By - nickybaby4ever
Judging players on simple counting metrics, especially comparing between eras, will not give you a particularly good view of things
I think he is recognized as a statistically phenomenal player who dominated in a way few athletes ever have. He was simply too good at scoring and rebounding to be stopped, except that Bill Russell and the Celtics were able to stop him. That doesn't take away from averaging 50/25 or getting 100 in a game or any of the other incredible things he did.
People have a need to create imaginary overall rankings of players and teams, which is a fun activity, but ultimately it's all subjective. Wilt Chamberlain absolutely towered over nearly all of the NBA for years, and the statistics do not lie. Putting those statistics into context changes the way we look at them, but it doesn't make them go away. People pretend Barry Bonds didn't actually hit all those home runs either, but the fact is, he did. What you do with that information is totally up to you.
- not the greatest winner. Choked many favorable opportunities in the playoffs (‘68/‘69)
- production regularly dipped come playoff time
- a bit selfish, often stat padding and clashing with coaches
A lot of it was just mentality. Wilt is still phenomenal - and overhated by people that disrespect old school ball nowadays - but he just lacked that urge to dominate that defines guys like Jordan, Bron, his rival Bill, etc.
In his defense - his coaches and those in charge of his professional years seemed to view his scoring as a circus attraction. He was told to sell tickets by scoring a lot.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda.
That is not an argument for someone being the greatest of all time.
Chamberlain did way more for the league than Russell did collecting rings on an all star team in a league with 8 teams. That’s my hot take.
People in Boston didn’t even show up to watch it.
Wilt also played on teams stacked with all-stars and HOFers, fyi
Ticket sales are also not a valid argument for who the greatest of all time was
It does if you are trying to create revenue for a league nobody cares about. I’m just saying Wilt could have done what Russell did - which was make winning plays; except they asked him to save and create their league and draw fans.
It really is unfair how Russell only ever cared about winning when it came to basketball
Easy to say after you already won a bunch. Adam Morrison has two rings and Kevin Garnett has one. Who cared more about winning?
How many of those two title winning teams was Morrison the best player on?
goofy ass argument
Seems to be the same one.
>Wilt choked a 3-1 lead as the overwhelming favorite because the league asked him to
>Wilt lost as the overwhelming favorite on the NBAs first superteam because the league asked him to
Maybe in the early 60s but there’s plenty of stories about coaches asking Wilt to play more like Russell.
It almost like the people of Boston didn’t like a black player leading their team
He also had huge personality conflicts with multiple coaches, which is a problem with him, not them.
Bruh Lebron wasn't gonna win against the KD Warriors. Why did people expect Wilt to beat the 60s version in Bill Russell's Celtics? At least he beat them once.
He absolutely should’ve beaten them in 68 and 69. He blew a 3-1 lead in 68 for god’s sake.
Or the Elgin Baylor Jerry West and Wilt vs final year Bill
Wilt had a lot of chance to win and just didn’t. He should’ve won in 68, 69, 70. 73 is interesting but I don’t really hold it against him as Jerry West was hobbled, role players like Happy Hairston had turned into non-factors, and Wilt himself was aging a ton.
His regular season dominance was super impressive but his lack of playoff success is concerning. Granted he played in the same era as the most dominant dynasty ever, so the two rings he was able to get are very impressive. I’m impressed someone who played so long ago still has so many records in place today. Nobody will ever hit 100 in a game with the way the NBA is today. 55 rebounds is also nuts. I remember a player got 30 rebounds in a game like 2-3 seasons ago and that was the first time that happened since like 2011. And that’s just over half of 55.
Kanter for the blazers
When I first got into basketball in the early 90s, like growing up my dad always told me Wilt was the best ever. I feel like older people for a long time did consider him the GOAT at least in Philly. Then Jordan kinda took over in the late 90s, now in recent times people kinda don’t even consider him and lump him in with Russell and Russell has kinda jumped him because of the rings thing.
Thinking Basketball has a [really good video](https://youtu.be/kCKSvjBnCRQ) comparing Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell that explains it well.
Few if any of us have watched or studied Wilts games, but from reading accounts in books and articles by others who have, a few things immediately explains why.
* He was a terrible teammate in SF and PHI (assertion made by former teammates, coaches and owners)
* He didn't win the title until late in his career and was the 2nd or 3rd best player on the team (Lakers).
* Overshadowed by Bill Russell.
* His teams nor their offense were much worst when he was traded away.
* He individual stats while extraordinary didn't elevate the teams offensively.
* He was accused of being a selfish player.
* Didn't win the title until he stopped playing like a scorer and played more like Russell (wilt himself stated this).
The average height of NBA centers now compared to back then is the difference of a half inch
I think you really nail it with the Recency bias. Talk to people around my age (I’m 36) who grew up watching Jordan, and we all see him as the GOAT. Just a little younger and people see Kobe as the GOAT, and a little younger and they see LeBron. Hell, I have students (17-20 year old college freshmen) who argue for Curry.
And I have to shout out to my dad who is 70 and says it’s a tie between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson!
The players we see dominating first hand have the biggest impact on us. And with Jordan, we can’t forget that the NBA itself has done a lot to push the narrative of him as GOAT (with good reason of course), including literally saying so on their website: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.”
Wilt doesn’t have that same kind of narrative.
Also, it might be completely irrelevant, but there may also be the fact that Chamberlain played at the same time as Bill Russell, and I mean, do I have to say anymore?
Kobe is always a funny one since he wasn’t the best Laker of all time and not even the best on his team when Shaq was there.
For sure, but when he was the best on the team, he was fucking fire. There are some really memorable Kobe moments and I can imagine that kids seeing it happen would be impacted by him in the same way I was impacted my Jordan. Another favorite player of mine growing up, and I’ll probably get guff for it haha, was John Stockton. I know he isn’t even in the conversation for GOAT but I absolutely loved watching him play.
Yeah, his toughest competition was only another top 10 all time player who had that eras version of a super team to beat everyone for 11 years.
The objective of basketball is to win. Bill Russell won 9 NBA titles in the 10 years he shared the league with Wilt, and Wilt only ever won in seasons where he wasn’t chasing stats.
Yeah he was freakishly athletic compared to others in his era and was a great basketball player, but others came after him that were a more complete package.
i mean he def top 75 so that pretty good
Bill Russell won 11 championships in 13 years with significant overlap in their careers. His teams were good but so were Wilt's a lot of the time. Numbers aren't everything, especially back then. 18 rebounds would be unreal and unprecedented today. In 1965 four players averaged 18 or better, just to pick the first example I felt like googling.
Because no one cheers for Goliath.
The real question is if Wilt gets discounted because he couldnt get thru Russells Super Celtics then why doesn't the new ESPN GOAT Lebron get the same treatment for not being able to get thru Currys Super Warriors.
The Celtics weren't some kind of stacked super team. Remove Bill Russell from the equation and the Celtics are right in the middle of the pack with All-stars. The Lakers have the most then. Add Bill Russell to the Celtics and they have more than the Lakers, but not by a lot.
The Celtics were the best team overall, whether or not that it was Russell that put them over the top or that they had 9 other HoFs. They were the best team of the era. And what does the Lakers all stars have to do with Wilts Sixers/Warriors not being able to get past the Celtics when his best team mate was Hal Greer. As a Laker he only lost 1 series against Boston( that went 7) towards the end after they widened the lane and he became more of a defender/rebounder
The players hit the HOF because they had like seven rings each. That's kind of a silly argument. Interesting thing to note is that by offensive measures they were pretty mediocre. Guess what Bill's specialty was?
They had ten years of overlap during which Bill won 9 championships. I mean, Wilt had Baylor and West in 1969 and still got his shit stuffed.
And sorry, is Hal Greer meant to be a bad player? Ten time all star.
The point of bringing up the Lakers was to say how many All-stars they had, to point out how the Celtics weren't stacked with All-stars compared to other top teams.
Bringing up hofers is ridiculous. Anyone who contributed to eight rings in the same team with a decent performance is a hofers.
The Celtics were literally shit without Russell. They struggled bad. When Wilts teams didn’t have him, they won more.
Do you even know who all these hall of fame teammates were?
Some guys might've been around for the ride, last couple of years of Heihnson and KC but Hondo and Sam Jones were better or on par with anybody that Wilt had. Once again, as a collective unit are you trying to make the point that they did not have the best team in that era. Whether or not they have a deserving HOF next to their name, as a collective unit they were the best team in the league.
The point remains, Wilt gets crucified to a certain point for not being able to get thru the best team in the league while Lebron "didnt have enough help" so its no knock on his GOAT status
They were the best team in that era because they had Russell. Wilt played with plenty of talented star players, and had Wilt won 11 titles maybe a few more role player teammates of his would have made the hall of fame.
Wilt had straight up more talented teammates than Russell towards the end of their time sharing the league. Jerry West not only was better than any teammate Russell ever had, he was better than Wilt when they played together.
Hondo and Sam Jones were better than Baylor and West in 1969?
Were Baylor and West on the Sixers/Warriors where every series but one was played?
Lol the 76ers with Greer and Cunningham were garbage, am I right? Wilt had some excellent teams and if he was as transcendent as people like to pretend maybe he'd have won more.
Did you know that you can have a good team and still not be as good as another team? Boston had better teams.
Which brings us back to the original argument of why does Wilt and his good team get penalized while Lebron and his good team get a pass for not having enough help.
Nowhere in any post have I said that Wilt was a transcendent player. He was a great player that had good teams that lost to another great player and his better team.........just like Lebron. Only one of them gets continually measured by it
Boston had better teams because Bill Russell was on them, plain and simple. There's a reason teams barely got worse or better when Wilt left or joined, and there's a reason Boston plummeted when Bill was out.
Fine, you didn't say Wilt was transcendent. Russell was.
> The Celtics weren't some kind of stacked super team.
The league was tiny and they had all the good players? What type of revisionist history is this?
You should probably re-read my comments to be better informed about the situation. It isn't revisionist history. They had a similar number of all-stars to other top teams, they just played better as a team and had freaking Bill Russell.
He was overshadowed by Bill Russell in his era and he quit on multiple teams (The Jayhawks and the Sixers)
Bill Russell is the reason. Lol
Didnt win enough + stats inflated by pace and mpg.
A few reasons:
\- Recency bias, the more time that the passes the more previous greats will be forgetten about, its very likely nobody talks about MJ in 80yrs.
\- His stats are pretty empty, Wilt only won 2 championships and had some poor playoff runs which means that him scoring as much as he did was meaningless and not an effective way to play basketball.
\- People discredit the 60s for being a "Plumbers and milkmen" league.
\- Bill Russel who played in the same era dominated Wilt winning 11 rings.
Only 2 titles in one of the all time weakest eras. Choked hard in some key moments. His numbers fell off a cliff going from regular season to playoffs. I personally have him out of my all time top 10. Both Hakeem and Curry are better all time imo
Saying Curry is better all time than Wilt is such an aggresively shit take
What else do you expect from someone who never even watched Wilt play
Sorry are you 65 years old? Did you watch him play? Or is it just a toothless argument you parrot?
You realize you can find old games on the internet it’s also how I watched Casablanca even though it came out before I was born
Everyone’s watched a few Wilt youtube videos. Lol at you acting superior because of it
You realize YouTube has some full games from back in the 60 and 70’s you can watch right?
Not necessarily. In my opinion it’s super close and I think more highly of Wilt then most. Curry has had twice as much post season success. Both changed the game a lot though, they literally changed the rules of basketball because Wilt was too good. But he always lost to the Celtics in the playoffs. Granted the Celtics were stacked, so I’m impressed he was able to win at all against that dynasty.
Curry is better at winning basketball games, makes his teammates better, and is one of the best leaders of all time. There’s literally no argument for Wilt other than muh records.
You’re correct having him out of your top 10. Jordan, Lebron, Russell, Kareem, Bird, Magic, Duncan, Hakeem, Shaq, Curry, and Kobe were all better at winning basketball games. He was a freak athlete that took advantage of his era to put up big numbers.
If Russell’s 11 are qualified because there were 8 teams in the league, Wilts 2 logically must also be qualified.
He is to many, especially students of the game.
Many people who watched him play say he is the GOAT. Some narratives seem to have been created retrospectively by people who didn't watch him play.
He was traded away twice in his prime by the people who watched to play the most…
He asked to be traded. And had his reasons. Coaches were awful back then.
He changed his playstyle on coaches demands more than once. They were unreasonable at some point.
He asked to be traded sure….. but there wasn’t a bidding war to get him.
If the coach and the greatest player of all time arnt getting along …you get rid of the coach.
If all the coaches and most the players teammates don’t get along with him, he’s probably not viewed as the greatest basketball player
That is quite nonsense tbh. Things do not work by your maxims.
He was the best player in the league.
You're just falling to the bland narratives that individualize team sports, in my opinion. Fame or shame for the star if his team wins or loses.
The point of the game is winning tho. And Wilt had plenty opportunity to win, it wasn’t some fluky bad luck thing.
He just came up short to Russell. Repeatedly over 10 season, no matter the roster of either team.
You simply don't want to see it is a collective game.
He is not playing one on one with Russell.
They’re both the focal points of their teams. The success of their teams is determined by their individual performances.
Russell vs wilt played 4 different game 7s against each other. (Where teams are as close to even as it gets) Russell’s teams went 4-0
Yes. His TEAMS. Wilt's performances also outshined Russell in almost ALL THEIR GAMES. I have analyzed it all, both regular season and playoffs.
And it debunks the myths against Wilt, that he was a choker, etc. Probably made up by his haters trying to fit their narratives to justify why he didn't win and therefore was a "loser".
Again, the individualization of team sports. This is an american phenomenon. In other countries it is a much lesser phenomenon to make stars heroes or villains when their teams win or lose like in the US.
From an outside viewer I gotta say this feature of american sports culture catches my eye.
Perhaps the great promotion they make, like no one else does, feeds on those narratives.
Same as all the Mortimer Mouse Club legends — playing in a different era with far less talented/athletically gifted competition. Bol Bol might look like the GOAT if you stuck him in that era.
It’s simply because barely anyone alive today has ever seen him play so they must discredit every thing he did with made up facts
This is it
If wilt won championships pole bill Russell he would likely be undisputed goat.
The issue is that Russel dominated him winning wise and narrative wise, so if you think he isn’t even the clear best player of his time he just gets completely skipped in the goat debate vs guys like MJ, Lebron and Kareem who clearly beat their competition for the best player in the league title. I think Bird and Magic possibly suffer from the same thing. Also he played a long time ago and its hard to think that no player has been better since.
1) He played for stats and his style didn’t translate into winning. It’s sort of analogous to someone asking in 30 years why Westbrook doesn’t rank higher all time. He didn’t win until he toned down the stat chasing. Thinking Basketball has a good video that even makes a statistical case for Russell > Wilt based on impact numbers.
2) He was a a bad leader and his teammates hated him.
3) He frequently choked. Russell’s Celtics were no doubt better until around ‘66. But Wilt lost in 66 when the teams were pretty equal, won in 67, choked in 68 as the overwhelming favorite and blew the first ever 3-1 lead, then choked again as the overwhelming favorite on the NBAs first super team in 69.
People don't like to believe that the goat of their favorite game started his career same year Alaska became the us state
Stats don’t make you the best player. On all season wilt put up over 30 his teams offensive rating was out of the top 3 in a league with only 8-9 teams. The one year he took a back sit to scoring and played more like Bill Russel they won the chip and had an great offensive. It’s a team game and some guy taking 30-40 shots a night while all his teams take 10 or less doesn’t really help an offensive cuz the defensive knows they only really need to guard one guy cuz he is going take ever shot. Wilt also was never able to balance playmaking with scoring a they year when wilt went play making mode the defensive knew he wasn’t go score so the focused on everyone else but him and he still was only looking to play make. Wilt cared more about his own numbers and his own individual success more than the teams and that why he isn’t the goat