- Rebounds are a crucial part of the game, as they could be the difference between winning and losing.
- Some of the best rebounders are known for their ability to get the ball back after it has been missed by either their team or the other team.
- Wilt Chamberlain holds the record for the most rebounds in NBA history (23,924).
In the NBA, scorers often get more attention such that the fans even fail to talk about the greatest rebounders in the league’s history.
Rebounds are a crucial part of the game, as they could be the difference between winning and losing. Some of the best rebounders are known for their ability to get the ball back after it has been missed by either their team or the other team.
But rebounding is not just about getting the ball back; it’s also about securing possession and preventing the opponent from having the ball. Some of the best rebounders have long arms and legs and big hands.
Dominant rebounders have graced the NBA ever since the league’s first season. Now, without further ado, let’s look at the top five greatest rebounders in the history of the NBA.
1. Wilt Chamberlain – 23, 924
Whether you are a long-time fan of the NBA or you just became a fan recently, you must have heard the name Wilt Chamberlain. The American is usually at the top of most statistical records in the NBA and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
Wilt Chamberlain generated big numbers during his playing days, but none are more impressive than the 23, 924 rebounds he made. Despite last playing in 1973, no NBA player has made more rebounds than Chamberlain, making him the greatest rebounder in the history of the NBA.
Nicknamed The Big Dipper, Wilt Chamberlain spent 14 years in the NBA playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers.
2. Bill Russell – 21,620
Considering his amazing legacy, it’s not surprising to find Bill Russell on the list of the greatest rebounders in the history of the NBA.
During his playing days, Bill Russell tallied impressive rebounding numbers, which seem impossible for modern players. The Boston Celtics legend managed 21,602 rebounds in 963 games.
Russell played winning basketball, and that’s why he won the NBA Championship eleven times. He also earned five MVP awards and is a twelve-time NBA All-Star.
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 17,440
Nicknamed Lew Alcindor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is widely regarded as one of the NBA’s all-time greats. The legend played as a center in his 20 seasons in the NBA and is the league’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points.
Besides scoring, the six-time NBA champion was also an efficient defender who frustrated opponents with his shot-blocking ability. Kareem ranks third in the list of the greatest rebounders in NBA history. He played in 1560 games between 1969 and 1989 and averaged 11.2 rebounds and 24.6 points per game.
Due to Kareem’s achievements, his No. 33 jersey is retired by the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.
4. Elvin Hayes – 16,279
Elvin Hayes was one of the best players in the NBA during the 1970s. The big man played for the San Diego Rockets, Houston Rockets, Baltimore Bullets and Washington Bullets, with whom he won the NBA Championship.
If this list were about the most clutch players, Elvis wouldn’t be near a 10-mile radius. But since it’s about rebounding, Elvis makes it to the top five since he is one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history.
The power forward managed 16,279 rebounds during his playing days. He led the league in rebounding twice, averaging 16.9 and 18.1 rebounds during the 1969-70 and 11973-74 seasons.
Elvis Hayes, a Hall of Famer, went to 12 All-Star games and earned six All-NBA selections.
5. Moses Malone – 16,212
Widely regarded as one of the greatest big men in the NBA, Moses Malone had an impressive career. The Hall of Famer spent his basketball career playing for the Buffalo Braves, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Bullets, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and San Antonio Spurs.
Moses Malone had the nickname “Chairman of the Boards” due to his rebounding prowess. He led the league in rebounds six times over a seven-year period from 1979 to 1985.
Despite his productivity falling off after turning 36, Moses Malone still ranks fifth in rebounds. The power forward managed 16,212 rebounds during his playing days.
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