The NBA Record Book… in 1976

via colinwood0 (Flickr)
via colinwood0 (Flickr)

The idea of having an “all-time” record has always seemed odd to me. For starters, no one and no thing exists for “all-time.” We all eventually fade away and so do records. Secondly, trying to encompass “all-time” records washes over and wipes away the differences that have occurred over time. Comparing scoring methods in 1924 to 2014 are useful from a philosophical and educational standpoint but not from the standpoint of record books.

So, with all that in mind, I find it prudent to chop up the NBA record book into more manageable chunks. Chunks that make sense and allow for proper perspective and comparison of statistics. The compartmentalized view gives the appropriate scrutiny and appreciation to players of each and every era.

First up is observing the NBA Record Book from the 1949-50 season through the 1975-76 season. This is a good first look because it starts with the NBA’s first season and ends with the merger between the NBA and its last major challenger, the ABA. This two-and-a-half decade chunk also deserves some closer looks in the future, but for now it’s a good start.

And of the five major stat categories looked at here – points, rebounds, assists, FG%, and FT% –  Oscar Robertson is the only player  to appear in the top 25 for each. The Big O was a well-rounded beast beyond getting triple-doubles.

POINTS

Rank Player Points Games PPG
1 Wilt Chamberlain 31419 1045 30.1
2 Oscar Robertson 26710 1040 25.7
3 Jerry West 25192 932 27
4 John Havlicek 23678 1109 21.4
5 Elgin Baylor 23149 846 27.4
6 Hal Greer 21586 1122 19.2
7 Walt Bellamy 20941 1043 20.1
8 Bob Pettit 20880 792 26.4
9 Chet Walker 18831 1032 18.2
10 Dolph Schayes 18438 996 18.5
11 Lenny Wilkens 17772 1077 16.5
12 Bailey Howell 17770 950 18.7
13 Bob Cousy 16960 924 18.4
14 Gail Goodrich 16599 849 19.6
15 Dave Bing 16561 757 21.9
16 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 16486 549 30
17 Paul Arizin 16266 713 22.8
18 Elvin Hayes 15920 652 24.4
19 Jack Twyman 15840 823 19.2
20 Sam Jones 15411 871 17.7
21 Dick Barnett 15358 971 15.8
22 Lou Hudson 15081 672 22.4
23 Richie Guerin 14676 848 17.3
24 Bill Russell 14522 963 15.1
25 Dick Van Arsdale 14480 843 17.2

REBOUNDS

Rank Player Rebounds Games RPG
1 Wilt Chamberlain 23924 1045 22.9
2 Bill Russell 21620 963 22.5
3 Walt Bellamy 14241 1043 13.7
4 Nate Thurmond 14090 915 15.4
5 Jerry Lucas 12942 829 15.6
6 Bob Pettit 12849 792 16.2
7 Elgin Baylor 11463 846 13.5
8 Dolph Schayes 11256 932 12.1
9 Bill Bridges 11054 926 11.9
10 Red Kerr 10092 905 11.2
11 Paul Silas 10074 927 10.9
12 Elvin Hayes 9873 652 15.1
13 Dave DeBusschere 9618 875 11
14 Bailey Howell 9383 950 9.9
15 Wes Unseld 9340 600 15.6
16 Johnny Green 9083 1057 8.6
17 Leroy Ellis 8709 1048 8.3
18 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 8544 549 15.6
19 Willis Reed 8414 650 12.9
20 Larry Foust 8041 817 9.8
21 Happy Hairston 8019 776 10.3
22 Oscar Robertson 7804 1040 7.5
23 Clyde Lee 7626 742 10.3
24 Wayne Embry 7544 831 9.1
25 Gus Johnson 7379 581 12.7

ASSISTS

Rank Player Assists Games APG
1 Oscar Robertson 9887 1040 9.5
2 Lenny Wilkens 7211 1077 6.7
3 Bob Cousy 6955 924 7.5
4 Guy Rodgers 6917 892 7.8
5 Jerry West 6238 932 6.8
6 John Havlicek 5386 1109 4.9
7 Dave Bing 4822 757 6.4
8 Wilt Chamberlain 4643 1045 4.4
9 Hal Greer 4540 1122 4
10 Walt Frazier 4388 683 6.4
11 Richie Guerin 4211 848 5
12 Dick McGuire 4205 738 5.7
13 Bill Russell 4100 963 4.3
14 Gail Goodrich 3986 849 4.7
15 Norm Van Lier 3892 548 7.1
16 Elgin Baylor 3650 846 4.3
17 Mahdi Abdul-Rahman 3555 724 4.9
18 Tiny Archibald 3499 433 8.1
19 Archie Clark 3498 725 4.8
20 Andy Phillip 3366 609 5.5
21 Larry Costello 3215 706 4.6
22 Slater Martin 3160 745 4.2
23 Dolph Schayes 3072 996 3.1
24 Jeff Mullins 3023 804 3.8
25 Tom Gola 2962 698 4.2

FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE (minimum 350 games)

Rank Player FG% Games FGAs per Game
1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 0.545 549 22.8
2 Wilt Chamberlain 0.54 1045 22.5
3 Walt Bellamy 0.516 1043 14.7
4 Clifford Ray 0.51 399 6.4
5 Terry Dischinger 0.506 652 10.5
6 Rudy Tomjanovich 0.503 476 14.3
7 Dale Schlueter 0.502 537 4.2
8 Wes Unseld 0.501 600 9.8
9 Jerry Lucas 0.499 829 13.8
10 Bob Lanier 0.497 464 18.1
Larry Steele 0.497 376 6.5
12 Johnny Green 0.493 1057 9.5
Dick Snyder 0.493 768 11.6
14 Walt Frazier 0.492 683 15.5
15 Bob Dandridge 0.491 537 16
16 Matt Guokas 0.489 735 5
Lou Hudson 0.489 672 18.7
Jon McGlocklin 0.489 792 10.3
19 Jim McMillian 0.486 460 13.5
Curtis Rowe 0.486 407 11.3
21 Oscar Robertson 0.485 1040 18.9
22 Butch Beard 0.483 449 7.9
23 Greg Smith 0.482 524 6.9
24 Calvin Murphy 0.481 482 14.3
25 Archie Clark 0.48 725 13.5
Jim Fox 0.48 672 7.5
Bailey Howell 0.48 950 14.3
Don Nelson 0.48 1053 8

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE (minimum 350 games)

Rank Player FT% Games FTAs per Game
1 Rick Barry 0.89 481 6.5
2 Bill Sharman 0.883 711 5
3 Calvin Murphy 0.875 482 4.7
4 Mike Newlin 0.858 401 4.3
5 Larry Siegfried 0.854 550 3.5
6 Flynn Robinson 0.849 494 3.8
Dolph Schayes 0.849 996 7.9
8 Fred Brown 0.846 351 2.8
9 Jon McGlocklin 0.845 792 1.7
10 Jack Marin 0.844 795 3.5
11 Bill Bradley 0.841 675 2.3
12 Larry Costello 0.841 706 4.1
13 Oscar Robertson 0.838 1040 8.8
14 Adrian Smith 0.836 719 3.8
15 Jim McMillian 0.833 460 3.3
Ron Rilliams 0.833 516 2.5
17 Fred Scolari 0.831 381 4.2
18 Howard Komives 0.83 742 2.6
19 Jimmy Walker 0.829 698 4.2
Bob Weiss 0.829 714 2.3
21 Tiny Archibald 0.826 433 8.4
Kenny Sears 0.826 529 5.6
Dick Schnittker 0.826 364 3.9
24 Cazzie Russell 0.825 699 3.1
25 Dave Gambee 0.823 748 3.7

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