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The Top 5 leaders in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) in NBA history

Who is the PER king?
Who is the PER king?
Modified 20 Dec 2020, 08:10 IST

Most professional sports leagues are driven by statistics. The NBA can be put into that mix too, as some of its awards are purely determined by quantity. In a sport with too many variables and lots of different statistics, some people have established a new way to measure a player's impact in a game. In the NBA, that way is called Player Efficiency Rating.

Top 5 all-time leaders in the NBA's Player Efficiency Rating

In this article, we will give you the Top 5 leaders in Player Efficiency Rating in NBA history.

ESPN columnist John Hollinger developed the Player Efficiency Rating (PER).

This is Hollinger's own definition of the Player Efficiency Rating measurement:

"The PER sums up all a player's positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player's performance."

Despite the differences on NBA rules and stats tracked during the history of the league, Basketball Reference found a good way to establish the Player Efficiency Rating grade for each NBA player.

Last season's NBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year winner, Giannis Antetokounmpo, established the single-season record for PER. Antetokounmpo's PER for the 2019-20 season was 31.86. Wilt Chamberlain held the previous record (31.82 in the 1962-63 NBA season).

Without further ado, let us look at the five all-time leaders in career PER.


#5 David Robinson

'The Admiral' won two titles with the Spurs.

'The Admiral' was one of the greatest centers during the 1990s. He won an MVP award and Defensive Player of the Year award during that decade, and the advanced stats were usually on his side.

David Robinson's career PER of 26.18 ranks fifth in NBA history, and second among players at his position.

Robinson played 14 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, and earned 10 All-Star, 10 All-NBA, and eight All-Defensive selections.

'The Admiral' (nickname given to him due to his naval service) averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks per game in his career.

Robinson led the NBA in PER three times in his career. His highest PER season was 30.7 in 1994 (16th in league history).


#4 Shaquille O'Neal

Shaq won three consecutive Finals MVP awards from 2000 to 2002.
Shaq won three consecutive Finals MVP awards from 2000 to 2002.

Shaquille O'Neal was an incredibly dominant NBA player. He usually put up stats that seemed to be taken from a video game. The Player Efficiency Rating of his NBA career was 26.43, the fourth-highest in NBA history.

Shaq's PER is mightily impressive, as he had the longest career among the five all-time leaders of the stat.

O'Neal's PER leads all centers in NBA history.

Shaq led the league in PER five times (consecutively from 1997 to 2002). The highest PER of his career was 30.6.

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Published 20 Dec 2020, 08:10 IST
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