocking. So ever notice in the 4th qtr. when those athletes are all wet and moist from sweating? Their arms look huge.

  • Ian

    no homo?

  • beiber newz

    woah F&F JUST WOAH i agree with ian^

  • Jim

    I don’t know. Does the name Wilt mean anything to you?

  • Sws20

    Jordans 63 points was in a double or triple ot game (can’t remember) and he was on a team with no other offensive threats. 63 is still 63 points against a GREAT boston team but still he HAD to do it. And to say kobe can’t do that is ridiculous. Even if he is “slowing down” he’s still capable of doing it if he was motivated too.

  • Sws20

    And even if that was against one of the greatest teams ever, no one on the the celtics were even 70% the athlete jordan was. There was no way they could stop him

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ zzzzz – how do you know what their readership is like?

    PS – when you saw an article about records, what gave you the idea that it’d be discussing CURRENT players? I wish Dime’s readership would drop by 1.

  • MadSammyboy

    If I recall correctly, Kobe Bryant holds the record for being the hugest joke in NBA history. I’m pretty sure nobody will ever beat that record.

  • MadSammyboy

    Sws20: “And to say kobe can’t do that is ridiculous. Even if he is ‘slowing down’ he’s still capable of doing it if he was motivated too.”

    I think it’s hilarious that you claim Kobe’s ‘still capable’ of doing something he’s NEVER done. Kobe-heads cling to the ‘he can still do it if he feels like it’ argument more than anyone I’ve ever seen.

  • deeds

    First and Foremost. It is hard to read that comment without picturing you in a dark lit room smoking a cigarette, while googling “jason kidd 4th quarter + glisten”

  • First & Foremost

    You guys are missing the point. You every watch men’s body building? Those guys muscles are like 3-D on my tv but guess what, I do not have 3-D television. Here’s why, they put baby oil on their bodies. Do you guys know how much the people who glisten those guys up make. Google that DEEDS!! Money talks, and frankly if I could land that job, the only perk I would need are some medical gloves to make me feel less homo. Oils and sweat makes anyone’s muscles look big. And I am being quite frank here to make the point. You losers are too focused on the fact that I notice the cuts and protrudeness of a “man’s” muscles when they are all moist and shined up, but you should focus on the science behind it. If professional juice/meat heads understand what moistness does to a man’s body, let’s all remain mature so we can avoid all the homo talk. I have never looked at men in that manner. But don’t sue me for noticing jason kidd’s ginormous muscles.

  • Bresaniel


    U got the gayest descriptions and comments on dime, ever.
    It makes me uneasy reading yo homo descriptions.

    If u admit that u a fag then nothing happens.
    So STFU

  • First & Foremost

    Oh hush…you’re probably just a skinny fuck with no muscles and that’s why you calling me gay. Gay is a mentality. Gay is a want. Gay is natural. I say this because in order to be called gay, you must embody those aspects. For instance, I was pledging at my school in order to join a certain fraternity. During hell week (look it up), the pledges, mostly freshmen, were woke up at 3am to order and deliver cooked chicken to the pledge masters. After various other weird tasks like this taking place throughout the week, we finally reached the final day. So in your head you’re telling yourself, “there’s no way i screw this up. It’s the last day, what can go wrong? I’ll just do EVERYTHING THEY TELL ME and finally join this FRAT!!” So I followed this thinking to the law. We finally came to a gathering and we were in a dark room with the pledge masters lined up around us 6 pledgers. I notice a table with blindfolds on it. My boy looks at me with the ‘what the fuck they tryna do to us face’. I smile, wearily. Then they blind fold us all and tell us to get on our knees. I put mine on in such a manner where I could still peek through. The PLEDGE MASTERS all line up directly in front of us while we 6 were still on our knees. Then the begin peeing on us. Gay? I think not. Because I didn’t enjoy it, nor did I get horny. Then worse happens. They pull out their meats and cock slap us 3 times on each cheek. Gay? No, because again I did not enjoy it and my dick was soft as hell. Then one of the pledge masters yells “WHOMEVER STEPS FORWARD AND SUCKS A MEAT SHALL GET ALL THE BITCHES IN X-DORM.” Believe me, they had the power to do that. So without hesitation, I begin sucking like a demon on crack. Then they all start laughing and say ‘we were just joking, we didn’t think any1 would actually volunteer to suck a dick.’ I was fooled but I wasn’t gay that night because I did not enjoy it, and I had sex with like 3 girls that night to make me feel like a G.

  • Daio

    … You need some help, brother.

  • http://twitter.com/jt_90 Josh T.

    Where is Rasheed Wallace’s technical fouls record? Nobody be topping 41 anytime soon.

  • JDish

    Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point… “sudden occurrence” sounds like an amazing game, but was it actually an NBA game?
    Does anybody have details of that game?
    Was there any defense being played against Wilt?
    Who did Wilt play to be able to get 100 points?

    Scoring 100 points is not easy at all. That’s what a whole team scores.