Who Has The Most Turnovers In NBA History?

Who has the most turnovers in NBA history? Turnovers have been a good indication of if players are responsible with the ball for as long as the game has been played. There have been numerous …

who has the most turnovers in nba history

Who has the most turnovers in NBA history? Turnovers have been a good indication of if players are responsible with the ball for as long as the game has been played. There have been numerous turnover addicts over the course of 75 years, whether it is because of their team or their own performance.

Turnovers can happen to anybody, and the more games you play, the more likely it becomes that you will have them throughout the year. We just did not anticipate it being this guy. This is LeBron James, and he is the only one there is. It may come as a surprise to learn that LeBron James is the all-time turnover king, but it does not make his game any less fascinating. According to Sam Quinn of CBS Sports, he just recently took over this past NBA season, surpassing Karl Malone.


On most occasions, an NBA player will be ecstatic to have his name linked to a record. However, there are several negative statistics that players would prefer not to be known about. LeBron James is included in numerous league all-time lists, including the all-time records for turnovers. However, it is important to remember that when it comes to mistakes in the NBA, there are two perspectives one may take.

Although no player wants to have many turnovers, all-time records are frequently the result of lengthy tenure and a high usage rate. Players with exceptional playmaking abilities will almost certainly have more turnovers. To put it another way, players who have maintained a high usage rate in the NBA are more likely to turnover.

Keeping this in mind, we take a look at the NBA’s all-time leaders in turnovers. LeBron James is a four-time NBA champion who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. ‘King James’ holds the record for most league turnovers (4592), having registered four titles. In February 2021, LeBron James set the record while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Memphis Grizzlies. In turnovers during a game for the first time in his career, he registered his 4,525th turnover, surpassing Karl Malone’s mark of 4,524 set with the Utah Jazz.

Other NBA Players On The All-Time Turnovers List

Despite the fact that media bias affects him, LeBron James will go down as one of the greatest players ever, with his high number of turnovers only due to his overall contribution on the court.

Second on the list is Karl Malone, who completed his career with 4524 turnovers and is second in terms of all-time leaders. Moses Malone, John Stockton, and late Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant finish out the top 5. Only Russell Westbrook (9th) belongs to today’s NBA stars in the top 10. He is one of the players most known for his high usage rate. In his career, Westbrook has had 3893 turnovers, putting him in a position to finish in the top three by the time he retires. The play-in tournament is now underway, with James and Westbrook attempting to get their teams into the postseason.

Active Players With The Most Career Turnovers

who has the most turnovers in nba history

Turnovers are a large component of ending game statistics in the contemporary NBA. At the end of each game, turnovers are an important element on the stats sheets. There are many possessions in a game now, implying that players who handle the ball will have more giveaways as they continue to do so. When examining all-time leaders in turnovers, one thing stands out: league history is littered with players who handle the ball frequently and have a high number of turnovers.

1. LeBron James – 4,652 Turnovers

LeBron James ranks first all-time in total career turnovers with over 4,600, and he will continue to add more as long as he plays. LeBron has always been the team’s primary playmaker and scorer, so it is only natural that he commits over 3.0 TOV. Despite carrying franchises on his shoulders, LeBron’s worst season in terms of handling the ball was in 2018, when he had 4.2 TOV.

The King has never averaged more than 4.0 turnovers each game in a single season, and he has not come close to totaling 5.0 TOV like Westbrook or Harden. LeBron has spent 19 years at the top of his game, and being a primary decision-maker has resulted in this poor mark. The four-time NBA champion and Finals MVP is an all-time great, so his turnover record is unlikely to last as long as Russell Westbrook and James Harden continue their playing styles. 

2. Russell Westbrook – 4,023 Turnovers

Russell Westbrook is perhaps the most notorious turnover artist in the NBA, next to James Harden. With amazing speed and athleticism, the game just flows for Russ. The point guard has no problem snatching every rebound that comes off the rim, driving into the paint to create opportunities for his teammates, and shooting over smaller defenders.

Russ has never had a season with less than 3.3 turnovers per game in his career, and he is never averaged fewer than 5.4 TOV or 4.8 TOV in a single year. Russ’ average of 4.1 TOV puts him 12th all-time, and he’ll keep climbing up the ranks as long as he keeps recording over 4,000 turnovers at the age of 33 years old. Westbrook is currently fifth all-time in turnovers, and his play will only propel him farther up the charts.

3. James Harden – 3,385 Turnovers

Unsurprisingly, one of the most ball-dominant players in NBA history features on this list. At his position, James Harden is an all-time great scorer and passer, but he is also a turnover machine. Even if being 32 years old, Harden ranks 17th all-time in career turnovers and is projected to climb up the top 10 list by the end of his career.

Harden has always been a free-wheeling player, although it was typically because of his desire to create something for his team. James has three seasons averaging at least 5.0 turnovers per game, with a high of 5.7 TOV in 2017. In addition, the 3-time scoring champion has five more seasons when he achieved at least 4.0 TOV. The three-time scoring champ is certainly a turnover machine, and that will never change as long as Harden maintains control of the rock.

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