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BBR Mailbag: 10 Years With the Same Franchise

Posted by Neil Paine on October 5, 2009

In the comments section of our Andre Iguodala post last week, Joe Schaller had this request for us:

I would like to see a blog on players who played their entire career of at least 10 seasons with just one team, a truly great achievement when you really think about it and very rare. I think Reggie Miller was the last to do it.

No problem, Joe. Here's every player in NBA history to spend at least 10 seasons with the same franchise:

Player From To Years Tm
John Stockton* 1985 2003 19 UTA
Reggie Miller 1988 2005 18 IND
John Havlicek* 1963 1978 16 BOS
Hal Greer* 1959 1973 15 PHI
Dolph Schayes* 1950 1964 15 PHI
Joe Dumars* 1986 1999 14 DET
David Robinson* 1990 2003 14 SAS
Jerry West* 1961 1974 14 LAL
Elgin Baylor* 1959 1972 14 LAL
Magic Johnson* 1980 1996 13 LAL
Calvin Murphy* 1971 1983 13 HOU
Alvan Adams 1976 1988 13 PHO
Wes Unseld* 1969 1981 13 WAS
Isiah Thomas* 1982 1994 13 DET
Kevin McHale* 1981 1993 13 BOS
Fred Brown 1972 1984 13 SEA
Bill Russell* 1957 1969 13 BOS
Kobe Bryant 1997 2009 13 LAL
Tom Sanders 1961 1973 13 BOS
Larry Bird* 1980 1992 13 BOS
James Worthy* 1983 1994 12 LAL
Tim Duncan 1998 2009 12 SAS
Michael Cooper 1979 1990 12 LAL
Sam Jones* 1958 1969 12 BOS
Rik Smits 1989 2000 12 IND
Nate McMillan 1987 1998 12 SEA
Paul Arizin* 1951 1962 12 GSW
Zydrunas Ilgauskas 1998 2009 12 CLE
Mark Eaton 1983 1993 11 UTA
Dirk Nowitzki 1999 2009 11 DAL
Julius Erving* 1977 1987 11 PHI
Jack Twyman* 1956 1966 11 SAC
Paul Pierce 1999 2009 11 BOS
Bob Pettit* 1955 1965 11 ATL
Rudy Tomjanovich 1971 1981 11 HOU
Darrell Griffith 1981 1991 11 UTA
Al Attles 1961 1971 11 GSW
Billy Cunningham* 1966 1976 11 PHI
Cliff Hagan* 1957 1966 10 ATL
Bill Bradley* 1968 1977 10 NYK
Allen Leavell 1980 1989 10 HOU
Vern Mikkelsen* 1950 1959 10 LAL
Al Bianchi 1957 1966 10 PHI
Jeff Foster 2000 2009 10 IND
Willis Reed* 1965 1974 10 NYK
Tom Boerwinkle 1969 1978 10 CHI
Frank Ramsey* 1955 1964 10 BOS

Indeed, Reggie Miller was the last person to do it, unless you count Kobe Bryant, who's obviously still active but has logged 13 seasons (going on 14) with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now, in the interest of seeing current players who may approach this mark, here are the players who have played the most game for a single NBA franchise (with 2009-10 actives bolded):

Player From To Years Tm G
John Stockton* 1985 2003 19 UTA 1504
Reggie Miller 1988 2005 18 IND 1389
John Havlicek* 1963 1978 16 BOS 1270
Hal Greer* 1959 1973 15 PHI 1122
Joe Dumars* 1986 1999 14 DET 1018
Calvin Murphy* 1971 1983 13 HOU 1002
Dolph Schayes* 1950 1964 15 PHI 996
Alvan Adams 1976 1988 13 PHO 988
David Robinson* 1990 2003 14 SAS 987
Wes Unseld* 1969 1981 13 WAS 984
Isiah Thomas* 1982 1994 13 DET 979
Kevin McHale* 1981 1993 13 BOS 971
Fred Brown 1972 1984 13 SEA 963
Bill Russell* 1957 1969 13 BOS 963
Kobe Bryant 1997 2009 13 LAL 948
Jerry West* 1961 1974 14 LAL 932
James Worthy* 1983 1994 12 LAL 926
Tom Sanders 1961 1973 13 BOS 916
Magic Johnson* 1980 1996 13 LAL 906
Tim Duncan 1998 2009 12 SAS 899
Larry Bird* 1980 1992 13 BOS 897
Mark Eaton 1983 1993 11 UTA 875
Michael Cooper 1979 1990 12 LAL 873
Sam Jones* 1958 1969 12 BOS 871
Rik Smits 1989 2000 12 IND 867
Elgin Baylor* 1959 1972 14 LAL 846
Dirk Nowitzki 1999 2009 11 DAL 839
Julius Erving* 1977 1987 11 PHI 836
Jack Twyman* 1956 1966 11 SAC 823
Paul Pierce 1999 2009 11 BOS 813
Nate McMillan 1987 1998 12 SEA 796
Bob Pettit* 1955 1965 11 ATL 792
Rudy Tomjanovich 1971 1981 11 HOU 768
Darrell Griffith 1981 1991 11 UTA 765
Cliff Hagan* 1957 1966 10 ATL 745
Bill Bradley* 1968 1977 10 NYK 742
Dan Issel* 1977 1985 9 DEN 718
Paul Arizin* 1951 1962 12 GSW 713
Al Attles 1961 1971 11 GSW 711
Zydrunas Ilgauskas 1998 2009 12 CLE 707
Allen Leavell 1980 1989 10 HOU 700
Vern Mikkelsen* 1950 1959 10 LAL 699
Al Bianchi 1957 1966 10 PHI 687
Jeff Foster 2000 2009 10 IND 681
K.C. Jones* 1959 1967 9 BOS 676
Billy Cunningham* 1966 1976 11 PHI 654
Tom Heinsohn* 1957 1965 9 BOS 654
Willis Reed* 1965 1974 10 NYK 650
Tom Boerwinkle 1969 1978 10 CHI 635
Alvin Scott 1978 1985 8 PHO 627
Frank Ramsey* 1955 1964 10 BOS 623
Tony Parker 2002 2009 8 SAS 612
Larry Steele 1972 1980 9 POR 610
Bobby Wanzer* 1949 1957 9 SAC 568
Andrei Kirilenko 2002 2009 8 UTA 559
Michael Redd 2001 2009 9 MIL 550
Brad Daugherty 1987 1994 8 CLE 548
Tayshaun Prince 2003 2009 7 DET 534
Brendan Haywood 2002 2009 8 WAS 530
Joe Ellis 1967 1974 8 GSW 524
Luke Jackson 1965 1972 8 PHI 522
Neil Johnston* 1952 1959 8 GSW 516
Jim Krebs 1958 1964 7 LAL 515
Jim Loscutoff 1956 1964 9 BOS 511
Samuel Dalembert 2002 2009 8 PHI 500

Anyone else surprised by some of the active players on that list, like Foster, Haywood, and Dalembert? I never would have guessed those guys, although in retrospect they're pretty obvious.

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27 Responses to “BBR Mailbag: 10 Years With the Same Franchise”

  1. Neil Paine Says:

    BTW, Kevin Garnett played 12 years & 927 G with Minnesota before going to Boston.

  2. Don Says:

    Does this only include players who played their entire careers with the same team? I don't see any reference to Karl Malone's 18 seasons with Utah or the Iceman's 13 with San Antonio (if you count his ABA time). And I don't think we should discount Dave Cowens's 10 seasons with the Celts for that one season he came out of retirement with Milwaukee. Or Bob Cousy's 13 seasons in green for doing the same with Cincinnati for seven games seven seasons later. :)

  3. Jason J Says:

    This list makes me feel old. Especially Haywood & Prince! For some reason I thought Foster had played somewhere else before joining Indi. Maybe I'm thinking of Pollard.

  4. Neil Paine Says:

    ABA seasons aren't included (that's how Dr. J is considered having played his entire career for the 76ers), and sorry, end-of-career-attempted-ring-grabs and/or un-retirements do exclude you from the list. Because those kinds of things will always be just wrong.

  5. Jason J Says:

    What if you have an unquenchable lust for destroying Kwame Brown's soul in practice, and you find owning a team you don't play for boring? I don't think THAT should exclude you from the list.

  6. Neil Paine Says:

    Yeah, well, if he wanted to crush a teenage teammate's spirit and keep a spot on this list, he should have come back with the Bulls and mercilessly gone after Eddy Curry every day.

  7. Jason J Says:

    Oh man, that would have been like the way he treated Stacy King cubed. Can a grown man go to jail for badgering a fat kid into a catatonic coma?

  8. Mike G Says:

    Magic may have quit, finally, 17 years after he started, but he didn't play 17 seasons.

  9. Neil Paine Says:

    Good point, I fixed it.

  10. Joe Schaller Says:

    Thanks for the great lists Neil. It seems it was once more common to spend an entire career with just one team and names that should be on the list if not for a last failing grasp at glory include Hakeem Olajuwon (Toronto), Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and Jordan.
    Who am I leaving out?

  11. Ryan Says:

    Yes Kobe has played all his games with the Lakers, but he hasn't been with the Laker organization his entire career, as he was a draft day trade.

  12. Chris Says:

    Hey Neil, you should make a Sporcle quiz out of this, if I don't do it first.

  13. Tim Says:

    why wouldn't robert parish be in this stat?

  14. Joe Schaller Says:

    Robert Parish started his career with Golden State.
    Clyde Drexler was one of the few who was rewarded with a championship, with Houston after eleven years in Portland.

  15. B Nice Says:

    It seems as though Tim Duncan is missing?

  16. B Nice Says:

    NVM, I am an idiot

  17. P Middy Says:

    To think . . . Karl Malone blew being on this list for a shot at Kobe's wife *shakes head*

  18. Adam Says:

    The Chief was also on the Bulls 96-97 roster and earned another ring.

  19. Neil Paine Says:

    Well, I wouldn't exactly say "earned"...

  20. Jason J Says:

    Robert Parish was 106 years old when he played for Chicago, and he still changed ends faster than Longley, that big Australian glacier.

  21. derek Says:

    kobe will jump into the top 5 after this season. and before his career is over top 4 and maybe even top 3.

  22. Jared Ras Says:

    Surprising number of Celtics and Lakers on these lists... well maybe not surprising, since they entered ebbs and flows of championship waves. It would take quite the fluke for a championship contributor to jump ship for a shot at another ring. In that sense, I wouldn't be surprised if Kobe Bryant eclipses 1300 games as a Laker... What would he have left to prove in, say, making a homecoming and playing for the 76ers?

  23. P Middy Says:

    I agree with Derek. Kobe's got 4 rings, an MVP, stats, wins, clutchocity. One imagines he's in Bird/Johnson territory right now, and has the potential to go higher.

  24. Neil Paine Says:

    He'll have to work to get to Horry levels, though...

  25. Chris Says:

    Does this list take into consideration the fact that Kobe wasn't drafted by LAL? Technically he was a Hornet for about the first 5 minutes of his NBA carreer, or are you only considering "played games" with another team?

  26. Neil Paine Says:

    You had to play for a team from beginning to end. It would be more difficult (and, frankly, silly) to go through and find instances of draft-day trades, etc. that technically made players like Kobe members of a different team than the one they're associated with. In my book, though, you get disqualified from this list only when you suit up in another team's jersey during an official game.

  27. Mike G Says:

    What if you appear in an official game, in someone else's jersey?