Records are made to be broken. After all, we just witnessed history as the Golden State Warriors topped the Bulls’ seemingly unbreakable overall win record, which had stood for a solid 20 years. Nobody dreamed that a 73-win season would ever happen, but it did.
Some NBA players, though, have set the bar so high and entrenched their spot in the record books so firmly it’s impossible to envision any new record holders taking their place. Here are the best of the best NBA records, which may never be topped.
Hitting That Century Mark
On an ordinary night in 1962, Wilt Chamberlain suited up for the Philadelphia Warriors and proceeded to completely destroy the record for most points scored in a single game (which he himself had set just a few months earlier). In the 50-plus years since, nobody has even come close to touching Chamberlain’s mind-boggling 100-point mark. The second-place record, set at 81 by Kobe Bryant in 2006, is considered a huge feat in and of itself.
While scoring more than 60 points in a game was almost routine for Chamberlain, it’s a pretty rare accomplishment. The Big Dipper managed to scrounge 60 or more points an astounding 32 times. But the record books pretty much fall off at that point, with most players only managing to attain it once.
From the Foul Line
Not all NBA players excel at hitting free throws. Even record-breaking Chamberlain was notoriously not so great at it, attaining an overall career record of just 51.1% of his free throws.
Some guys are really good at it, including current Knicks player José Calderón. During the 2008-2009 season, he hit a crazy 151 out of 154 free throws for Toronto, notching him a No. 1 spot in the free-throw record books at 98.1%. Calvin Murphy attained the No. 2 spot back in the early ’80s; he clocked in at 95.8% when he played for the Rockets during the 1980-1981 season.
Stephen Curry also just slammed through the record for 3-pointers scored in a season, making 402 at 45.4%. He did the same last year and the year before. Who’s to say he won’t do it again next year? For the record, Curry hit the 93.4% mark for free throws during the 2010-2011 NBA season.
Calderón’s free-throw percentage, however, is probably going to stand the test of time. Sinking 151 out of 154 free throws is almost too superhuman a feat to repeat, much less beat.
Here Comes the Iron Man
It’s difficult to play a streak of consecutive games in the NBA. With 82 games in a season, it’s hard to fathom a player not getting sick, or injured, or missing a game for any reason. The current record holder for this singular achievement is one A.C. Green, who had snapped up the previous streak record of 906 games in 1997. He then went on to rack up a total of 1,192 consecutive games between 1986 and 2001.
It’s not looking likely that anyone will overtake this outstanding record. The current contender, Cavs forward Tristan Thompson, is holding steady at 370 consecutive regular season games. That’s pretty hard to top, but it doesn’t even come close to Green’s mammoth record, which will probably never be beat.
NBA records can and do fall. Sure, a 74-win season sounds completely impossible, but so did a 73-win season. But these unbreakable records are in another category altogether. Perhaps, in another few decades, this year’s historic win record will teeter and fall. But these select superhuman performances are on the record books to stay.
Want to channel some of that winning magic? Try to break your own records with gear from Fanatics.com, from Chamberlain’s jerseys to Calderón’s.