Winning. After every NBA season comes to an end, there is only one thing that matters to organizations, coaches, and players. Winning is what makes any legacy transcend to new heights in NBA history. We're accustomed to hearing about some legendary players such as Michael Jordan and Bill Russell and how many championships they won.
With all the hype around the postseason, regular season records can be relegated to the background. However, it is the 82-game regular season that tests the consistency and durability of NBA players.
5 NBA players with the most regular-season wins
When it comes to transcendent players and their legacies, we will always go by their performances when it mattered the most: the NBA Playoffs. But the regular season will always be the first step for any team to earn the chance to compete for an NBA title and it must never be overlooked.
In this piece, we look at the top five players with the most NBA regular season victories in their careers.
#5 Karl Malone - 952 wins
Ironically, the list begins with one of the greatest players in NBA history to never win a championship. Regardless of Karl Malone's failure to win a title, the legendary power forward did play a huge role in making his teams competitive and usually kept his squad in with a chance to achieve the main objective.
In 1476 NBA games played in the regular season (1434 with the Utah Jazz and 42 with the LA Lakers), Malone took the fifth-highest number of wins for a player, with 952 (919 with Utah and 33 with the Lakers).
Malone played 19 NBA seasons and the average wins per season for his teams was just over 50 victories per year. The power forward averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds in his NBA career on 51% shooting efficiency from the field.
#4 John Stockton - 953 wins
Another great player who did not win a championship, John Stockton ranks fourth in league history in terms of regular-season wins, with 953 victories in his career with the Utah Jazz. Stockton played the entirety of his 19-year career in Utah and shared 18 seasons with Karl Malone.
The pair led the Jazz to a couple of appearances in the NBA Finals, but fell twice to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, who established an incredible dynasty in the 1990s.
Stockton played 1504 games in his regular-season career and took 953 wins. The point guard averaged 13 points and 10.5 assists per game in his career and owns the all-time record for the most assists in league history with 15,806.
#3 Tim Duncan - 1001 wins
Tim Duncan is one of the greatest winners in NBA history. Not only is he the player with the third-highest number of regular-season wins with 1001, but Duncan is also a five-time champion with the San Antonio Spurs and a three-time NBA Finals MVP.
'The Big Fundamental', who is the undisputed greatest power forward in league history, played his entire 19-year career in San Antonio, from 1997 to 2016. During his time with the Spurs, he led the team to the postseason each time and also played in six NBA Finals.
He won two league MVPs as well, and played 1392 regular-season games. His .719 winning percentage ranks fifth among players with at least 800 games and the highest among players on this list.
#2 Robert Parish - 1014 wins
Robert Parish is a legend with four NBA Championships and nine appearances in the All-Star Game. He also owns the record for most games played in league history with 1611.
Parish's teams (Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, and Chicago Bulls), won 1014 of the games he played during his 21-year career.
The prime of his journey began with the Golden State Warriors and then evolved into another level with the Boston Celtics. He won three championships and formed one of the most successful trios in league history with Larry Bird and Kevin McHale during his time in Boston.
Parish then won another championship in his final season in 1997, when he was a member of Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. He appeared in just 43 regular-season games and a couple of games in the 1997 postseason before retiring from the league.
#1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 1074 wins
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has the most wins in NBA history for a single player. The legendary center is also the all-time leader in MVP trophies with six. To top things off, the LA Lakers legend is the all-time scoring leader with 38387 career points and took a total of 1074 wins from 1560 games.
Kareem retired in 1989 as the all-time leader in games played, with 1560, but was surpassed by Robert Parish on April 6th, 1996.
Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most decorated basketball players in the history of the game, including high school and college, and certainly has a strong case to be considered the greatest player ever. Kareem won six NBA Championships (one with the Milwaukee Bucks and five with the LA Lakers) and appeared in 15 All-NBA teams and a record 19 All-Star games.
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