Who Has The Most Personal Fouls In NBA History?

Who Has The Most Personal Fouls In NBA History? Photo by Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Most Personal Fouls In NBA History

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There are 13 players in NBA history with 4,000 career personal fouls and half of those players are in the Hall of Fame. A lot of this list has to do with longevity, as you play long enough and numbers are going to increase. However, some of these players were quite physical and weren’t going to allow easy buckets. It’s how the game was played back in the day. Get Free NBA Picks and NBA Predictions for every game all season long at Sports Chat Place. 

Here are the players with the most personal fouls in NBA history.

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1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 4,657 personal fouls - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is at the top of the list in a lot of NBA stats and personal fouls are no different. While never leading the league in personal fouls, Abdul-Jabbar played 20 seasons and had no less than 182 fouls each of those years. Abdul-Jabbar is second all-time in Los Angeles Lakers history with 3,224 personal fouls.

2. Karl Malone, 4,578 personal fouls - Karl Malone played 19 years and had 250-plus personal fouls in nine of those seasons. Heck, Malone had 295 personal fouls as a rookie in 81 games. Malone is first all-time in Utah Jazz history with 4,462 personal fouls.

3. Robert Parish, 4,443 personal fouls - Robert Parish topped 300 personal fouls in a single season twice in his career and averaged four fouls a game in 1978-79 with the Golden State Warriors. Parish simply wasn’t allowing any easy buckets.

4. Charles Oakley, 4,421 personal fouls - Charles Oakley had 12 seasons of at least 250 personal fouls and he had 565 fouls in his first 159 games played. Oakley is an old school player with a physical mindset, and his 2,577 personal fouls is second all-time in New York Knicks history. 

5. Hakeem Olajuwon, 4,383 personal fouls - Hakeem Olajuwon had four seasons where he averaged at least four fouls per game, and he led the league with 344 personal fouls as a rookie. Olajuwon and his 4,236 fouls is a Houston Rockets franchise record.

6. Buck Williams, 4,267 personal fouls - Buck Williams played 17 seasons and had 15 of those seasons with 200-plus fouls. Williams and his 2,244 personal fouls is first all-time in New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets history.

7. Elvin Hayes, 4,193 personal fouls - Elvin Hayes played 16 seasons in the league and had less than 225 personal fouls just once. Hayes had a four-year stretch of at least 300 fouls and his 2,557 personal fouls is second in Washington Wizards history.

8. Clifford Robinson, 4,175 personal fouls - Clifford Robinson had 15 seasons of at least 206 personal fouls and he had a 13-year stretch where he averaged at least three fouls per game. 

9. Kevin Willis, 4,172 personal fouls - Kevin Willis has one of the longer NBA careers that spans from 1984 with the Atlanta Hawks to 2007 with the Dallas Mavericks. While topping 200 personal fouls in most of those seasons, the longevity of Willis’ career puts him on this list.

10. Otis Thorpe, 4,146 personal fouls - Otis Thorpe led the league once in personal fouls and had a different season where he averaged four fouls per game. His first three seasons, Thorpe racked up 781 personal fouls.

10. Shaquille O'Neal, 4,146 personal fouls - Shaquille O'Neal averaged four fouls per game his rookie year and had seven seasons of 250-plus personal fouls. Even with some shorter seasons, Shaq produced at least 120 fouls every year of his NBA career. 

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.