When it comes to NBA records, most of them have stood the test of time — apart from almost every single three-point record that is.
Due to the way the league has evolved since it’s inception, many records set decades ago still stand to this day: Wilt’s 100 point game (Kobe’s 81 is the closest someone has ever come since), Bill Russell’s 11 championships, the longest winning streak in NBA history, held by the Lakers, who won 33 games straight back in 1972.
But’s, it has been proven to us fans — as late as last season even — that some of these 40-year-old records can be broken, Russell Westbrook’s MVP season being a prime example, as well as the Golden State Warriors 2015-16 season, where they won 73 games.
But, there are a select number of records that can truly be called unbreakable due to rule changes that make it literally impossible to break them without further rule changes. Perhaps the most unbreakable of them all? 7 fouls in a single NBA game.
The date was November 13, 1999. The 1-4 Atlanta Hawks were facing off against the Portland Trail Blazers away from home. This game was nothing to write home about, as the Hawks ended up receiving a 35-point drubbing, with their star center Dikembe Mutombo oddly having a very bad game on the defensive side of the ball.
Due to the lopsided nature of the game by halftime, many of the Hawks’ bench unit was thrust into the game, and that unit included Atlanta’s first-round pick that year, Cal Bowdler.
Bowdler, who had only played a combined 25 minutes the entire season up to that point, played 15 minutes that night, and they were 15 of the worst NBA minutes arguably ever seen.
Cal proceeded to rack up foul after foul, and was quickly on the verge of disqualification from the game. For some reason though, after committing his sixth foul — which should’ve led to him being fouled out — the refs and scorekeepers seemingly forgot how many fouls he had, and let him stay on the court. Determined to write his name in the history books, Bowdler managed to commit another foul before he was tossed, giving him 7 for the game.
Bowdler‘s feat is something that we will probably never see again, but we did come close back in 2014, when an obscure rule was brought out in a game between the Lakers and Cavaliers. Los Angeles had many injuries to deal with on top of foul trouble, leading to Robert Sacre staying in the game with six fouls next to his name, but unfortunately didn’t manage to commit another foul to tie the record set by Bowdler back in 1999.
Cal, even though you only played for three seasons in the NBA, and had a career scoring average of 3 points a game, you will forever be immortalised in the NBA record books.