If you have a better moniker than “Iron Man” for the player that has taken the court in the most consecutive professional games, let us know, but it’s worked pretty well from a self-explanatory sense over the years.
In the NBA, it’s L.A.’s Derek Fisher.
By completing his sixth-straight 82-game season, the Lakers point guard has his games played streak all the way up to 495, currently the longest in basketball, dating back to April 15, 2005 (point of reference: the Sonics still had three more seasons to play in Seattle). Fisher moved into pole position this past December when Portland’s Andre Miller missed a game due to an NBA suspension, stopping his run at 632 contests. Historically, former Laker A.C. Green dominates with a remarkable mark of 1,192 (11/19/86 – 4/18/01).
And how do the NBA streaks compare with those in other professional leagues?
BASEBALL: Over on the diamond, the most notable of Iron Men, Cal Ripken Jr. seemed to play forever, not stopping for 16 years until his streak reached 2,632 games. Currently, baseball’s leader is, like Fisher, in Los Angeles, Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp going strong at 252 games.
FOOTBALL: In football, most starts seems to take precedence over most straight games played (otherwise, we’d be talking about kickers). So with (finally retired?) QB Brett Favre’s impressive feat of 297 consecutive starts in a sport rife with debilitating injuries ending this past fall, fellow quarterback Peyton Manning takes the reigns with his 208 consecutive starts for the Indianapolis Colts. No small feat.
HOCKEY:: Representing the hockey players from an all-time perspective is Doug Jarvis, who played for 12 consecutive seasons (for Montreal, Washington, and Hartford) between 1975 and 1987 without missing a game. Currently, Florida Panthers defenseman Jay Bouwmeester holds the mark for hockey tough guys at 506 games, dating back before hockey’s lock out in the 2004-05 season. As such, Bouwmeester (and his cool name) edges Fisher out by 11 games for the overall lead in North America’s four major sports.