The 20 All Time NBA Rebound Leaders

All Time NBA Rebound Leaders: Basketball is a tough sport where players need various skills like being fast, agile, and good at shooting. But one really important skill for basketball players is rebounding. Rebounding means getting the ball after someone tries to score and misses. It’s super important for both attacking and defending in the game. In the history of the NBA, there have been lots of players who were really good at rebounding, and they made a big impact on the game with how well they controlled the boards.

The 20 Greatest Rebounders in Basketball

Today, let’s check out some of the top NBA players in rebounding and see what made them so good at it.

1. Wilt Chamberlain

  • Team(s): Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors (1959–1965), Philadelphia 76ers (1965–1968), Los Angeles Lakers (1968–1973)
  • Total Rebounds: 23,924
  • Games Played: 1,045
  • Average: 22.9

Wilt Chamberlain, standing at an imposing 7 feet 1 inch, tops the All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders list. Renowned as one of basketball’s greatest players, he played center for 14 seasons and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
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Chamberlain, known for his dominance, holds an impressive 72 NBA records, including being the only player to score 100 points in a single game and achieving an astounding 55 rebounds in another. His career spanned several teams, with notable rivalries against Bill Russell and championships with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers.

Chamberlain’s impact extended beyond the court, as he briefly played volleyball and even took on a role as a villain in a movie. His personal life, marked by his claim of having relationships with 20,000 women and his lifelong bachelor status, added to his legendary status. Nicknamed “The Big Dipper,” he revolutionized the game with signature moves like the “dipper dunk” and introduced new techniques such as the fadeaway jump shot and finger roll. Chamberlain’s legacy endures through his numerous accolades, records, and transformative influence on basketball.

2. Bill Russell

  • Team(s): Boston Celtics (1956–1969)
  • Total Rebounds: 21,620
  • Games Played: 963
  • Average: 22.5

Bill Russell, ranked 2nd in the All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders list, was a key figure in the Boston Celtics’ dynasty, winning 11 NBA championships in his 13-year career. Standing at 6 feet 10 inches tall, with an impressive 7 feet 4 inches arm span, Russell’s defensive prowess, shot-blocking, and leadership made him one of the greatest basketball players. He led the University of San Francisco to consecutive NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956 and captained the U.S. national basketball team to a gold medal in Summer Olympics the in 1956.

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Drafted by the St. Louis Hawks in 1956 but traded to the Celtics, Russell became their starting center and defensive anchor, leading them to numerous championships. He was a five-time MVP (NBA Most Valuable Player) and a 12-time NBA All-Star. Russell’s rebounding skills were outstanding, leading the NBA in rebounds four times and maintaining a streak of 12 consecutive seasons with 1,000 or more rebounds. Beyond his playing career, he broke barriers as the first black NBA coach, winning a championship in that role. Russell’s impact was recognized with inductions into multiple Halls of Fame and being honored on various NBA anniversary teams.

In his career, Russell secured a total of 21,620 rebounds in 963 matches, solidifying his place as one of the all-time greats in NBA history. After his passing in 2022, the NBA league-wide retired his #6 jersey, an unprecedented honor in the league’s history.

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

  • Team(s): Milwaukee Bucks (1969–1975), Los Angeles Lakers (1975–1989)
  • Total Rebounds: 17,440
  • Games Played: 1,560
  • Average: 11.2

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, ranked 3rd in the All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders list, had a remarkable career as a center, earning six NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards. A dominant force, he was a 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA Team member, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection. Abdul-Jabbar contributed to six NBA championship teams as a player and two more as an assistant coach, earning two NBA Finals MVP titles. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players in basketball history, he was hailed as the greatest by legends such as Pat Riley, Isiah Thomas, and Julius Erving. Abdul-Jabbar held the NBA’s career scoring record until LeBron James surpassed it in 2023.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
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Beginning as Lew Alcindor at Power Memorial in New York, Abdul-Jabbar achieved success early, leading his high school team to 71 consecutive wins. His college years with the UCLA Bruins were marked by three consecutive national championships under coach John Wooden. Drafted first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969, he propelled them to an NBA championship in his second season. After joining the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975, Abdul-Jabbar played a crucial role in five more championships during the Showtime era.

Upon retirement in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar left an indelible mark on the NBA, holding records for points, games played, and more. Recognized as the greatest center in 2007 and the second-best NBA player in 2016 by ESPN, he also ventured into acting, coaching, writing, and martial arts. His total of 17,440 rebounds in 1,560 matches solidifies his legacy as one of the game’s enduring legends.

4. Elvin Hayes

  • Team(s): San Diego/Houston Rockets (1968–1972, 1981–1984), Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets (1972–1981)
  • Total Rebounds: 16,279
  • Games Played: 1,303
  • Average: 12.5

Elvin Hayes, ranked 4th in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, earned the nickname “the Big E” during his career. As an American former professional basketball player, he showcased both offensive and defensive prowess, establishing himself as one of the premier power forwards in NBA history.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
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Hayes, known for his exceptional longevity, holds the impressive record of being third all-time in NBA minutes played, logging exactly 50,000 minutes over his 16-season career. His durability was evident, missing only nine games during this extensive playing tenure.

Beyond his on-court achievements, Hayes is a member of the NBA’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams, solidifying his status among the league’s all-time greats. His contributions earned him a well-deserved spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Over the course of his remarkable career, Hayes amassed a total of 16,279 rebounds in 1,303 matches, underscoring his impact as a dominant force on the basketball court.

5. Moses Malone

  • Team(s): Buffalo Braves (1976), Houston Rockets (1976–1982), Philadelphia 76ers (1982–1986, 1993–1994), Washington Bullets (1986–1988), Atlanta Hawks (1988–1991), Milwaukee Bucks (1991–1993), San Antonio Spurs (1994–1995)
  • Total Rebounds: 16,212
  • Games Played: 1,329
  • Average: 12.2

Moses Malone, holding the 5th spot in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, had an impressive career spanning both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1974 to 1995. As a dominant center, he secured three NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, was a 12-time NBA All-Star, and earned eight All-NBA Team selections. Malone notably led the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA championship in 1983, claiming both the league and Finals MVP titles. His contributions to the sport earned him induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001, solidifying his place among the basketball greats.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
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Malone’s professional journey began straight out of high school when he was selected in the third round of the 1974 ABA draft by the Utah Stars. After a successful start in the ABA, he transitioned to the NBA, showcasing his skills with teams like the Buffalo Braves and the Houston Rockets. Malone’s impact was evident as he led the league in rebounding six times, earning the nickname “Chairman of the Boards.” His physical style and tireless efforts made him a force on the court. Combining ABA and NBA statistics, Malone ranks ninth in career points and third in total rebounds. His legacy extends to being named to the ABA All-Time Team, NBA’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams, underlining his lasting impact on the game.

Throughout his extensive career, Malone accumulated a total of 16,212 rebounds in 1,329 matches, showcasing his remarkable consistency and dominance in the realm of rebounding.

6. Tim Duncan

  • Team(s): San Antonio Spurs (1997–2016)
  • Total Rebounds: 15,091
  • Games Played: 1,392
  • Average: 10.8

Tim Duncan, holding the 6th position in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, is widely regarded as the greatest power forward of all time. Spending his entire illustrious 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs, he earned the nickname “the Big Fundamental” for his exceptional skills and fundamental approach to the game. Duncan was a central figure in the Spurs’ success during the 2000s and 2010s, contributing significantly to the franchise’s achievements. His impact on the sport was recognized with induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020 and inclusion in the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
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Hailing from Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Duncan initially aspired to be a competitive swimmer but turned to basketball after Hurricane Hugo disrupted his swimming plans. Excelling in high school and college at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal and Wake Forest Demon Deacons, respectively, Duncan’s skills set the stage for an outstanding NBA career. Selected as the first overall pick by the Spurs in 1997, he quickly became the NBA Rookie of the Year and went on to achieve numerous accolades, including five NBA championships, two MVP awards, and 15 NBA All-Star selections.

Off the court, Duncan’s impact extended beyond basketball through the establishment of the Tim Duncan Foundation, focused on health awareness, education, and youth sports programs. With a total of 15,091 rebounds in 1,392 matches, Duncan not only left a lasting legacy as an individual player but also played a pivotal role in the success and identity of the San Antonio Spurs franchise.

7. Karl Malone

  • Team(s): Utah Jazz (1985–2003), Los Angeles Lakers (2003–2004)
  • Total Rebounds: 14,968
  • Games Played: 1,476
  • Average: 10.1

Karl Malone, ranking 7th in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, is famously known as “the Mailman” and is considered one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history. Spending the first 18 of his 19 seasons (1985–2003) with the Utah Jazz, Malone formed a formidable duo with teammate John Stockton. A two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, 14-time NBA All-Star, and 11-time member of the All-NBA first team, Malone’s impact is underscored by his 36,928 career points, ranking third all-time behind LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He also holds records for most free throws made and attempted, along with most regular season games started.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
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Malone’s journey began at Louisiana Tech University, where he helped the Bulldogs make their first NCAA tournament appearance in 1984. Selected by the Utah Jazz in the 1985 NBA draft, Malone made playoff appearances in every season of his career, reaching the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. His final season saw him with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2004 Finals. A gold medalist in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics, Malone was honored on the NBA 50th Anniversary Team in 1996 and the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.

Post-NBA, Malone joined the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs basketball team staff in 2007 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. His career rebound total stands at 14,968 in 1,476 matches, solidifying his legacy as one of the NBA’s all-time greats.

8. Robert Parish

  • Team(s): Golden State Warriors (1976–1980), Boston Celtics (1980–1994), Charlotte Hornets (1994–1996), Chicago Bulls (1996–1997)
  • Total Rebounds: 14,715
  • Games Played: 1,611
  • Average: 9.1

Robert Parish, securing the 8th spot in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, stands as a 7’1″ center renowned for his impactful 21-season career from 1976 to 1997. A key figure in the Boston Celtics during his 14-year tenure, Parish formed a legendary front line with Hall-of-Famers Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, leading the team to three NBA championships as the iconic “Big Three.” Drafted multiple times during his college career at Centenary College, Parish eventually played four seasons with the Golden State Warriors before joining the Celtics in 1980 through a trade that included the selection of Kevin McHale.

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The “Big Three” went on to achieve considerable success, winning three NBA championships together. Parish’s career longevity is a testament to his durability, playing an NBA-record 1,611 games over 21 seasons, tied for the second-most in league history. Known for his robust defense, rebounding prowess, and a high-trajectory jump shot, Parish earned recognition as a nine-time NBA All-Star and a four-time NBA champion. His contributions were further acknowledged with inclusion in the NBA’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams. After leaving the Celtics in 1994, Parish played with the Charlotte Hornets and the Chicago Bulls, winning his final NBA championship in 1997.

The Celtics honored him by retiring his jersey in 1998, and he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. Over his career, Parish accumulated a total of 14,715 rebounds in 1,611 matches.

9. Kevin Garnett

  • Team(s): Minnesota Timberwolves (1995–2007, 2015–2016), Boston Celtics (2007–2013), Brooklyn Nets (2013–2015)
  • Total Rebounds: 14,662
  • Games Played: 1,462
  • Average: 10.0

Kevin Garnett, ranked 9th in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, had a distinguished 21-season career in the NBA, earning nicknames like “KG” and the “Big Ticket.” Renowned as one of the greatest power forwards, he displayed intensity, defensive prowess, and versatility.

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Garnett achieved a rare feat by winning both the NBA Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year Awards. Starting as a 1995 McDonald’s All-American, he was drafted fifth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1995, making an immediate impact and leading them to eight consecutive playoff appearances.

In 2007, after 12 seasons with the Timberwolves, Garnett joined the Boston Celtics, contributing to their 2008 NBA Finals victory. His career included 15 All-Star Games, an All-Star MVP award, nine All-NBA Team selections, and 12 NBA All-Defensive Team honors. After stints with the Brooklyn Nets and a return to the Timberwolves, Garnett retired in 2016. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020 and named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021, his rebound total stands at 14,662 in 1,462 matches, solidifying his legacy as an NBA force.

10. Dwight Howard

  • Team(s): Orlando Magic (2004–2012), Los Angeles Lakers (2012–2013, 2019–2020, 2021–2022), Houston Rockets (2013–2016), Atlanta Hawks (2016–2017), Charlotte Hornets (2017–2018), Washington Wizards (2018–2019), Philadelphia 76ers (2020–2021)
  • Total Rebounds: 14,627
  • Games Played: 1,242
  • Average: 11.8

Dwight Howard, securing the 10th position in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, boasts a decorated career in the National Basketball Association (NBA). As a center, Howard’s journey began at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, bypassing college to enter the 2004 NBA draft, where he was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic. During his eight seasons with the Magic, Howard set numerous franchise and league records, leading the team to the 2009 NBA Finals.

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In 2012, Howard embarked on a journey that saw him play for various teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards, and the Philadelphia 76ers. Notably, he played three separate one-year stints with the Lakers, winning the NBA Finals in 2020. After a season with the Lakers in 2021–22, Howard ventured overseas, signing with the Taiwanese-based Leopards, where he earned recognition as a T1 All-Star in his first season.

Across his NBA career, Howard achieved remarkable milestones, including an NBA championship, eight All-Star selections, eight All-NBA Team honors, five All-Defensive Team memberships, and three Defensive Player of the Year awards. His rebound total stands at 14,627 in 1,242 matches, solidifying his place among the NBA’s all-time greats.

11. Nate Thurmond

  • Team(s): San Francisco/Golden State Warriors (1963–1974), Chicago Bulls (1974–1976), Cleveland Cavaliers (1976–1977)
  • Total Rebounds: 14,464
  • Games Played: 964
  • Average: 15.0

Nate Thurmond, securing the 11th spot in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, left an indelible mark as a center and power forward. A seven-time All-Star, Thurmond holds the distinction of being the first player in NBA history to achieve an official quadruple-double. In 1965, he notably grabbed 42 rebounds in a game, a feat surpassed only by Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell in NBA history.

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Thurmond’s contributions to the game were duly recognized, earning him a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985, inclusion in the prestigious 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, and a spot on the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.

Affectionately known as “Nate the Great,” his impact is immortalized with the retirement of his No. 42 jersey by both the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Over the course of his illustrious career, Thurmond secured a total of 14,464 rebounds in 964 matches, solidifying his legacy as one of the NBA’s revered figures.

12. Walt Bellamy

  • Team(s): Chicago Packers/Zephyrs/Baltimore Bullets (1961–1965), New York Knicks (1965–1968), Detroit Pistons (1968–1970), Atlanta Hawks (1970–1974), New Orleans Jazz (1974)
  • Total Rebounds: 14,241
  • Games Played: 1,043
  • Average: 13.7

Walt Bellamy, holding the 12th position in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, made a significant impact as a skilled player during his basketball career. Playing for the Indiana Hoosiers, he was part of the US team that secured victory in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. Bellamy’s professional journey began when he was selected as the No. 1 pick in the 1961 NBA Draft by the Chicago Packers.

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Known for his impressive stats, including 31.6 points and 19.0 rebounds per game in his rookie season, Bellamy quickly became a basketball sensation. Despite individual success, he faced challenges with financially struggling teams like the Packers and the Chicago Zephyrs. It was with the Baltimore Bullets that he experienced playoff success, reaching the semifinals. Bellamy later played for the New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks before concluding his career with the New Orleans Jazz at the age of 36.

Despite being recognized as a highly gifted player, Bellamy often found himself as the sole star of financially weak teams, impacting his ability to lead playoff series. Nevertheless, his contributions earned him a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993. Walt Bellamy passed away in November 2013 at the age of 74. In his career, he accumulated a total of 1,043 rebounds in 1,043 matches.

13. Wes Unseld

  • Team(s): Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets (1968–1981)
  • Total Rebounds: 13,769
  • Games Played: 984
  • Average: 14.0

Wes Unseld, ranked 13th in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, spent his entire NBA career with the Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets after being drafted second overall in 1968. Notably, he achieved both NBA Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year honors in his debut season, a feat matched only by Wilt Chamberlain.

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Unseld played a pivotal role in the Bullets’ success, winning an NBA championship in 1978 and earning the Finals MVP award. Following his playing career, he continued with the Bullets/Wizards in various roles.

Wes Unseld, recognized for his contributions, entered the Hall of Fame in 1988 and 2006 (Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, respectively). His impact extends to coaching, with his son, Wes Unseld Jr., currently leading the Washington Wizards. In his playing career, Unseld amassed a total of 13,769 rebounds in 984 matches, leaving an enduring legacy in basketball history.

14. Hakeem Olajuwon

  • Team(s): Houston Rockets (1984–2001), Toronto Raptors (2001–2002)
  • Total Rebounds: 13,748
  • Games Played: 1,238
  • Average: 11.1

Hakeem Olajuwon, 14th in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, achieved legendary status as one of the greatest centers and basketball players. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, he played college basketball at the University of Houston, reaching three Final Fours. Drafted first overall by the Houston Rockets in 1984, Olajuwon formed the “Twin Towers” with Ralph Sampson. After Sampson’s departure in 1988, Olajuwon emerged as the Rockets’ leader, leading the team to the 1986 NBA Finals and clinching back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
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Olajuwon’s accolades include induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2008) and the FIBA Hall of Fame (2016). He made history by becoming the first non-American to win NBA MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP in the 1993–94 season. Olajuwon’s Rockets swept the Orlando Magic in the 1995 NBA Finals. Notably, he was part of the 1996 Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. national basketball team and the prestigious NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.

Olajuwon retired as the league’s all-time blocks leader (3,830) and achieved a quadruple-double, leaving an enduring impact on the sport. In his career, Olajuwon secured a total of 13,748 rebounds in 1,238 matches.

15. Shaquille O’Neal

  • Team(s): Orlando Magic (1992–1996), Los Angeles Lakers (1996–2004), Miami Heat (2004–2008), Phoenix Suns (2008–2009), Cleveland Cavaliers (2009–2010), Boston Celtics (2010–2011)
  • Total Rebounds: 13,099
  • Games Played: 1,207
  • Average: 10.9

Shaquille O’Neal, 15th in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, stands out as a dominant 7-foot-1-inch center with a 19-year career across six NBA teams. Renowned for his prowess, O’Neal is a four-time NBA champion and considered one of the greatest players and centers in basketball history. After playing for the LSU Tigers, he was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic in the 1992 NBA draft, winning Rookie of the Year and leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. O’Neal’s remarkable journey continued with successful stints at the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics.

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O’Neal’s career boasts individual achievements such as the 1999–2000 MVP Award, three Finals MVP awards, and 15 All-Star Game selections. He ranks among the all-time greats in points, field goals, rebounds, and blocks. Earning honors like NBA 50th Anniversary Team (1996) and induction into the Hall of Fame in 2016, O’Neal’s impact transcends basketball.

Off the court, he’s a rap artist, electronic music producer (as DIESEL), actor, reality show star, podcast host, and a former NBA team owner and current esports general manager. In a remarkable career, O’Neal secured a total of 13,099 rebounds in 1,207 matches.

16. Buck Williams

  • Team(s): New Jersey Nets (1981–1989), Portland Trail Blazers (1989–1996), New York Knicks (1996–1998)
  • Total Rebounds: 13,017
  • Games Played: 1,307
  • Average: 10.0

Buck Williams, holding the 16th spot in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, was celebrated for his rebounding prowess and distinctive goggles. Standing at 6 feet 8 inches, this power forward from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, boasts a remarkable NBA career spanning 17 years.

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Williams’ achievements include three All-Star Game appearances, a Rookie of the Year award, All-Rookie team selection, and multiple All-NBA and All-Defensive team nods.

A key figure for the Nets throughout the 1980s, Williams earned lasting recognition as the franchise’s all-time leader in various categories. He maintains records for total rebounds, games played, minutes played, rebounds per game, and free throws made. Williams secured a total of 13,017 rebounds across 1,307 matches in his career.

17. Jerry Lucas

  • Team(s): Cincinnati Royals (1963–1969), San Francisco Warriors (1969–1971), New York Knicks (1971–1974)
  • Total Rebounds: 12,942
  • Games Played: 829
  • Average: 15.6

Jerry Lucas, secure the 17th position in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders list. His collegiate years with the Ohio State Buckeyes were marked by leading the team to three consecutive NCAA finals, winning the national championship in 1960 and finishing as the runner-up in 1961 and 1962. Lucas, a three-time Big Ten Basketball Player of the Year, received numerous accolades as the NCAA Player of the Year in 1961 and 1962 from various prestigious organizations.

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Transitioning to the professional arena, Lucas continued his stellar performance. He earned All-NBA First Team honors three times, All-NBA Second Team twice, and was selected as an NBA All-Star seven times, showcasing his consistent excellence. Recognized as the 1964 NBA Rookie of the Year, Lucas further solidified his legacy by being named the Most Valuable Player of the 1965 NBA All-Star Game.

In 1980, he was rightfully inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In his career, Lucas amassed a total of 12,942 rebounds across 829 matches.

18. Bob Pettit

  • Team(s): Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks (1954–1965)
  • Total Rebounds: 12,849
  • Games Played: 792
  • Average: 16.2

Bob Pettit, securing the 18th position in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, had a remarkable 11-season career, all with the Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks from 1954 to 1965. In 1956, he made history by becoming the inaugural recipient of the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award, and he claimed the prestigious accolade again in 1959. Pettit’s exceptional contributions were not only recognized in regular seasons but also in All-Star games, where he secured the NBA All-Star Game MVP award four times. Remarkably, as of the end of the 2022-2023 regular season, Pettit remains the sole regular season MVP in the history of the Hawks.

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A trailblazer on the court, Pettit was the first NBA player to surpass 20,000 points, solidifying his status as a scoring powerhouse. His impact was immortalized with his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1970.

Pettit’s legacy extends to being one of only four players named to all four NBA anniversary teams, a testament to his enduring influence on the game. He stands alongside just one other living member, Bob Cousy. Widely regarded as one of the greatest power forwards of all time, Pettit accumulated a total of 12,849 rebounds in 792 matches throughout his career.

19. Charles Barkley

  • Team(s): Philadelphia 76ers (1984–1992), Phoenix Suns (1992–1996), Houston Rockets (1996–2000)
  • Total Rebounds: 12,546
  • Games Played: 1,073
  • Average: 11.7

Charles Barkley, ranking 19th in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, enjoyed a 16-season NBA career with three teams. Nicknamed “Sir Charles” and “the Round Mound of Rebound,” Barkley, despite being shorter for a power forward, stood out as one of the league’s dominant rebounders, known for his strength and aggressiveness. A versatile player, he excelled in scoring, playmaking, and defense.

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Drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1984, Barkley earned NBA All-Rookie First Team honors in his debut season and led the league in rebounding during 1986–87. With 11 NBA All-Star appearances, 11 All-NBA Team selections, and the 1993 MVP award, Barkley’s impact extended beyond individual achievements. He contributed to two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. national team in 1992 and 1996.

Retiring in 2000, Barkley joined the exclusive group of players with 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 4,000 assists. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006 for his individual career and in 2010 as part of the “Dream Team,” Barkley transitioned to a successful post-playing career. As a TNT analyst on “Inside the NBA,” he shared insights with charisma. Recognized for his contributions on and off the court, Barkley’s career spanned 12,546 rebounds across 1,073 matches.

20. Dikembe Mutombo

  • Team(s): Denver Nuggets (1991–1996), Atlanta Hawks (1996–2001), Philadelphia 76ers (2001–2002), New Jersey Nets (2002–2003), New York Knicks (2003–2004), Houston Rockets (2004–2009)
  • Total Rebounds: 12,359
  • Games Played: 1,196
  • Average: 10.3

Dikembe Mutombo, ranking 20th in All-Time NBA Rebound Leaders, is a 7-foot-2-inch center renowned for his defensive prowess. Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he moved to the U.S. at 21 to play college basketball for the Georgetown Hoyas. Drafted fourth overall by the Denver Nuggets in 1991, Mutombo played for six NBA teams.

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A dominant shot-blocker and defensive force, Mutombo earned the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times. Throughout his career, he led the league in blocked shots three times, rebounding twice, and made eight All-Star appearances. Mutombo reached the NBA Finals with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2001 and the New Jersey Nets in 2003.

Retiring in 2009, Mutombo’s impact is immortalized with his jersey number 55 retired by both the Denver Nuggets and the Atlanta Hawks. Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015, he concluded his remarkable career with a total of 12,359 rebounds in 1,196 matches.

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