What are some examples of stats padding in NBA history?

I’d consider stat padders guys who put up a lot of points or rebounds or assists but ultimately don’t really help their team to win i.e they cannot make the playoffs or get past the first round in their primes as the main player.

Here’s some examples:

-Some might call Wilt Chamberlain a stat padder. Some have called him a ball hog or ‘stat chaser’. Wilt was obsessed with records. For some reason he had a strange obsession with never fouling out, so if he came close to fouling out, he would play less aggressive and away from the basket. He was also accused of ‘padding’ his assist numbers the season he won the assist title ie. sometimes there would be an open basket for him but he would pass to his teammate instead to get the assist.

Pistol Pete Maravich I’d consider a prominent stat padder. He would always put up a lot of points, have some flashy passes here and there, but he was never an efficient shooter and he never got past the first round. Keep in mind he was playing with HoFers Lou Hudson, Walt Bellamy, Gail Goodrich and all-star Truck Robinson. Despite that he never made it past the first round until he became a bench player for the Celtics.

-Dave Bing and Lou Hudson just like Pistol Pete they loved to score, and a lot of people who watched them play swear they were amazing players but.. they never got past the first round. Is it they had a bad team? Bing had Bob Lanier and Hudson had Pistol and Bellamy. I’m just saying. This was in the 1970s too, where a lot of talent in the ABA. Why couldn’t Pistol, Bing and Hudson get past the first round at least if they were so great?

Jerry Lucas a few critics have accused Lucas of padding his ridiculous rebounding numbers.


In Tall Tales, Lucas was said to box out his own teammates for rebounds. It’s also worthy to note that Lucas didn’t win very much despite being paired with one of the greatest players ever in Oscar Robertson on the Royals. It wasn’t until he joined the Knicks as a bench player did he start winning anything.

-I dont’ consider Adrian Dantley a stat padder but a few people do since they accuse him of being a selfish player. However, Dantley proved that he could be instrumental to winning as the main scorer on the 1988 Pistons, a team which went all the way to the Finals (and came within a ‘phantom foul’ of winning everything actually)

-There were a lot of score first guys who were kinda one dimensional in the 80s but Kiki Vandeweghe comes to mind as one of them. Just a scorer and literally not much else. One of the worst defenders ever too.

Jason Williams another overrated flashy player. Made some flashy passes. Didn’t really do much for winning. He would take a lot of bad shots and he was a terrible shooter. Once he got traded for Mike Bibby, the Kings started making deep playoff runs right away.

-Shareef Abdul-Rahim one of the biggest ‘fake’ stars ever. He would put up 20 and 9 a game and the Grizzlies were atrocious. I think one season they won 8 games. Just 8. With this guy ‘leading’ the team.

-Tracy McGrady I think I’ve talked about him in a previous answer before, but yeah.. he would put up big numbers but never get anywhere. Yes it’s true his team wasn’t great in Orlando but to be swept by the Hornets? Cmon. And with the Rockets, they made their deepest playoff run in 2009 without Tmac which says alot. Tmac never got past the first round in his prime, and he would disappear in big moments and elimination games.

Carmelo Anthony kind of has a case but he did have a deep playoff run in 2009 once he got Chauncey Billups (underrated player FYI, Billups is like a poor man’s CP3 made every team he’s on better)

Russell Westbrook made deep playoff runs as the second best player but as the best player he never really got that far. There are stories of Westbrook padding out his rebounds and assists for that triple double he so famously chases.

Kobe Bryant sort of, Kobe’s an interesting case because while he was in his stat padding prime 2005–2007 Lakers never made it past the first round, but once he reeled in his scoring a bit, got Gasol on the team, they started making deep Finals runs.

-Chris Bosh guy would put up 20/10 a game on the Raptors and never get past the first round. This is the ‘weak’ East we’re talking about here. One of the most overrated players since Bron haters love to hype him up. With the Heat, he never had a great playoff game. He disappeared against post surgery KG and 38 year old Duncan would outplay him every time. Bosh was as soft as butter. He couldn’t bang against anyone. Without Bron carrying him to 2 rings, he wouldn’t be sniffing the Hall of Fame at all.

Kevin Love just like Bosh.. he never got anywhere without Lebron. He put up big numbers in Minnesota but never made the playoffs. Literally has never made the playoffs without Lebron.

Demarcus Cousins is what Kevin Love’s career would be without Lebron. 20/10 guy who never made the playoffs until he latched onto the Warriors championship team.

Demar Derozan the modern day Lou Hudson, loves to put up big numbers in the regular season. Come playoffs time, he’s nowhere to be found. Yes he’s at least made deeper playoff runs than Love or Bosh or Cousins but still.. just like T-mac and others when the big moments come he can’t step up to the occasion and his team gets blown out.


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