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Wilt Chamberlain's resume


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#16 CarolinaNCSU

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 04:51 PM

Wilt was great, but I'll still take...

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#17 ZB1224

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:52 PM

Wilt was great, but I'll still take...

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I completely agree with you there. Even though Wilt put up better stats (much better offensively) it doesn't really put him ahead of Russell, but ultimately winning is the only thing that matters.

#18 King Taharqa

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:28 PM

Wilt lifetime averaged 28 & 28 against Russell. Keep in mind he set the record for most rebounds in a game (55) and in a playoff game (41) against him. Notice how all these TEAM records like most wins in NBA history ('67 76ers who went 68-13, and '72 Lakers who went 69-13) and win streaks ('72 Lakers 33 wins) were set by teams that Wilt anchored and NOT the Celtics and their dynasty?

Measuring individual greatness by rings is foolish. Is Mario Chalmers a better PG than Chris Paul? Winning is everything right? Russell played with more HOFers than anybody in history and was coached by arguably the greatest coach & GM in NBA history. He was not asked to do anything what Wilt was. Wilt had to do Russell's job AND SCORE. Russell had HOFer's like Cousy (who was the bigger established star), Clyd Lovellette, Tom Heinsohn, Sharman, Sam Jones, Havlicek, etc. All guys who could score and made CLUTCH plays along with Russ. Thats why rings are a TEAM accomplishment. Put Wilt on Russell's teams he gets even more rings, put Russ on Wilt's teams and ask him to do his job can he get 100? Can he get 50 a game? Can he carry teams to all time records that stand 40 years?

#19 CarolinaNCSU

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:58 PM

Wilt lifetime averaged 28 & 28 against Russell. Keep in mind he set the record for most rebounds in a game (55) and in a playoff game (41) against him. Notice how all these TEAM records like most wins in NBA history ('67 76ers who went 68-13, and '72 Lakers who went 69-13) and win streaks ('72 Lakers 33 wins) were set by teams that Wilt anchored and NOT the Celtics and their dynasty?

Measuring individual greatness by rings is foolish. Is Mario Chalmers a better PG than Chris Paul? Winning is everything right? Russell played with more HOFers than anybody in history and was coached by arguably the greatest coach & GM in NBA history. He was not asked to do anything what Wilt was. Wilt had to do Russell's job AND SCORE. Russell had HOFer's like Cousy (who was the bigger established star), Sam Jones, Tom Heinsohn, Sharman, Sam Jones, Havlicek, etc. All guys who could score and made CLUTCH plays along with Russ. Thats why rings are a TEAM accomplishment. Put Wilt on Russell's teams he gets even more rings, put Russ on Wilt's teams and ask him to do his job can he get 100? Can he get 50 a game? Can he carry teams to all time records that stand 40 years?


Only because he was white if we're being honest about that.

Wilt also played with a few HOF guys as well (West, Baylor off the top of my head) for those team records.

Russell, as you also pointed out, didn't have to score the way Wilt did, etc. IMO, can't fault Russell for that though. He played his role at an MVP level and did what he was supposed to, anchoring arguably the greatest dynasty in sports history. You're right, you can't compare the 2 statistically. As far as intangibles, never losing a game 7 to Wilt, the competitiveness...I'm taking Russell and not thinking twice. Hell, Wilt would quit playing in games if he only had 1 foul left to give (part of the reason for his never fouling out streak which he was obsessed with). Give me the guy obsessed with winning over the guy obsessed with stats. Just a matter of preference though, as both were dominant and have their own pros and cons when compared to each other.

#20 RelaxImaPro

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:03 PM

the D is certainly stronger today than it was in his days!

didn't he claim to have banged over 10,000 women?!!! that's a stat that won't be beat either!


20,000 actually.

#21 ZB1224

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 12:29 AM

Wilt lifetime averaged 28 & 28 against Russell. Keep in mind he set the record for most rebounds in a game (55) and in a playoff game (41) against him. Notice how all these TEAM records like most wins in NBA history ('67 76ers who went 68-13, and '72 Lakers who went 69-13) and win streaks ('72 Lakers 33 wins) were set by teams that Wilt anchored and NOT the Celtics and their dynasty?

Measuring individual greatness by rings is foolish. Is Mario Chalmers a better PG than Chris Paul? Winning is everything right? Russell played with more HOFers than anybody in history and was coached by arguably the greatest coach & GM in NBA history. He was not asked to do anything what Wilt was. Wilt had to do Russell's job AND SCORE. Russell had HOFer's like Cousy (who was the bigger established star), Sam Jones, Tom Heinsohn, Sharman, Sam Jones, Havlicek, etc. All guys who could score and made CLUTCH plays along with Russ. Thats why rings are a TEAM accomplishment. Put Wilt on Russell's teams he gets even more rings, put Russ on Wilt's teams and ask him to do his job can he get 100? Can he get 50 a game? Can he carry teams to all time records that stand 40 years?


I mostly agree that winning is a team accomplishment, but comparing guys like Chalmers and CP3 is laughable; you can't say that about Russell and Wilt. In the end all that matters is rings no matter how you slice it. Wilt put up great individual stats, but in his prime he just never cared as much about winning as he did stats (according to many people). It's been said in the past that Wilt wasn't the best teammate, while Russell was the ultimate teammate. Now, obviously I don't know for sure, because I wasn't around back then, and the media coverage wasn't like it is now. Frankly, Wilt didn't really have a ton of success until he played the Bill Russell role and decided to focus on defense and rebounding and let guys like West, Goodrich, and McMillian handle the scoring load.

Now, one thing that is not debatable is that Wilt was the better individual player. Wilt is in a league of his own and no one is really all that close when it comes to putting up stats. When talking about greatness, however, Bill Russell is ahead of him, because talent doesn't necessarily make you great.

#22 King Taharqa

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:10 AM

I mostly agree that winning is a team accomplishment, but comparing guys like Chalmers and CP3 is laughable; you can't say that about Russell and Wilt.


I feel comparing a guy who never averaged 20 points and shot 44% for his career to a guy who once averaged 50 and shot 55% (while shooting 4 times as much as Russ) is laughable.

In the end all that matters is rings no matter how you slice it.


So Mario Chalmers is better than Chris Paul. If Paul were better he'd lead his team to a championship like Super Mario who even got a national championship in college. Paul isnt the winner that Mario is right?

Wilt put up great individual stats, but in his prime he just never cared as much about winning as he did stats (according to many people).


Those many people are probably biased sportswriters like Bill Simmons who is a Celtic homer and tries to diminish Wilt's greatness because Russ doesnt compare individually. Ive read 3 of Wilt's books and I never once seen a quote from him that he didnt care about winning. How do you anchor 2 of the best championship teams in NBA history that set the records for wins TWICE and hold a 33 game win streak that still stands if you don't care about winning?

It's been said in the past that Wilt wasn't the best teammate, while Russell was the ultimate teammate. Now, obviously I don't know for sure, because I wasn't around back then, and the media coverage wasn't like it is now. Frankly, Wilt didn't really have a ton of success until he played the Bill Russell role and decided to focus on defense and rebounding and let guys like West, Goodrich, and McMillian handle the scoring load.


Wilt was well into his 30s by then which is why the "Bill Russell role" was ideal. But he won a title in '67 (beating Russell on the way) in which he was the 5th leading scorer on his team. As far as being a bad teammate or a selfish one, Wilt led the league in assists in '68, and won a title in '67 playing unselfishly as his team's 5th leading scorer in the Finals (averaged 17.6). I think its unfair to try to portray a guy who was willing to do that in his PRIME (age 28) just to win as not a good teammate. Wilt gave up scoring in the 2nd half of his career because his coach Alex Hannum of the 76ers and Sharman of the Lakers asked him to. He did whatever he was asked to do to win.


Now, one thing that is not debatable is that Wilt was the better individual player. Wilt is in a league of his own and no one is really all that close when it comes to putting up stats. When talking about greatness, however, Bill Russell is ahead of him, because talent doesn't necessarily make you great.


I normally say Bill is the greatest winner, which he is, because he won everywhere he went, but the greatest player? Russell is not in that convo.

#23 King Taharqa

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:13 AM

Hell, Wilt would quit playing in games if he only had 1 foul left to give (part of the reason for his never fouling out streak which he was obsessed with).


Can you give me the game(s) that this occured? I've heard people make this claim but never seen anything to back it up. For his career Wilt averaged almost less than 2 fouls a game. He RARELY was in trouble of fouling out of games. "Quit" is a strong word for someone like Wilt who has 20 block games and averages over 20 boards for his career.

Only because he was white if we're being honest about that.


In his book Wilt talks about how in the 60's Celtics fans voted Bob Cousey the greatest Celtic. He said in the 70's they voted John Havlicek as the greatest Celtic. In the 80s, Larry Bird. Wilt's question was, how can Russell be better than him if his own fans don't consider him the greatest or put other HOFers above him?

#24 CarolinaNCSU

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 08:12 AM

Can you give me the game(s) that this occured? I've heard people make this claim but never seen anything to back it up. For his career Wilt averaged almost less than 2 fouls a game. He RARELY was in trouble of fouling out of games. "Quit" is a strong word for someone like Wilt who has 20 block games and averages over 20 boards for his career.



In his book Wilt talks about how in the 60's Celtics fans voted Bob Cousey the greatest Celtic. He said in the 70's they voted John Havlicek as the greatest Celtic. In the 80s, Larry Bird. Wilt's question was, how can Russell be better than him if his own fans don't consider him the greatest or put other HOFers above him?



Source for that info is mostly Bill Simmons's book. Obviously I haven't seen the games either, so just going off of his information and the tape he watched doing his research. He's also biased being a Celtic fan, so I understand any reservation about my post as factual. As for Wilt's numbers, yes, they're impressive and never will be matched. But if you put Dwight in his prime in the same era...he would have inflated numbers as well. The game wasn't vertical then. There weren't as many athletes and high flying guys as today. Wilt hardly ever went against more than 1 guy even close to his size.

As far as the Celtics voting...again, it's Boston. The discrimination was rampant and the poo Russell, Wilt, Oscar, etc. had to put up with was ridiculous. A white guy's city, with white stars through every decade, are going to vote the white guy as their favorite. Doesn't mean they're better players at all...sadly just how it worked. If Wilt were on those same Boston teams...especially with his flamboyant nature compared to Russell's...I almost guarantee he would've had it worse and not been as well liked compared to Russell among the bigoted fans. Not to mention fans are often times idiots.

#25 King Taharqa

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:05 AM

Source for that info is mostly Bill Simmons's book. Obviously I haven't seen the games either, so just going off of his information and the tape he watched doing his research. He's also biased being a Celtic fan, so I understand any reservation about my post as factual.


Dont rely on Simmons, he's an ESPN guy and extremely biased. You could see in his Russell interview over the all star break how he was tryna goad Russ into saying he had more "will" and was a better player than Wilt and Russ wouldnt do it. He kept speaking so high of him and said he was the best player he ever faced. Russell even narrated the recent "Wilt100" special on NBATV. Check out Wilt's 3 books along with Russell's autobiography. They give a better perspective on that time and era than anything you will absorb.

As for Wilt's numbers, yes, they're impressive and never will be matched. But if you put Dwight in his prime in the same era...he would have inflated numbers as well. The game wasn't vertical then. There weren't as many athletes and high flying guys as today. Wilt hardly ever went against more than 1 guy even close to his size.


Neither does 7'4 Roy Hibbert, but he's not tearing the league up now is he? Size means very little without skill. And Wilt is the most skilled big of all time. He even stated, height is OVERRATED. Wingspan and attitude are what makes for greatness in the paint anyway. Wilt faced more HOF and Top 50 big men than Dwight Howard. Who are the HOFers Dwight faces? Byron Mullens? DeMarcus Cousins? Tyson Chandler? These are the guys Wilt faced...

Walt Bellamy
Bob Pettit
Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Elvin Hayes
Jerry Lucas
Dolph Schayes
Clyde Lovelette
Bob McAdoo
Bill Russell
Nate Thurmond
Dave Cowens
Bob Lanier
Wes Unseld

Sure Dwight could play in Wilt's era. But he's gonna be taking a lot more punishment, dirty play, and less favorable calls from refs in 1960's basketball than he would be today. I also don't think Dwight has the footwork, the touch, or endurance to play at the pace that they played back then and put up Wilt's #'s. People never factor that in when looking at that teams in that era. You had to really be in shape to get up and down and post 100+ every night, and you didnt have the gazillion TV timeouts and breaks that you do nowadays.

As far as the Celtics voting...again, it's Boston. The discrimination was rampant and the poo Russell, Wilt, Oscar, etc. had to put up with was ridiculous. A white guy's city, with white stars through every decade, are going to vote the white guy as their favorite. Doesn't mean they're better players at all...sadly just how it worked. If Wilt were on those same Boston teams...especially with his flamboyant nature compared to Russell's...I almost guarantee he would've had it worse and not been as well liked compared to Russell among the bigoted fans. Not to mention fans are often times idiots.


Point well noted, but I do think a lot of those guys ARE HOFers and great players and played a big part in those rings as much as Russell. It just shows the talent advantage and coaching that Boston had over the league at that time. So again I say team accomplishment. But individually, Russ is not a goliath like Wilt. His name isnt all over the record books. Teams did not triple team him. There were not rule changes concocted with the sole purpose of STOPPING Bill Russell. Great winner, but not the level of player of Dippy.

#26 thatlookseasy

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:25 AM

Comparing players from different eras is tough, but its even tougher with those playing back in the 60s. No one could shoot jumpshots well, and the league as a whole was very short, very unathletic, and very white compared to today.

Take Bill Russell- greatest winner in NBA history, fantastic defender, led his team past Wilt all those times. But I just cant see him being a hall of famer if he played today. A 6'9 center who specializes on defense, very limited offensively, and isnt overly athletic. Sounds like Ben Wallace

Wilt would have been much more interesting playing today- he has the height and athleticism to match up with today's big men, and you get the feeling the increased competition would have brought more out of him (Wilt seemed to get bored playing back in the day, why else would he lead the league in assists one year). Who knows how his game would have developed- I'm sure he would've appreciated the real court spacing of todays NBA

#27 Hawk

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 11:50 AM

it's all about timing...Kobe just passed Wilt on the all time scoring leaders list! and yes I know, it took him almost 200 games more!

#28 ZB1224

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 12:01 PM

Honestly, KT, I really can't dispute anything that you said other than you going back to "So Chalmers > CP3?". Rings are what matters in the end, but Chalmers has never been in the discussion with CP3. Chalmers isn't a 5 time MVP, 11 time All-Star, 5 time rebounding champion, etc. Russell has all of the awards and stats to stake a claim that he an Wilt are comparable. Obviously Wilt is probably the most dominant player ever, and there will never be another who compares statistically, but I'm still not sure if I would put him over Russell in my top 10 list, just like I probably wouldn't put Shaq over Duncan (although those two are more comparably stats wise than Wilt/Russell).

Also, thatlookseasy -- one thing that you are wrong about is Bill Russell not being athletic. Bill Russell's athleticism was on par with Wilt's athleticism. I think that is one thing that I can say and be fully confident about in this discussion.

#29 CarolinaNCSU

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 12:07 PM

Good post KT. I'll still take Russell if I'm starting a team (smart or not), almost like I'd take Jeter in his prime (despite him not being an MVP guy most of his career). Can't go wrong with either though.

#30 Falcons1stPanthers2nd

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:22 PM

I'd take Jordan over any of em.


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