most rebounds in nba game

Top 12 Most Rebounds in NBA History

Rebounding is a crucial part of basketball, despite its simplicity. You can’t win if you give the other team second or third chances on offense, so finding someone who can rebound exceptionally well is a huge asset to the team. With the apparent demise of the heavy-footed, defensive-minded big man, we now see many centers achieving the most rebounds in The NBA.

Top 12 Rebounders…

1 – Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain is easily one of the most iconic players in NBA history. A player who redefined the game and pushed the boundaries of what was possible. Chamberlain was an incredible scorer and rebounder. He averaged 30.1 points and 22.9 rebounds per game over the course of his career.

What made Chamberlain so special was his combination of size, strength, and athleticism. He was also one of the most relentless players in NBA history. He never gave up on a play and always looking to get his hands on the ball.

2 – Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman was known as much for his eccentricities and flamboyant style as he was for his rebounding prowess. In fact, it’s arguable that no other player has ever received as much attention for their rebounding ability as Rodman did during his heyday.

He was one of the original “bad boys” from Detroit. Aside from his freakish athleticism and tenacity, Rodman had an uncanny ability to position himself in the exact right spot every time. He was able to rebound not just the balls that came off the rim, but also those that were kicked out by his own teammates. 

On the Netflix special, The Last Dance, Rodman explained how he studied hours of tapes and watched where the ball went when bouncing off the rim — so that he could position himself I the right spot. He also studied which players would throw where so that he could anticipate where the ball would drop. He came into every game well prepared because he had done extensive research. 

It’s safe to say that no one has ever worked harder on the boards than Rodman did. It’s also safe to say that very few players have ever been as effective at grabbing rebounds. In his 14-year career, Rodman averaged 13.1 rebounds per game. A number that would rank him 4th all-time if he played in today’s NBA.

3 – Moses Malone

Moses Malone was a physical person for his time, boasting an incredible combination of size, strength, and athleticism. Malone was an incredibly efficient scorer, but his bread and butter was his rebounding ability.

He was able to rebound not only because of his size and strength, but also because of his propensity for positioning himself in the right spot at the right time.

In his 19-year career, Malone averaged 12.3 rebounds per game. A number that would rank him 7th all-time if he played in today’s NBA.

most rebounds in nba game

4 – Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett is one of the most unique players in NBA history. A player who has been able to seamlessly transition from being a dominant big man to a perimeter player. His incredible tenacity and work ethic, something which was on full display during his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Garnett was never the most physically gifted player. But he made up for it with his tireless work ethic and desire to win. He was also one of the most versatile players in the game. He was able to rebound effectively both on the offensive and defensive glass.

In his 21-year career, Garnett averaged 10.8 rebounds per game – a number which would rank him 18th all-time if he had played in today’s NBA.

5 – Karl Malone

Karl Malone is one of the most underrated players in NBA history, a player who was able to dominate the game without ever receiving the level of recognition he deserved. Malone was an incredible scorer and rebounder, averaging 25.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game over the course of his career.

What made Malone so special was his combination of size, strength, and athleticism. He was also one of the most relentless players in NBA history, never giving up on a play and always looking to get his hands on the ball.

6 – Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard is easily one of the most dominant big man in NBA history, a player capable of scoring 20 points and grabbing 20 rebounds on any given night. What made Howard so special is his combination of size, strength, and athleticism, something which allows him to rebound effectively even in traffic.

Howard is also an incredibly intelligent player, knowing how to position himself on the glass and grab rebounds even when he’s not directly facing the basket.

7 – Bill Russell

Bill Russell is the most successful player in NBA history, a player who led the Boston Celtics to 11 championship titles during his 13-year career. What made Russell so special was his total dominance of the game, something which was on full display during his time on the glass.

Russell was an incredible rebounder, averaging 22.5 rebounds per game over the course of his career. He was also able to rebound not only the ball but also box out the player, giving him a distinct advantage over his opponents.

In addition to his rebounding prowess, Russell was also an excellent defender, someone who could shut down even the most talented players in the league.

8 – B.J. Armstrong

B.J. Armstrong was never a dominant player in the NBA, but he was able to carve out a successful career by doing the little things that don’t always show up in the stat sheet. One of those things was his ability to rebound, something which he did effectively even against bigger and stronger opponents.

Armstrong was never the most physically gifted player, but he made up for it with his tenacity and work ethic. He was also one of the most versatile players in the game, able to rebound effectively both on the offensive and defensive glass.

In his 10-year career, Armstrong averaged 4.1 rebounds per game – a number which would rank him 329th all-time if he had played in today’s NBA.

most rebounds in nba game

9 – Bob Pettit

Bob Pettit was one of the most dominant players in NBA history, a player who was able to score at will and rebound with the best of them. Pettit was an excellent scorer, averaging 26.4 points per game over the course of his career. He was also an incredible rebounder, averaging 16.2 rebounds per game – a number which would rank him 2nd all-time if he had played in today’s NBA.

In addition to his scoring and rebounding prowess, Pettit was also an excellent passer and defender, making him one of the most complete players in NBA history.

10 – Jerry Lucas

Jerry Lucas was one of the most underrated players in NBA history, a player who was able to score and rebound with the best of them. Lucas was an excellent scorer, averaging 20.8 points per game over the course of his career. He was also an incredible rebounder, averaging 15.6 rebounds per game – a number which would rank him 3rd all-time if he had played in today’s NBA.

In addition to his scoring and rebounding prowess, Lucas was also an outstanding passer and defender, making him one of the most complete players in NBA history.

11 – Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon was one of the most dominant players in NBA history, a player who was able to score at will and rebound with the best of them. Olajuwon was an excellent scorer, averaging 22.5 points per game over the course of his career. He was also an incredible rebounder, averaging 11.8 rebounds per game – a number which would rank him 6th all-time if he had played in today’s NBA.

In addition to his scoring and rebounding prowess, Olajuwon was also an outstanding passer and defender, making him one of the most complete players in NBA history.

12 – Nate Thurmond

Nate Thurmond was one of the most dominant players in NBA history, a player who was able to score at will and rebound with the best of them. Thurmond was an excellent scorer, averaging 17.7 points per game over the course of his career. He was also an incredible rebounder, averaging 15.0 rebounds per game – a number which would rank him 7th all-time if he had played in today’s NBA.

In addition to his scoring and rebounding prowess, Thurmond was also an outstanding defender, making him among the most complete players in NBA history.

Final Thoughts

These are the top 12 rebounders in the NBA game. Regardless of their stature, all of these players were able to rebound effectively against bigger and stronger opponents. This list is a testament to the importance of rebounding in basketball – something that every player should strive to do well.

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