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These five low-key NBA records never will be broken with new-age thinking

These five low-key NBA records never will be broken with new-age thinking

Dozens of NBA records are destined to live forever, and it seems most of them are owned by Wilt Chamberlain. He posted such insane single-season averages as 50.4 points and 48.5 minutes. He scored 100 points in a game and was greedy enough to retire with 23,924 rebounds -- almost 11,000 more than Shaquille O’Neal.

Many of the records not held by Chamberlain belong to Bill Russell, who once snagged 32 rebounds in a half, led the Boston Celtics to eight consecutive championships and own 11 rings.

For that reason, we’re excusing Wilt and Bill from the room as our, um, committee pursues the goal of identifying the five safest NBA records that rarely get discussed.

The countdown from No. 5 to No. 1 begins with the most “vulnerable” record and ends with the mark that can sit comfortably among the totals in what we call the Chamberlain/Russell tier:

5. Minutes in a regular-season game

Record: 69 by Dale Ellis on Nov. 9, 1989

OK, the game’s 73 minutes and five overtimes make it the longest in the shot-clock era. And, OK, Ellis’ Seattle SuperSonics were defeated 155-154 by the Milwaukee Bucks.

But 69 minutes is 69 freaking minutes. Ellis scored a game-high 53 points on 18-of-39 shooting, including 3-of-7 from deep. His teammate, Xavier McDaniel, logged 68 minutes.

Only two players have labored beyond the 60-minute mark in a 21st century game: Vince Carter with 63 and Jalen Rose with 61, both in 2000-01. In the era of high-tech monitoring of physical exertion, no coach will allow a player to approach 70 minutes in a regular-season game.

4. Career playoff minutes

Record: 10,049 by LeBron James

This is testimony to James’ ability to find another level in the playoffs. And he’s still active.

That LeBron’s Lakers didn’t make the 2019 playoffs was of no consequence because he zoomed past Tim Duncan (9,370) and into the top spot the previous year. To put this into perspective, he has played more minutes than Patrick Ewing (5,207) and Pau Gasol (4,825) combined.

To surpass James, someone would have to average about 40 minutes per game over more than 250 games -- and that’s only if LeBron never makes another postseason appearance. Only retirees Derek Fisher (259) and Tim Duncan (251) have exceeded 250 postseason games.

For the record, Kevin Durant (5,598) is No. 2 among active players.

3. Career assists

Record: 15,806 by John Stockton

Stockton’s record speaks mostly to his pass-first mentality and his practically perfect synchronicity with longtime teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Karl Malone. The Stockton-Malone pick-and-roll was, for much of their long careers, the league’s deadliest two-man game.

Jason Kidd also had a pass-first mentality and also played forever, and still retired in second place, 3,715 dimes behind Stockton.

Only two active players are more than halfway to Stockton. Chris Paul has 9,161 and LeBron has 8,662. Both are in the all-time top 10. Both would have to average more than 10 assists per game, over 80 games, for the next eight seasons.

Let’s see if CP3 and Bron are still going at age 42.

2. Consecutive games

Record: 1,192 by A.C. Green

Green, a power forward that played most of his career as a Laker, was known for two things. One, he was a virgin among teammates with libertine impulses. Two, from Nov. 19, 1986 until April 17, 2001 he played every single game.

With training staffs often advising coaches to give players rest, it’s notable when someone suits up for all 82 games. Green played every game for 14 seasons in a row. He actually played 83 games in 1996-97 -- 27 for Phoenix and 56 for the Mavericks after the Suns traded him to Dallas.

The longest active streak is 304 games, held by Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles.

With teams looking ahead to the playoffs, there is more dedication to managing regular-season minutes. It’s a different mindset than it was during Green’s career.

There may be a better chance of a player remaining a virgin throughout a long career than playing 1,192 consecutive games.

1. Technical fouls in a season 

Record: 41 by Rasheed Wallace in 2000-01

The most unbreakable record of all, held by the man synonymous with technical fouls.

Wallace was whistled for 38 techs the year before setting the record and 27 more the year after. When Sheed bumped it up to 29 in 2004-05, the NBA tossed him to its rules committee and urged it to do something. Anything.

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The committee instituted another “Sheed Rule.” Going into effect in 2006-07, penalizes players that exceed 15 techs in a season, which Wallace did 10 times in a career during which he totaled 317 techs. No. 16 comes with a one-game suspension and a $5,000 fine. Every tech after that results in a $5,000 fine, and every two warrants another fine and suspension.

There is a reason why no player has since exceeded 19 techs in a season. Perhaps because they realize getting to 41 would require an extra checkbook, a mental health evaluation and a lot of cold stares from teammates.

Watch Warriors' Andrew Wiggins show off handle in offseason workout

Watch Warriors' Andrew Wiggins show off handle in offseason workout

The Warriors haven't played in an NBA game for five months, and they might not play for (at least) another two or so.

Andrew Wiggins is trying to make the most of that time, working out with trainer Chris Johnson in Los Angeles. Johnson posted a video on his Instagram on Wednesday of Wiggins flashing his handle on a slot pick-and-roll.

Steph Curry and Draymond Green figure to share the bulk of the ball-handling duties if and when the Warriors' projected starting lineup is fully healthy to start next season, so Wiggins might not get many chances to show off what he learned working with Johnson. Projected over a full season, Wiggins' 25.4 percent usage rate in his first 12 games with the Warriors would be the fourth-lowest of his career. Curry played in just one of those games, so that number almost certainly will drop in Wiggins' first full season with Golden State.

[RELATED: Steph, Dame deserve better than these ridiculous debates]

Still, Wiggins initiating plays as a primary ballhandler would be an added bonus.  The Warriors are plenty high on him already, though.

Assistant coach Ron Adams said in June that the "sky's the limit" for the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and head coach Steve Kerr said earlier this month that "[Wiggins] fights right in" on the wing.

Wednesday's video provided a brief glimpse of how Wiggins is trying to reward their faith.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Why Klay Thompson thinks it's 'hard time to play' during NBA restart

Why Klay Thompson thinks it's 'hard time to play' during NBA restart

Klay Thompson said he can't blame any NBA players having trouble focusing on basketball right now.

The restarted season is occurring in a "bubble" at the Walt Disney World Resort amid a global pandemic that has killed nearly 170,000 Americans alone and within months of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor's deaths at the hands of police. The coronavirus' disparate impact on people of color, coupled with renewed attention on African Americans disproportionately dying in police custody, has laid bare the entrenched systemic inequalities within the United States. 

Around three-fourths of NBA players are Black, and Thompson said he empathizes with his peers on the 22 NBA teams still playing.

"Honestly, these last few months, it was like divine intervention happening for the world to see what is really going on to a lot of marginalized peoples in this country," Thompson told Brandon Williams in an interview for Bleacher Report. "So I feel for the players right now. It's a hard time to play."

Thompson marched in a protest against systemic racism organized by teammate Juan Toscano-Anderson back in June, and NBA players and coaches have maintained that focus in Orlando.

[RELATED: Steph, Dame deserve better than these ridiculous debates]

Players are mentioning Taylor in their pre- and post-game press conferences, calling for the officers involved in her death to be arrested. Gregg Popovich's media availability routinely serve as history lessons about American injustice. League-approved social-justice messages adorn the backs of players' jerseys. The NBA announced it's committing $300 million over the next decade to spur economic growth in Black communities.

This all is happening as the NBA seeks to complete its season and crown a champion, with teams resuming for the first time in months in pursuit of the sport's ultimate prize. That's a tall order on its own, and an even taller one for players and coaches using their platforms in an effort to enact meaningful, systemic change.

It's understandable they're doing so with heavy hearts.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]