Jordan Grabs 26 Boards In 300th Straight Game

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Rowan Kavner

CHICAGO – As DeAndre Jordan continues racking up rebounds at a historic pace, the fact that he’s present every single night can get overlooked.

In addition to leading the NBA in rebounds per game and shooting percentage, Jordan’s also the ironman of the NBA, playing in his league-leading 300th consecutive game Sunday against the Bulls.

“The ironman, he’s unbelievable,” said Jamal Crawford. “He really is. I’m glad everyone’s starting to take notice, because he deserves the credit everyone’s giving him right now. I think he’s a Defensive Player of the Year guy, I thought he was an All-Star. He’s just playing terrific.”

Jordan made that 300th straight game count, pulling down 26 rebounds to give him his eighth straight game with at least 15 boards, a streak that also happens to lead the NBA.

“You start to take it for granted,” said Chris Paul. “I know I do. There’s times I’ve had to sit back and realize, I don’t think I’ve ever played a game as a Clipper without him. As much as sometimes I’m on him and stuff like that, it’s because I trust him and believe in him and stuff like that. I know I take him for granted, couldn’t imagine playing without him.”

What impresses Paul even more is to see Jordan accomplish the consecutive games played feat as a 6-foot-11 starting center who’s counted on every night to be the defensive stopper.

“I’ve seen big fella roll his ankle, different things like that,” Paul said. “That’s why there’s nobody like him in our league to do what he does every night at that size. DJ’s young, too, so it’s great to see. I know him personally, so to see how he takes care of his body and prepares for every game, that’s why.”

Jordan’s 300 consecutive games streak is the longest active streak in the NBA. He said he’s lucky to be able to play without any major injuries, but a lot of that admittedly includes playing through some aches and pains along the way. He hasn’t missed a game since being hospitalized for pneumonia during the 2010-11 season.  

Asked which means more between his consecutive games played streak or his 15-plus rebound streak, Jordan responded with something different than both.

“That we’re winning,” Jordan said.

Jordan refers quickly to the state of the team whenever he’s asked about personal accomplishments. But after his 300th straight game, during which he finished with nine points and 26 rebounds, he admitted it would mean a lot to get recognized as Defensive Player of the Year.

“I’d definitely be excited about that,” Jordan said. “That’s definitely an individual goal of mine, but the ultimate goal is to win a championship. I’ll just let my play do the talking and whoever votes for that, they’ll vote for that at the end of the year.”

Since 1985-86, Andre Drummond and Kevin Willis are the only other players to accomplish what Jordan accomplished in February, averaging at least 16 points and 17 rebounds per game. He’s done enough this season to get mentioned with some of the best players in the game, from Wilt Chamberlain to Shaquille O’Neal.

“Just to be in the same sentence as guys like that is definitely humbling and something that’s cool,” Jordan said, before once again deferring the topic to talk about the team. “At the end of the day, it’s about us getting wins.”

Head coach Doc Rivers said the streak is impressive, but he doesn’t like talking about injuries or non-injuries. He doesn’t want to jinx it, but he knows Jordan’s in a rare group of players who never want to miss time.

Rivers can’t even recall a time Jordan’s missed a practice since he’s had him.

“I think some guys you have to really monitor, and some guys you don’t,” Rivers said. “My opinion is I think I think we monitor everyone, and I think that’s a mistake. I just think everyone’s body is different. DJ is a great example; he’s one of those guys that wants to play, can play and should play.”