Elmore Smith’s NBA record setting blocking rampage of 1973 (10, 14, 17, 14)
For some reason, the blocks weren’t always a statistic the NBA kept track of. If it was counted in the 50s and 60s, then we would have Bill Russell, Nate Thurmond and Wilt Chamberlain dominating the block shots column in history books, with 20-30 blocks in a game. Instead, we have Wilt’s LA “replacement,” Elmore “The Rejector” Smith, sitting pretty at the top.
On October 26th of 1973, three days after blocking 10 shots in a single game, Elmore blocked a NBA record 14 shots to go with 18 points against the Detroit Pistons. Amazing as that sounds, two days later, the center with the potential to be one of the all-time greats, blocked a NBA record 17 blocks against the Trailblazers; he also set a NBA record with 11 blocks in a half.
It didn’t seem like they were catching on.” Said Elmore to the LA Times. “They continued to try to score close to the basket and I just kept blocking their shots [...] I didn’t realize how many I blocked until after the game, when people were asking me about it. You don’t keep count of things like that.
If that wasn’t enough, a week later, Elmore blocked 14 more against the Houston Rockets. The 14 is tied for 3rd all-time: Manute Bol and Shaq are tied for 2nd place with 15.
“There have been a lot of talented guys that I thought would have broken it by now,” Smith says, “but it just didn’t happen.”
And I’m willing to bet it will never happen.