List of National Basketball Association season minutes leaders

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Wilt Chamberlain holds the seven highest season-leading minutes played averages and led the league nine times.

In basketball, minutes of game time during which a player is on the court are recorded. The minutes played statistics are recorded as far back as the 1951–52 season when statistics on minutes were first compiled by the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nine times the average leader has played fewer than 40 minutes per game and eight times the leader has played more than 46 minutes per game. Wilt Chamberlain has the seven highest leading totals, while Nate "Tiny" Archibald is the only other single-season leader to average over 46 minutes per game. In one season, Chamberlain averaged over 48 minutes per game (meaning that he rested fewer minutes during the season than he played in overtime during the season).

Chamberlain has led the league in minutes played per game nine times, followed by Allen Iverson (7) and Michael Finley (3) times. Twelve other players have led the league in minutes per game twice, eight of them in consecutive years. Chamberlain holds the record for consecutive titles with five, followed by Iverson with three (two times). Fifteen times a member of the San Francisco/Philadelphia/Golden State Warriors has led the league in average minutes. Nine full seasons and parts of another the average leader played for the Philadelphia 76ers. Seventeen seasons and parts of another the leader played for either the Philadelphia Warriors or the Philadelphia 76ers.

In 16 of the 61 seasons since the statistic has been kept, the minutes per game leader was not the total minutes played leader. Larry Bird and Iverson are the only multiple leaders in average who were surpassed in total minutes multiple times. Five of Iverson's seven times and both of Bird's times as the average leader they were surpassed in total minutes. Kevin Durant is the only player to lead the league in total minutes without finishing in the top three in average minutes during the same season. He is also the only player to never lead in average minutes, but lead in total minutes multiple times. The first four times and five of the first seven times that the leader in average did not lead in total minutes, he finished second in total minutes. However, the last six times that the average leader did not lead the league in total minutes, he was outside of the top 10 and the last nine times, he was outside of the top 5.

Key[edit]

^ Denotes player who is still active in the NBA
* Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player had been the
minutes leader up to and including that season
G Guard F Forward C Center

Minutes leaders[edit]

Allen Iverson led the league in average minutes seven times.
Michael Finley led the league in average minutes three times.
Season Player Position[a] Team Games
played
Total minutes Minutes per game[1] References
1951–52 Arizin, PaulPaul Arizin* F/G Philadelphia Warriors 66 2939 44.53 [2]
1952–53 Johnston, NeilNeil Johnston* C Philadelphia Warriors 70 3166 45.23 [3]
1953–54 Johnston, NeilNeil Johnston* (2) C Philadelphia Warriors 72 3296 45.78 [3]
1954–55 Arizin, PaulPaul Arizin* (2) F/G Philadelphia Warriors 72 2953 41.01 [2]
1955–56 George, JackJack George G Philadelphia Warriors 72 2840 39.44 [4]
1956–57 Schayes, DolphDolph Schayes* F/C Syracuse Nationals 72 2851 39.60 [5]
1957–58 Schayes, DolphDolph Schayes* (2) F/C Syracuse Nationals 72 2918 40.53 [5]
1958–59 Russell, BillBill Russell* C Boston Celtics 70 2979 42.56 [6]
1959–60 Chamberlain, WiltWilt Chamberlain*[b] C Philadelphia Warriors 72 3338 46.36 [9]
1960–61 Chamberlain, WiltWilt Chamberlain* (2) C Philadelphia Warriors 79 3773 47.76 [9]
1961–62 Chamberlain, WiltWilt Chamberlain* (3) C Philadelphia Warriors 80 3882 48.52 [9]
1962–63 Chamberlain, WiltWilt Chamberlain* (4) C San Francisco Warriors 80 3806 47.58 [9]
1963–64 Chamberlain, WiltWilt Chamberlain* (5) C San Francisco Warriors 80 3689 46.11 [9]
1964–65 Robertson, OscarOscar Robertson*[c] G/F Cincinnati Royals 75 3421 45.61 [11]
1965–66 Chamberlain, WiltWilt Chamberlain* (6) C Philadelphia 76ers 79 3737 47.30 [9]
1966–67 Chamberlain, WiltWilt Chamberlain* (7) C Philadelphia 76ers 81 3682 45.46 [9]
1967–68 Chamberlain, WiltWilt Chamberlain* (8) C Philadelphia 76ers 82 3836 46.78 [9]
1968–69 Chamberlain, WiltWilt Chamberlain* (9)[d] C Los Angeles Lakers 81 3669 45.30 [9]
1969–70 Hayes, ElvinElvin Hayes* F/C San Diego Rockets 82 3665 44.70 [12]
1970–71 Havlicek, JohnJohn Havlicek* F/G Boston Celtics 81 3678 45.41 [13]
1971–72 Havlicek, JohnJohn Havlicek* (2) F/G Boston Celtics 82 3698 45.10 [13]
1972–73 Archibald, Nate "Tiny"Nate "Tiny" Archibald* G Kansas City-Omaha Kings 80 3681 46.01 [14]
1973–74 Hayes, ElvinElvin Hayes* (2) F/C Capital Bullets 82 3665 44.47 [12]
1974–75 McAdoo, BobBob McAdoo* C/F Buffalo Braves 82 3539 43.16 [15]
1975–76 McAdoo, BobBob McAdoo* (2)[e] C/F Buffalo Braves 78 3328 42.67 [15]
1976–77 Maravich, PetePete Maravich*[f] G New Orleans Jazz 73 3041 41.66 [16]
1977–78 Robinson, TruckTruck Robinson F/C New Orleans Jazz 82 3638 44.37 [17]
1978–79 Malone, MosesMoses Malone* C/F Houston Rockets 82 3390 41.34 [18]
1979–80 Nixon, NormNorm Nixon G Los Angeles Lakers 82 3226 39.34 [19]
1980–81 Dantley, AdrianAdrian Dantley* F/C Utah Jazz 80 3417 42.71 [20]
1981–82 Malone, MosesMoses Malone* (2) C/F Houston Rockets 81 3398 41.95 [18]
1982–83 Tripucka, KellyKelly Tripucka[g] F/G Detroit Pistons 58 2252 38.83 [21]
1983–84 Ruland, JeffJeff Ruland C/F Washington Bullets 75 3082 41.09 [22]
1984–85 Bird, LarryLarry Bird*[h] F Boston Celtics 80 3161 39.51 [23]
1985–86 Cheeks, MauriceMaurice Cheeks G Philadelphia 76ers 82 3270 39.88 [24]
1986–87 Bird, LarryLarry Bird* (2)[i] F Boston Celtics 74 3005 40.61 [23]
1987–88 Jordan, MichaelMichael Jordan* G/F Chicago Bulls 82 3311 40.38 [25]
1988–89 Jordan, MichaelMichael Jordan* (2) G/F Chicago Bulls 81 3255 40.19 [25]
1989–90 McCray, RodneyRodney McCray F/G Sacramento Kings 82 3238 39.49 [26]
1990–91 Mullin, ChrisChris Mullin* F/G Golden State Warriors 82 3315 40.43 [27]
1991–92 Mullin, ChrisChris Mullin* (2) F/G Golden State Warriors 81 3346 41.31 [27]
1992–93 Johnson, LarryLarry Johnson F Charlotte Hornets 82 3323 40.52 [28]
1993–94 Sprewell, LatrellLatrell Sprewell G Golden State Warriors 82 3533 43.09 [29]
1994–95 Baker, VinVin Baker F Milwaukee Bucks 82 3361 40.99 [30]
1995–96 Mason, AnthonyAnthony Mason F New York Knicks 82 3457 42.16 [31]
1996–97 Mason, AnthonyAnthony Mason (2)[j] F Charlotte Hornets 73 3143 43.05 [31]
1997–98 Finley, MichaelMichael Finley G/F Dallas Mavericks 82 3394 41.39 [32]
1998–99[k] Iverson, AllenAllen Iverson[l] G Philadelphia 76ers 48 1990 41.46 [34]
1999–00 Finley, MichaelMichael Finley (2) G/F Dallas Mavericks 82 3464 42.24 [32]
2000–01 Finley, MichaelMichael Finley (3) G/F Dallas Mavericks 82 3443 41.99 [32]
2001–02 Iverson, AllenAllen Iverson (2)[m] G Philadelphia 76ers 60 2622 43.70 [34]
2002–03 Iverson, AllenAllen Iverson (3) G Philadelphia 76ers 82 3485 42.50 [34]
2003–04 Iverson, AllenAllen Iverson (4)[n] G Philadelphia 76ers 48 2040 42.50 [34]
2004–05 James, LeBronLeBron James^ F/G Cleveland Cavaliers 80 3388 42.35 [35]
2005–06 Iverson, AllenAllen Iverson (5)[o] G Philadelphia 76ers 72 3103 43.10 [34]
2006–07 Iverson, AllenAllen Iverson (6)[p] G Philadelphia 76ers/Denver Nuggets 65 2761 42.48 [34]
2007–08 Iverson, AllenAllen Iverson (7) G Denver Nuggets 82 3424 41.76 [34]
2008–09 Iguodala, AndreAndre Iguodala^ G/F Philadelphia 76ers 82 3269 39.87 [36]
2009–10 Ellis, MontaMonta Ellis^[q] G Golden State Warriors 64 2647 41.36 [37]
2010–11 Ellis, MontaMonta Ellis^ (2) G Golden State Warriors 80 3227 40.34 [37]
2011–12[r] Deng, LuolLuol Deng^[s] F Chicago Bulls 54 2129 39.43 [39]
2012–13 Deng, LuolLuol Deng^ (2)[t] F Chicago Bulls 75 2903 38.71 [39]
2013–14 Anthony, CarmeloCarmelo Anthony^ F New York Knicks 77 2982 38.73 [40]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The player's primary position is listed first.
  2. ^ In the 1959–60 season, Gene Shue tied Chamberlain for the highest minute total (3338)[7] but was second in minute average (44.51).[8]
  3. ^ In the 1964–65 season, Bill Russell had the highest minute total (3466)[7] but was third in minute average (44.44) behind Robertson and Chamberlain (45.22).[8] Robertson was second in total minutes (3421).[10]
  4. ^ In the 1968–69 season, Elvin Hayes had the highest minute total (3695)[7] but was third in minute average (45.06) behind Chamberlain and Nate Thurmond (45.18).[8] Chamberlain was second in total minutes (3669).[10]
  5. ^ In the 1975–76 season, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had the highest minute total (3379)[7] but was second in minute average (41.21).[8] McAdoo was second in total minutes (3328).[10]
  6. ^ In the 1976–77 season, Elvin Hayes had the highest minute total (3364)[7] but was second in minute average (41.02).[8] Maravich was seventh in total minutes (3041) behind Hayes, Jo Jo White (3333), Rudy Tomjanovich (3130), Billy Knight (3117), Norm Van Lier (3097) and Randy Smith (3094).[10]
  7. ^ In the 1982–83 season, Isiah Thomas had the highest minute total (3093)[7] but was second in minute average (38.19).[8] Tripucka was not among the top ten in total minutes.[10]
  8. ^ In the 1984–85 season, Buck Williams had the highest minute total (3182)[7] but was third in minute average (38.80) behind Bird and Purvis Short (39.50).[8] Bird was second in total minutes (3161).[10]
  9. ^ In the 1986–87 season, Michael Jordan had the highest minute total (3281)[7] but was third in minute average (40.01) behind Bird and Charles Barkley (40.29).[8] Bird was not among the top ten in total minutes.[10]
  10. ^ In the 1996–97 season, Glen Rice had the highest minute total (3362)[7] but was second in minute average (42.56).[8] Mason was not among the top ten in total minutes.[10]
  11. ^ The 1998–99 season was shortened to 50 games due to the league's lockout.[33]
  12. ^ In the 1998–99 season, Jason Kidd had the highest minute total (2060)[7] but was second in minute average (41.20).[8] Iverson (1990) was sixth in total minutes behind Kidd, Michael Finley (2051), Shareef Abdur-Rahim (2021), Scottie Pippen (2011) and Gary Payton (2008).[10]
  13. ^ In the 2001–02 season, Antoine Walker had the highest minute total (3406)[7] but was third in minute average (42.05) behind Iverson and Cuttino Mobley (42.11).[8] Iverson was not among the top ten in total minutes.[10]
  14. ^ In the 2003–04 season, Joe Johnson had the highest minute total (3331)[7] but was third in minute average (40.62) behind Iverson and Shawn Marion (40.72).[8] Iverson was not among the top ten in total minutes.[10]
  15. ^ In the 2005–06 season, Gilbert Arenas had the highest minute total (3384)[7] but was third in minute average (42.30) behind Iverson and LeBron James (42.54).[8] Iverson was not among the top ten in total minutes.[10]
  16. ^ In the 2006–07 season, LeBron James had the highest minute total (3190)[7] but was third in minute average (40.90) behind Iverson and Joe Johnson (41.39).[8] Iverson was not among the top ten in total minutes.[10]
  17. ^ In the 2009–10 season, Kevin Durant had the highest minute total (3239)[7] but was fourth in minute average (39.50) behind Ellis, Gerald Wallace (41.04) and Rudy Gay (39.69).[8] Ellis was not among the top ten in total minutes.[10]
  18. ^ The 2011–12 season was shortened to 66 games due to the league's lockout.[38]
  19. ^ In the 2011–12 season, Kevin Durant had the highest minute total (2546)[7] but was third in minute average (38.58) behind Deng and Kevin Love (39.00).[8] Deng was not among the top ten in total minutes.[10]
  20. ^ In the 2012–13 season, Damian Lillard had the highest minute total (3166)[7] but was third in minute average (38.61) behind Deng and Kobe Bryant (38.63).[8] Deng was not among the top ten in total minutes.[10]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "NBA & ABA Yearly Leaders and Records for Minutes Per Game". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Paul Arizin". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Neil Johnston". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Jack George". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Dolph Schayes". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Bill Russell". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "NBA & ABA Yearly Leaders and Records for Minutes Played". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "NBA & ABA Yearly Top 10 Leaders and Records for Minutes Per Game". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Wilt Chamberlain". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "NBA & ABA Yearly Top 10 Leaders and Records for Minutes Played". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Oscar Robertson". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Elvin Hayes". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "John Havlicek". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Tiny Archibald". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "Bob McAdoo". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Pete Maravich". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Truck Robinson". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Moses Malone". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Norm Nixon". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Adrian Dantley". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Kelly Tripucka". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Jeff Ruland". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  23. ^ a b "Larry Bird". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Maurice Cheeks". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ a b "Michael Jordan". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Rodney McCray". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  27. ^ a b "Chris Mullin". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Larry Johnson". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Latrell Sprewell". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Vin Baker". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  31. ^ a b "Anthony Mason". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b c "Michael Finley". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  33. ^ Beck, Howard (February 14, 2009). "N.B.A. and Union Are Discussing New Labor Deal". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  34. ^ a b c d e f g "Allen Iverson". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  35. ^ "LeBron James". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Andre Iguodala". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  37. ^ a b "Monta Ellis". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  38. ^ Beck, Howard (November 28, 2011). "Two Exhibition Games for N.B.A. Teams". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  39. ^ a b "Luol Deng". Basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  40. ^ http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/player/_/stat/minutes