In NBA history, only six players have reached the 15,000 rebound mark, with Tim Duncan being the last member of the exclusive club. However, an active player is perfectly placed to join the 15,000-rebound club, and he could do so as early as the 2021-22 NBA season.
Achieving 15,000 career rebounds in the NBA is no small feat. Even the great Shaquille O’Neal, one of the most dominant players in painting, has only managed just over 13,000 in his career. Despite his failure to reach 15,000, Shaq is ranked 15th in the all-time standings.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell and Moses Malone are among the legends of the NBA who have achieved 15,000 rebounds in their careers. But the all-time rebound leader is Wilt Chamberlain, who has recorded 23,924 rebounds in 14 years of play.
Who could hit the 15,000+ rebounds in the 2021-22 NBA season?
Dwight Howard is the only active player closest to reaching 15,000 career rebounds. While it will take work, Superman may become the 7th player in NBA history to record 15,000 career points.
The LA Lakers big man has been efficient at cleaning the glass, totaling 14,271 rebounds so far, and is ranked 11th in the all-time rebound standings. He is the only active NBA player in the top 40, with teammates DeAndre Jordan and LeBron James ranked 41st and 42nd with 9,878 and 9,751 rebounds, respectively.
Reaching 15,000 points will mean Howard will need to grab at least 729 rebounds during the 2021-22 NBA season. With the league returning to its regular 82-game schedule, that certainly seems achievable.
In his prime, Dwight led the league in total rebounds since his sophomore year for five consecutive seasons, registering more than 1,000 rebounds each year. The last time he recorded over 1,000 rebounds was during his one-year stint with the Charlotte Hornets. Coincidentally, this was the last time Howard was listed as a starter.
Howard’s last two seasons have seen him register over 500 rebounds strictly as a rotational player. To have a decent chance of hitting 15,000 rebounds, he’ll need to get the green light for the starting role ahead of Jordan, which is unlikely.
Either way, the 2021-22 NBA season is an opportunity for Howard to become the seventh player in NBA history to win over 15,000 rebounds. According to the numbers, this list will remain exclusive for some time, as no other active NBA player is close to reaching that mark.