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The Best Passing Big Men (Centers) in NBA History: Most Career Assists Per Game

Another Title For Wilt Chamberlain: He's The Best Passing Center Of All Time

Another Title For Wilt Chamberlain: He’s The Best Passing Center Of All Time

Active big men Marc Gasol, Joakim Noah and Al Horford rank amongst the very top centers in NBA history in recording assists, ranging from 2.7 – 3.0 APG.

Far away at the top sit three centers who managed the Herculean effort of more than four assists a game…Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Alvan Adams.

Yeah, centers don’t really pass that much. Those numbers all look small, but they’re a big feat. Only 54 big men ever had APG’s of 2.0 or more.

No, really. Check out my source, basketball-reference, to see who they are.

CENTER ASSISTS PER GAME CAREER SPAN TEAM(S)
1. Wilt Chamberlain 4.4 1959-60 thru 1972-73 Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers
2. Bill Russell 4.3 1956-57 thru 1968-69 Boston Celtics
3. Alvan Adams 4.1 1975-76 thru 1987-88 Phoenix Suns
4. Wes Unseld 3.9 1968-69 thru 1980-81 Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets
5. Dave Cowens 3.8 1970-71 thru 1982-83 Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks
6. Brad Daugherty 3.7 1986-87 thru 1993-94 Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Sam Lacey 3.7 1970-71 thru 1982-83 Cincinnati Royals, Kansas City/Kansas City-Omaha Kings, New Jersey Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers
8. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 3.6 1969-70 thru 1988-89 Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers
9. Bill Walton 3.4 1974-75 thru 1986-87 Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics
10. Tom Boerwinkle 3.2 1968-69 thru 1977-78 Chicago Bulls
10. Ed Macauley 3.2 1949-50 thru 1958-59 St. Louis Bombers, Boston Celtics, St. Louis Hawks
10. Jack Sikma 3.2 1977-78 thru 1990-91 Seattle SuperSonics, Milwaukee Bucks
13. Vlade Divac 3.1 1989-90 thru 2004-05 Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings
13. Bob Lanier 3.1 1970-71 thru 1983-84 Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks
15. Marc Gasol 3.0 2008-09 thru Present Memphis Grizzlies
15. Jeff Ruland 3.0 1981-82 thru 1992-93 Washington Bullets, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons
17. George Mikan 2.8 1948-49 thru 1955-56 Minneapolis Lakers
17. Brad Miller 2.8 1998-99 thru 2011-12 Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves
17. Joakim Noah 2.8 2007-08 thru Present Chicago Bulls
20. Al Horford 2.7 2007-08 thru Present Atlanta Hawks
20. Nate Thurmond 2.7 1963-63 thru 1976-77 San Francisco/Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers

Photo: therichest.com

NASCAR: Drivers with the Most Daytona 500 Pole Postions

Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker And Bill Elliott Sat Took The Daytona 500 Pole Four Times

Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker And Bill Elliott Took The Daytona 500 Pole Four Times

The Daytona 500 gives and takes when it comes to legendary drivers. In Dale Earnhardt‘s case, things went tragic after late successes.

Earnhardt struggled with the opening track, winning just one pole, in the 18th of 23 straight tries, and finally the race itself in the twilight of his all-time career (1998).

Then, the worst in 2001.

In 2015 (this coming Sunday, actually), Jeff Gordon, one of the greatest drivers of all time and in an act of, say, circular historical reference, will be at the pole in his final hurrah – but its for only the second time in his career. He’s won three 500’s, the last 10 years ago.

Even Jimmie Johnson, six-time NASCAR champion (five in a row between 2006 and 2010), has won Daytona just twice (and also earned the pole just twice).

Popular driver (in fact THE most popular driver the past 12 years in a row), Dale Earnhardt, Jr., has managed one pole, but does have two wins to his credit during that reign, including his second just last year.

Richard Petty, arguably the greatest NASCAR driver of all time, won a record seven 500’s on one pole in 32 tries.

But the best legendary 500 pole sitter was Cale Yarborough, who, along with Buddy Baker and Bill Elliott, captured it four times.

How do pole winners do anyway? I crunched all the numbers here. It is, in fact, better not to start at the pole, historically, if you want to win the Daytona 500.

DRIVER DAYTONA 500 POLE POSITIONS YEARS CARS
1. Cale Yarborough 4 1968, 1970, 1978, 1984 Mercury; Oldsmobile (1978); Chevrolet (1984)
1. Buddy Baker 4 1969, 1973, 1979-1980 Dodge; Oldsmobile (1979, 1980)
1. Bill Elliott 4 1985-1987, 2001 Ford; Dodge (2001)
4. Fireball Roberts 3 1961-1963 Pontiac
4. Ken Schrader 3 1988-1990 Chevrolet
4. Dale Jarrett 3 1995, 2000, 2005 Ford
7. Donnie Allison 2 1975, 1977 Chevrolet
7. Jeff Gordon 2 1999, 2015 Chevrolet
7. Jimmie Johnson 2 2002, 2008 Chevrolet
10. A. J. Foyt 1 1971 Mercury
10. Austin Dillon 1 2014 Chevrolet
10. Benny Parsons 1 1982 Pontiac
10. Bob Welborn 1 1959 Chevrolet
10. Bobby Allison 1 1981 Pontiac
10. Bobby Isaac 1 1972 Dodge
10. Bobby Labonte 1 1998 Pontiac
10. Carl Edwards 1 2012 Ford
10. Cotton Owens 1 1960 Pontiac
10. Curtis Turner 1 1967 Chevrolet
10. Dale Earnhardt 1 1996 Chevrolet
10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 1 2011 Chevrolet
10. Danica Patrick 1 2013 Chevrolet
10. Darel Dieringer 1 1965 Mercury
10. Davey Allison 1 1991 Ford
10. David Gilliland 1 2007 Ford
10. David Pearson 1 1974 Chevrolet
10. Greg Biffle 1 2004 Ford
10. Jeff Burton 1 2006 Chevrolet
10. Jeff Green 1 2003 Chevrolet
10. Kyle Petty 1 1993 Pontiac
10. Loy Allen, Jr. 1 1994 Ford
10. Mark Martin 1 2010 Chevrolet
10. Martin Truex, Jr. 1 2009 Chevrolet
10. Mike Skinner 1 1997 Chevrolet
10. Paul Goldsmith 1 1964 Plymouth
10. Ramo Stott 1 1976 Chevrolet
10. Richard Petty 1 1966 Plymouth
10. Ricky Rudd 1 1983 Chevrolet
10. Sterling Marlin 1 1992 Ford

Photos: chevyhardcore.com / notinhalloffame.com / raceweekillustrated.com

Gregg Popovich, Don Nelson and the Winningest Head Coaches in NBA History

The NBA Head Coach With The Most Wins Of All, Don Nelson, Here Winning No. 1,000

The NBA Head Coach With The Most Wins Of All, Don Nelson – Here Winning No. 1,000

Oooh. Not yet. Gregg Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs‘ five-time champion head coach, missed his 1,000th win tonight in a road loss to the Atlantic-leading Toronto Raptors.

Sure enough, though, Popovich will become the ninth head coach in NBA history to record a big 1K in the win column.

What’s more remarkable – he did it all with one team and coached no other, by far the only coach on this list to pull off such a stunt (minus, perhaps, Jerry Sloan, the all-time single-team leader, Red Auerbach and Red Holzman).

These are the 20 winningest NBA coaches ever, led barely by Don Nelson with just three more victories than Lenny Wilkens. Hey, come out of retirement, man!

Not in retirement? That would be Doc Rivers and Flip Saunders, joining Popovich, but still in just the 600’s with a ways to go.

UPDATED LIST: Through Feb. 9, 2015 and Pop’s 1,000th win.

HEAD COACH TOTAL WINS TEAM WINS
1. Don Nelson 1,335 Milwaukee Bucks 540
Golden State Warriors 422
New York Knicks 34
Dallas Mavericks 339
2. Lenny Wilkens 1,332 Seattle SuperSonics 478
Portland Trail Blazers 75
Cleveland Cavaliers 316
Atlanta Hawks 310
Toronto Raptors 113
New York Knicks 40
3. Jerry Sloan 1,221 Chicago Bulls 94
Utah Jazz 1,127
4. Pat Riley 1,210 Los Angeles Lakers 533
New York Knicks 223
Miami Heat 454
5. Phil Jackson 1,155 Chicago Bulls 545
Los Angeles Lakers 610
6. George Karl 1,131 Cleveland Cavaliers 61
Golden State Warriors 58
Seattle SuperSonics 384
Milwaukee Bucks 205
Denver Nuggets 423
7. Larry Brown 1,098 Denver Nuggets 126
New Jersey Nets 91
San Antonio Spurs 153
Los Angeles Clippers 64
Indiana Pacers 190
Philadelphia 76ers 255
Detroit Pistons 108
New York Knicks 23
Charlotte Bobcats 88
8. Rick Adelman 1,042 Portland Trail Blazers 291
Golden State Warriors 66
Sacramento Kings 395
Houston Rockets 193
Minnesota Timberwolves 97
9. Gregg Popovich* 1,000 San Antonio Spurs 1,000
10. Bill Fitch 944 Cleveland Cavaliers 304
Boston Celtics 242
Houston Rockets 216
New Jersey Nets 83
Los Angeles Clippers 99
11. Red Auerbach 938 Washington Capitols 115
Tri-Cities Blackhawks 28
Boston Celtics 795
12. Dick Motta 935 Chicago Bulls 356
Washington Bullets 185
Dallas Mavericks 329
Sacramento Kings 48
Denver Nuggets 17
13. Jack Ramsay 864 Philadelphia 76ers 174
Buffalo Braves 158
Portland Trail Blazers 453
Indiana Pacers 79
14. Cotton Fitzsimmons 832 Phoenix Suns 341
Atlanta Hawks 140
Buffalo Braves 27
Kansas City Kings 248
San Antonio Spurs 76
15. Gene Shue 784 Baltimore/Washington Bullets 522
Philadelphia 76ers 157
San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers 105
16. John MacLeod 707 Phoenix Suns 579
Dallas Mavericks 96
New York Knicks 32
17. Red Holzman 696 Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks 83
New York Knicks 613
18. Doc Rivers* 677 Orlando Magic 171
Boston Celtics 416
Los Angeles Clippers 90
19. Mike Fratello 667 Atlanta Hawks 324
Cleveland Cavaliers 248
Memphis Grizzlies 95
20. Flip Saunders* 648 Minnesota Timberwolves 421
Detroit Pistons 176
Washington Wizards 51

Photo: Robert Galbraith, Reuters via thescore.com

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