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What is Rebound? And top 5 all-time rebound leaders in NBA

A rebound is when a player gets the ball after it misses the hoop, hits off the backboard, or bounces off the rim. Check out here the types of rebound and top 5 all time rebound leaders in the NBA.

Last updated: 15.05.2022
What is Rebound and top 5 all-time rebound leaders in NBA

Not every shot in a basketball game goes into the hoop, which creates a rebound opportunity. A rebound is when a player gets the ball after it misses the hoop, hits off the backboard, or bounces off the rim. Two types of rebounds can occur in a game, offensive and defensive.

Basketball rebounding is often considered as a second chance to shoot the ball into the basketball hoop. On the flip side, recovering the ball after someone misses the shot can now give your team possession of the ball on offense. Not every shot during a basketball game will go into the hoop, which is where rebound importance comes in for a basketball team. Having one of your players get a rebound can keep or control your team’s possession, which proves to be a vital point for winning the game.

Offensive Rebound

An offensive rebound occurs when the team shoots the ball, and one of the other teammates gets the rebound through a missed shot. The player can either perform a layup to score the easy basket, dunk it into the hoop, or pass the ball out to a teammate from the offensive rebound.  

Getting an offensive rebound is critical during a basketball game when one team is up with little time left on the clock. The team that is up in score wants to take time off the clock, so getting the rebound on a shot that hits the rim resets the shot clock. However, if the ball only hits the backboard or is an airball, the shot clock keeps running and doesn’t reset.

Defensive Rebound

A defensive rebound occurs when the defending team gets the ball from an offenses’ missed shot. Once they get the ball, they are now the team on offense.

Getting defensive rebounds is critical when your team is upto  score towards the end of the game. If the offensive team takes a shot and your squad gets the ball from the rebound, you can take time off the clock with dribbling, passing, and overall good ball handling. Usually, towards the end of the game, the defensive team will then foul you to stop the clock if you got a defensive rebound with only a minute or so left in time.Defensive rebounds can create fast-break opportunities for your team. 

Top 5 rebound leaders of all-time

1. Wilt Chamberlain - 23,924 rebounds


Wilt Chamberlain is an NBA legend who played for the Warriors, 76ers, and the Lakers during his career. He holds the records for most rebounds in a single game (55) and most rebounds in NBA history (23,924).

2. Bill Russell - 21,620 rebounds


Bill Russell was probably the league's first premier big man in terms of turning defense into an art and ultimately winning the basketball. Along the way, Russell tallied impressive rebounding numbers, which seem impossible in today's NBA. The 11-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics grabbed 21,620 rebounds in 963 games and averaged 22.5 points per game (second-highest in league history) in his storied career.



3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 17,440 rebounds


Abdul-Jabbar was mostly known for his scoring and holds the all-time record of six MVP awards; he has also scored the most points in NBA history.

He did his job to perfection on the basketball court. The six-time NBA champion dominated the glass, protected the rim and was an efficient defender in his best days. He grabbed the third-most rebounds in league history and led the league once on boards.


4. Elvin Hayes - 16,279 rebounds


Elvin Hayes was another great big man who had his prime during the 1970s. Hayes won the NBA championship with the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) in 1978 and arguably deserved the Finals MVP award ahead of his teammate Wes Unseld that year. Hayes was a great rebounder, and he led the league in rebounding twice.



5. Moses Malone - 16,212 rebounds


Malone had an impressive NBA career and is widely regarded as one of the greatest big men in league history. Not only did he win three NBA MVP awards, but he is also the only player in NBA history to win the award in consecutive years with two different franchises. An NBA champion in 1983 with the Philadelphia 76ers, Malone led the league six times in rebounding.


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