NBA Personal Fouls, Record and Leaders

Who has the record for personal fouls in the NBA? Check out the Records and Leaders all-time, single season and single game

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Even basketball, as a contact sport, makes the foul a fundamental gesture through which it is possible to apply various strategies: the most common is often applied in the most tense matches and consists in committing a foul to send the opponents to the free throw hoping in their mistake (for further information: ranking best free throw shooters).

Even if the fouls in basketball are less spectacular and decisive than in other sports, it is possible to trace records for this stat: let’s find out who holds the record for fouls committed in career, per game and per single season.

Most Fouls All-Time

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record for personal fouls in carreer as he committed 4,657 fouls. Kareem, however, performed this record in 1,560 games (he is the player with the most minutes in his career), with an average of 3.0 fouls per game.

Most Fouls in a Season

The record for fouls in a single season belongs to Darryl Dawkins who closed the 1983/84 regular season with 386 fouls.

Darryl played a total of 14 seasons in the 70s/80s for 4 teams and ended his career with an average of 12.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 3.8 fouls in 726 games.

Most Fouls per Game

During his career George Mikan commited an average of 4.2 fouls per game becoming the player with the most fouls per game (considering only players with at least 400 NBA appearances).

George Mikan was a center who played 7 seasons for the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1950s, ending his career with 23.1 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 439 regular season games. He was also selected to play in 4 All-Star Games and entered the Hall of Fame in 1959.

Most Fouls in a Single Game

Cal Bowdler is the only player to commit 7 personal fouls during an NBA game. This happened because the scorekeeper didn’t realize the situation until after the game was over.

NBA All-Time Fouls Leaders

RankPlayerGamesFoulsFouls per game
1Kareem Abdul-Jabbar1.5604.6573,0
2Karl Malone1.4764.5783,1
3Robert Parish1.6114.4432,8
4Charles Oakley1.2824.4213,4
5Hakeem Olajuwon1.2384.3833,5
6Buck Williams1.3074.2673,3
7Elvin Hayes1.3034.1933,2
8Clifford Robinson1.3804.1753,0
9Kevin Willis1.4244.1722,9
10Shaquille O’Neal1.2074.1463,4
Otis Thorpe1.2574.1463,3
12James Edwards1.1684.0423,5
13Patrick Ewing1.1834.0343,4
14Vince Carter1.5413.9952,6
15John Stockton1.5043.9422,6
16Jack Sikma1.1073.8793,5
17Hal Greer1.1223.8553,4
18Terry Cummings1.1833.8363,2
19Shawn Kemp1.0513.8263,6
20Tom Chambers1.1073.7423,4

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