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Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert ascended to titanic level of bigman pantheon

1000 points, 1000 rebounds, 200 blocks. Ridiculous.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Portland Trail Blazers
Illuminati confirmed
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve been blogging and fan posting about this event for much longer than the other traditional and/or web online news sites out there, so it’s with a great point of pride for us SLC Dunkers that our guy, Rudy Gobert, has had such an enormously important, and historic 2016-2017 season for the Utah Jazz. (Read it and weep, Whiteside fans!)

It’s an exclusive club to be sure, as every other player to make it eventually joined the Basketball Hall of Fame (I’m including Dwight Howard here as well because he will make it when he retires). What’s even more impressive is that Rudy has done it and it has taken him only four years to do so. Some of the other bigmen play for over 15 seasons and accomplish it just once or twice.

For more details on this, read our piece from March 11th on Rudy’s crazy season and more of the history of this event; or our piece from March 26th which updates his chase and includes data on how young he is compared to the other members of this epic echelon.

And really, I think we all loved Gobert before. But today he walks amongst the other giants: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, Elvin Hayes, Dwight Howard, David Robinson, Artis Gilmore, Bob Lanier, Bob McAdoo, and Dikembe Mutombo. (N.B. Blocks were not a recorded stat back in the days of George Mikan, Bill Russell, or Wilt Chamberlain. I suspect they could have had a few 1000 / 1000 / 200 seasons in there.)

It’s hard not to see, in an objective world, Gobert not receiving some votes for every end-of-season award from Most Improved, to Defensive Player of the Year, to MVP (probably not any 1st place votes here, but some of the 4th and 5th place ones could fall his way). If he’s not All-NBA and All-NBA Defensive team this year it would be because of some conspiracy against him.

We don’t live in an objective world, so I am not holding my breath for him to win any of these awards. I do hold my breath when I watch Utah Jazz games this season because Gobert is breath-taking on the court.

So what’s next for Rudy, who has 1107 points, 1008 rebounds, and 211 blocks? Well, obviously, the next thing is assists - of which he has 97. Can he get three more in the next two games? If he does so he’s part of an even crazier club of 1000 / 1000 / 200 / 100.

This group, if we include not just NBA data, but also BAA and ABA, is 13 players strong.

  • Artis Gilmore - 6x
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 4x
  • Shaquille O’Neal - 3x
  • Hakeem Olajuwon - 3x
  • Tim Duncan - 2x
  • Elvin Hayes - 2x
  • Dwight Howard - 2x
  • Caldwell Jones - 2x
  • David Robinson - 2x
  • Bob Lanier - 1x
  • Bob McAdoo - 1x
  • Dikembe Mutombo - 1x
  • Billy Paultz - 1x

There’s obviously a huge overlap of the two data sets, but it’s all just one big pantheon of great bigmen. One that, regardless of Rudy getting three more assists this year, is one that he has earned the right to be a part of.

Bravo Rudy! You have been the champion of this Jazz team this year. And your performance on the court makes you immortal!