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NBA All-Time Rebound Leaders

Tue 12 October 2021 | 17:30

The professional basketball league, NBA, has a long history, which meanwhile, has been under the attention of many followers. In the following article, we have gathered names of 10 NBA all-time rebound leaders. Stay with us till its end.

Composing 30 teams, National Basketball Association, NBA, is one of four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. Having founded in New York City in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America, BAA, three years later in 1949, following a merge with the competing National Basketball League, NBL, its name changed to its current one, NBA.

NBA's revenue has placed it behind the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) as the third wealthiest professional sports league and amongst the top four ones in the sports world. 

In today's article, we have focused on the top ten list of NBA all-time rebound leaders. In other words, we have prepared descriptions about the 10 top players who retrieved the ball after a missed field goal or free throw more than others.

As a routine part of a match, there are two types of rebounds, defensive and offensive. In the former group, the defending team obtains possession, and most of the rebounds are in this category because the team on defense is closer to the basket and can recover missed shots easier.

However, the offensive rebound is when the offensive side recovers the ball, and no change happens in the ball's possession. Keep reading until the end of the text to know these legends more. 

An Overview of NBA All-Time Rebound Leaders

As we described in the introduction, the following article is about the top 10 NBA all-time rebound leaders, the players who are tall and powerful. Mostly, great rebounders are the centers and power forwards, whose height let them do it better, and their position placed them closer to the basket. However, the shorter ones can compensate for this shortage with their strength. 

Nate Thurmond

  • Age: Died (Aged 74)

  • Team(s): San Francisco- Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Position: Center- Power Forward

  • Height: 2.11 m

  • Rebounds: 14,464

The tenth place on the list of 10 greatest NBA rebounders ever belongs to Nathaniel Thurmond, the American basketball player whose career in the National Basketball Association lasted 14 years.

Spending most of his career with the Golden State Warriors franchise, Nathaniel earned many achievements, including seven-time All-Star, three-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team, and two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team.

Additionally, he was the first player who recorded an official quadruple-double in NBA history. Grabbing 42 rebounds in a match in 1965 is a record, which only two other players, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russel, have done more in an NBA game.

His stunning performance made him a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. The Warriors organization awarded him another title, "Warriors Legend & Ambassador." 

Nicknamed "Nate the Great," Thurmond returned to San Francisco after his retirement and started a new business, running a restaurant, Big Nate's BBQ. On 16 July 2016, Thurmond died after a battle with leukemia, while nine days later was his 75th birthday. Within the 2016-17 season, Warriors, through patching Thurmond's number to its jersey, paid homage to him. 

Kevin Garnett

  • Age: 45

  • Team(s): Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets

  • Position: Power Forward- Center

  • Height: 2.11 m

  • Rebounds: 14,662

The ninth name amongst the 

NBA all-time rebound leaders

 is an American professional player famous for his intensity, defensive ability, and versatility, Kevin Maurice Garnett. Playing for 21 seasons in the National Basketball Association, Garnett is one of the most excellent power forwards of all time. He achieved both the Most Valuable Player and the Defensive Player of the Year honors.

The Minnesota Timberwolves selected him with the fifth overall pick and caused him to enter the 1995 NBA draft. Garnett's playing with the team earned them immediate impacts and led them to eight back-to-back playoff appearances.

Following his excellent playing, he achieved the NBA MVP Award in 2004 and became the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the 2007-08 season. After playing 12 seasons for the team, Garnett joined the Boston Celtics and then the Brooklyn Nets.

Finally, in 2015, after playing one more season for Minnesota, he announced his retirement. During the 21 years, he recorded many honors and awards, such as NBA champion, NBA All-Star, All-NBA First Team, and NBA rebounding champion. 

Robert Parish

  • Age: 68

  • Team(s): Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls

  • Position: Center

  • Height: 2.16 m

  • Rebounds: 14,715

Born on 30 August 1953, Rober Lee Parish is one of the 

NBA rebound leaders

, whose playing career as a center lasted for 21 seasons in the National Basketball Association.

Strong defense, high arcing jump shots, and clutch rebounding were the highlighted features in Parish's playing, which had earned him much fame. Parish's excellent college career at Centenary College paved the way for his professional life and led him to join the Golden State Warriors of the NBA, which he kept playing there for four seasons. 

Following Dave Cowens' retirement, the Boston Celtics center player, the team needed a new one. Through organizing a trade with the Warriors and a draft pick Parish and Kevin McHale joined the Celtics, and by playing besides the young star forward, Larry Bird made the most prominent frontcourt during NBA history.

These three players, with each other, left remarkable play from themselves in the 1980s, appearing in five NBA finals and achieving three championships in seven seasons.

Parish, who became one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, was famous with a nickname, "The Chief," which related to a silent, giant Native American character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Karl Malone

  • Age: 58

  • Team(s): Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Position: Power Forward

  • Height: 2.06 m

  • Rebounds: 14,968

Considered one of the best power forwards in NBA history, Karl Anthony Malone is one of the other players whose name is amongst the NBA all-time rebound leaders due to 14,968 rebounds. The retired professional basketball player is also famous as "the Mailman."

Malone spent most of his career with the Utah Jazz and displayed stunning play besides his teammate John Stockton. Malone recorded a long list of honors in his career history. Some of them are NBA Most Valuable Player (1997, 1999), NBA All-Star (1988-1998, 2000-2002), and a member of the All-NBA first team (1989-1999).

Through scoring 36,928 career points, Karl Malone became the second all-time in NBA history and placed his name behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Following retirement from the NBA, Malone started working as a staff of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs basketball team in 2007.

Due to maintaining a high level of play while he was 40, Malone became the oldest player to log a triple-double. As his career statistics show, Malone played in more than 1,476 matches and scored an average of 25 in each one. Although he was so talented in his profession, his physical power, ability to run the court, and the strength of overpowering most forwards, were beneficial in his success. 

Tim Duncan

  • Age: 45

  • Team(s): San Antonio Spurs

  • Position: Power Forward- Center

  • Height: 2.11 m

  • Rebounds: 15,091

The following paragraph is about Timony Theodore Duncan, whose rebound numbers have brought his name amongst the NBA all-time rebound leaders. Considered one of the best skillful players in the forward position of all time and one of the greatest basketball players during NBA history, Duncan had a nickname, "the Big Fundamental." 

Though Duncan had started as an aspiring swimmer, Hurricane Hugo damaged the only possible Olympic-size pool in his country Saint Croix, US Virgin Island, which caused him to choose to play basketball. Having played for St.

Dunstan's Episcopal in high school, Duncan joined the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Playing outstandingly during his senior career earned him various honors and awards, such as the John Wooden Award, becoming the Naismith College Player of the Year, and the USBWA College Player of the Year.

As much as Duncan was successful on the court as a basketball player, he appeared brilliantly off the court. To enhance health awareness, develop education level, and youth sports programs, Duncan ran the Tim Duncan Foundation. 

Moses Malone

  • Age: Died (Aged 60)

  • Team(s): Utah Stars, Spirits of St. Louis, Buffalo Braves, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Bullets, Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs

  • Position: Center

  • Height: 2.08 m

  • Rebounds: 16,212

Moses Eugene Malone is one of the other players who could allocate one place amongst the NBA all-time rebound leaders with 16,212. The professional athlete played for the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the National Basketball Association for 21 seasons.

Becoming the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times, achieving the NBA All-Star and All-NBA Team selection respectively 12 and eight times are only some honors he earned during his playing time. When Malone joined Philadelphia 76era, he could lead them to an NBA championship and won both the league and Finals.

As a player, Malone had some highlighted features, including being a tireless and physical player. Owning the abilities helped him lead the NBA in rebounding six times, which five of them were in five consecutive seasons from 1981 to 1985.

Additionally, Malone's rebounding skill and prowess earned him a nickname, Chairman of the Board. As Malone's career statistics show, he scored 29,580 points in both ABA and NBA, which placed him ninth of all-time in career points. 

Elvin Hayes

  • Age: 75

  • Team(s): San Diego, Houston Rockets, Baltimore, Capital, Washington Bullets

  • Position: Power Forward- Center

  • Height: 2.06 m

  • Rebounds: 16,279

Born on 17 November 1945, Elvin Ernest Hayes is the basketball player that the fourth place of 

NBA all-time rebound leaders

 belongs to him. The retired professional player, who also worked as the radio analyst for Houston Cougars, was famous as "The Big E" during his playing time.

As a member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, Hayes left a long list of honors from himself, which mentioning all of them here is impossible. We have only listed some of them, including NBA champion, 12time NBA All-Star, 3-time All-NBA First Team, and 3-time All-NBA Second Team.

Hayes appeared in a total of 1303 matches over 16 seasons for the San Diego, Houston Rockets, Baltimore, Capital, and Washington Bullets and scored 27,313 points, by which he became the eleventh all-time. In Washington Bullets and Wizards history, Hayes has been the all-time leading scorer.

Playing 16 seasons in the NBA, he only missed two matches. Hayes' interest in basketball was so much that after ending his career in the NBA, to complete the last 30 credit hours of his undergraduate degree, Hayes returned to Houston University. What he later mentioned in an interview was that "I played 16 years of pro basketball, but this is the hardest thing I have ever done." 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

  • Age: 74

  • Team(s): Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Position: Center

  • Height: 2.18 m

  • Rebounds: 17,440

The third place on the list of

NBA all-time rebound leaders

belongs to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The former professional basketball player spent the whole of his career, which lasted 20 seasons, with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Abdul-Jabbar, a member of six NBA championship teams, made a rich career history for himself full of honors and notable achievements, such as a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member.

In 1996, he earned the honor of being amongst the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Moreover, some NBA coaches and players, such as Pat Riley, Isiah Thomas, and Julius Erving, named him the greatest basketball player of all time.  

When Abdul-Jabbar retired, he had scored 38,387 points, by which he became the NBA's all-time leader in scored points and appeared in 1,56 matches. In 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton selected Abdul-Jabbar to be a US global cultural ambassador. One of his other honors was earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom that President Barack Obama granted him. 

Bill Russell

  • Age: 87

  • Team(s): Boston Celtics

  • Position: Center

  • Height: 2.08 m

  • Rebounds: 21,620

The number two among the 

10 greatest NBA rebounders ever

 is William Felton Russel. The former professional player spent his entire career as a center for the Boston Celtics of the NBA.

Meanwhile, he achieved a wide range of honors, including a 12-time All-Star, five-time NBA Most Valuable Player, and 11 NBA championships during his career lasted 13 years. Bill Russell and Henri Richard of the National Hockey are two athletes who are the record holder for the most championships that an athlete has achieved in a North American sports league.

Russell's dominating defensive play had earned him much admiration, and most knew him as the greatest basketball player of all time. However, his average scored point never was more than 19.0 per match.

The skills of shot-blocking and man-to-man defense were two outstanding features of his playing style, which led to the Celtics' domination while Russell was playing for them.

Having a dozen back-to-back seasons of 1000 and even more rebounds, Russell had a notable reputation for his rebounding, which abled him to lead NBA in rebounds four times and kept him the second all-time not only in the total rebounds but in per game. 

Wilt Chamberlain

  • Age: Died (Aged 63)

  • Team(s): Harlem Globetrotters, Philadelphia, San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Position: Center

  • Height: 2.16 m

  • Rebounds: 23,924

The star who put his name in the first place of NBA all-time rebounds leaders with 23,924 rebounds is Wilton Norman Chamberlain. Regarded as one of the best players during the sports' history, Chamberlain, even after his death, is still the record holder in scoring, rebounding, and durability levels.

Scoring 100 points within only one single NBA game, Chamberlain is the only basketball player during NBA history who averaged 30 or more points and 20 rebounds per match within only one season.

The most notable point is that he could accomplish it seven times. Despite suffering a long series of NBA Finals losses, Chamberlain left a successful and brilliant career history from himself.

It is full of remarkable honors, such as two NBA championships, achieving four regular-season NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, the NBA Rookie of the Year prize, and ten All-NBA First and Second teams. After his retirement as a basketball player, Chamberlain started playing volleyball in the short-lived International Volleyball Association and became its president.

The stunning athlete also appeared as a businessman successfully, for example, authoring some books and playing in the movie Conan the Destroyer. Though we tried to cover the top 10 NBA rebound leaders, there is still a wide range of basketball players whose fewer rebounds caused them not to be amongst the first ten players.

However, their records are still excellent. Though each of the ten stars on the list has a rich career history full of honors and achievements, we could only cover the most significant ones. At all, if you think we have missed notable facts regarding the stunning players of the list, share with us via the comment section.

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