The saying, “Records are made to be broken,” is as old as NBA record books. The 2018-19 NBA season is here, and it should be interesting because multiple franchise and league-wide records are set to be taken over. Old ones and new, good and bad the league is full of records, some take longer than others to break.
Assuming everyone is healthy, many players will achieve significant personal records and milestones. But we will focus on the crazy ones. Here are ten (nine players and one coach) to keep an eye on throughout the season:
Father time may be catching up to Dwyane Wade, but he continues to climb the all-time ranks. This season he can become the best shot blocking guard. Wade has blocked 847 career shots, and at 6’4’’ he is 128th on the NBA’s all-time blocked shot list, which is very impressive. His career total is the second-most by a guard, only Michael Jordan (893) has more. He needs 47 blocks to surpass Jordan, exactly as many blocks as he recorded last season, and if he swats 53 shots he will also become the only guard in league history to reach 900 career rejections, and that will be crazy (he already is the shortest player in NBA history with 700 and 800 blocks).
Vince Carter will finally become the 22nd player in league history to reach 25,000 career points. Getting to 25k puts him in the pantheon of the greatest scorers in league history. He needs 132 points to reach the milestone, so it is a done deal. Carter will also tie the NBA record for most seasons played (21), joining Robert Parish, Kevin Willis and Kevin Garnett (Dirk Nowitzki will also match the record this season).
Unfortunately, Carter has committed to another season and joined the Atlanta Hawks, which means he will gain a lot of L’s. Carter is second all-time in total losses (Jamal Crawford – who will play for the Suns – is first with 667). Vince needs four losses to become the all-time leader, and it sure looks like he will be the first player in league history to reach 700 losses.
Hawks will definitely finish with the worst record than the Suns.
Last season Draymond Green moved past Basketball Hall of Famer Tom Gola for sole possession of the most triple-doubles in Warriors history, he also passed Gola for most in franchise playoff history. Green also became the first Warrior to average triple-double in a playoffs series.
This season he can break a crazy record set back in the 1980s. Last year the Warriors improved to 22-0 when Green records a triple-double, which is the second-most consecutive wins under such conditions in league history. Only Magic Johnson had a longer winning streak when recording a triple-double. His Lakers won 24 straight games.
Heading into the season, Russell Westbrook needs 1,023 points to surpass nine-time All-Star and Hall-of-Fame Gary Payton for the Thunder franchise lead in total points scored, which is about 41 games’ worth of points for Russ based on his average last season (25.4 ppg).
He will become one of five point guards in NBA history to be a franchise’s all-time leading scorer joining Isiah Thomas (Detroit Pistons), Hal Greer (Philadelphia 76ers), Oscar Robertson (Sacramento Kings), and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets).
Additionally, Mr. Triple-Double needs 35 to pass Magic Johnson for second place on the NBA’s all-time list. Current top four in triple-doubles: Oscar Robertson (181), Johnson (138), Kidd (107) and Westbrook (104). He will also extend the longest active streak in the NBA averaging a triple-double (currently – 193 games, second longest is LeBron James with 30 games).
Carmelo Anthony is again in a new role in Houston, his third team in as many seasons. No longer the go-to guy will now play in the shadows of Chris Paul and James Harden, the question is, will he be the starter. Since entering the league in 2003, Anthony has not played a single game off the bench, that’s 1054 games, second-most in league history.
The NBA record for most consecutive starts is 1118 (owned by Patrick Ewing), so he needs to start in first 65 games to break it. Additionally, Anthony ranks 19th on the NBA’s all-time leading scorers list with 25,417 points.
He can surpass many league legends this season (#18 Alex English, #17 Kevin Garnett, #16 John Havlicek, #15 Paul Pierce, #14 Tim Duncan, #13 Dominique Wilkins, #12 Oscar Robertson, and maybe even #11 Hakeem Olajuwon).
Before the 2017-18 season, Marc Gasol finished third in the annual NBA.com survey that asked NBA general managers to rank the league’s best centers. This season he will join an extraordinary group of NBA legends, at the same time, he will prove that he is one of the best at his position.
Gasol is about to take the franchise record for total rebounds away from another Grizzlies legend, Zach Randolph, who left the team prior to 2017-18. Gasol trails Randolph by 125 boards for the franchise lead. He already ranks first in multiple historical categories for the Grizzlies franchise, including total points, and blocks.
When he grabs his 126th rebound of the season he will become the 8th player in league history to be a franchise’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, and blocks. Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Kevin Garnett were the only players to achieve such impressive feat.
Last season Stephen Curry led the NBA in free throw percentage (.921) for the fourth time in his career (2010-11, 2014-15,2015-16, 2017-18). He has made at least 90 percent of his free throw attempts in five of his nine NBA seasons, including three of the last four. Steph is 3rd all-time in free-throw percentage, behind Mark Price (2nd – .9039), and Steve Nash (1st – .9043).
Curry can overtake both and become the all-time NBA free-throw percentage leader. If he makes his next 20 free throws, he will pass Nash for the NBA record in career FT%. Overall he needs to finish the season with a free throw percentage of .914 or better to secure the record.
Would you guys bet against that happening?
Dirk Nowitzki is ready to begin his 21st campaign with the Mavericks which will be an NBA record for a player with the same franchise (the previous record of 20 was held by Kobe Bryant). He will also tie the NBA record for most seasons played overall. Nowitzki owns the second place in league record books for most games played with one team (1471) and most starts (1,440).
John Stockton is the leader in games with one franchise (1504), and his long-time teammate Karl Malone in starts (1471). Dirk will be the all-time leader in both halfway through the season. Additionally, with his next victory, he will become the sixth player in league history with 900-plus wins, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,074), Robert Parish (1,014), Tim Duncan (1,001), Stockton (953) and Malone (952).
That’s, obviously, more than solid company.
LeBron James opens his 16th season seventh on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (with 31,038 points) and will most likely pass Dirk Nowitzki (No. 6), Wilt Chamberlain (No. 5) and Michael Jordan (No. 4) this season. He can become the youngest player in league history to reach 32,000 and maybe even 33,000 points.
James (33 years 289 days) needs 962 points to reach 32,000 and 1,962 to reach 33,000 milestones. Mr. Bryant holds both records (32,000 – 36 years, 87 days and 33,000 – 37 years, 138 days). James will become the youngest player to reach every point milestone from 1,000 up to 33,000, an insane feat.
This last one is for the LeBron “Stans”. The King needs to score just 331 points to surpass Jordan in total career points. Jordan scored 38,279 total points (32,292 regular season + 5,987 Playoffs), and James is at 37,949 (31,038 + 6,911).
last but not least Gregg Popovich. Coach Popovich is three victories shy of becoming the fifth head coach in NBA history with 1,200 wins. He can also become the winningest coach in league history. Pop needs 49 wins to pass Lenny Wilkens in total wins (regular season and playoffs).
As it stands now Popovich is 5th all-time with 1,364 wins (1197 regular season, and 167 playoffs), Pat Riley is 4th (1,381), Phil Jackson is 3rd (1384), Don Nelson is 2nd (1410), and Wilkens is 1st (1412). Moreover, If the Spurs make the postseason, they will tie the NBA record for consecutive playoff appearances (76ers hold the record – 22 straight playoffs, from 1949-50 to 1970-71). Spurs can also extend their record of consecutive winning season to 22 (previous record, 19 Utah Jazz from 1983-84 to 2003-04).
Statistics used courtesy of NBA/Stats, ESPN Stats & Info, and Basketball-Reference.