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King Taharqa

Wilt Chamberlain's resume

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So no, you were pretty off base on Michael's PG skills. He played 24 games at the position and was by far the most effective player in the league during that time (Sorry Magic, he out-Magic'd you). Everybody talks about the streak Lebron went on, well that stint with MJ at PG makes it look like a joke. 10 triple doubles in an 11 game stretch. Looks to me like if he would have played more of the year at the position he quite possibly could have led the league in scoring, steals, AND assists.

Oh, and heres one of the aforementioned highlights (against Magic and the Lakers no less).

The Bulls lost the majority of those games though, so no Jordan wasnt as effective playing the facilitator role. They went on a 7 game losing streak during those 11 games. Its also worth noting most of Jordan's triple doubles came during that stretch. He has 0 triple doubles in the Finals and only 2 in the playoffs (1 more than Andrew Bynum). Contrast that with guys like Wilt, Magic, and Big O who won titles playing all around games and averaging near triple doubles. Jordan at PG had nowhere near the success. And Wilt holds the record for most consecutive triple doubles (9) anyway.

Of course he isn't going to lead the league in rebounds, he's a 6'6" SG. I don't know why anyone would expect or want him to. If he does then that means there's probably something seriously wrong going on. And no, he didn't lead the league in FG% either as that's something Centers are normally supposed to do, especially one as dominant as Wilt. MJ shot remarkably 30+ ppg seasons however, and finished his career with a field goal of .497%. He took much more difficult shots than Wilt against much more difficult competition...

Michael has less FGs made than Wilt. He played with a 3 pt line which did not exist in Wilts time. In fact the one season Jordan shot over 40% from 3 was when the NBA moved the three point line in to college distance. The Bulls won 72 games that year. When the league moved it back 2 years later Jordan went back to shooting below 30% from 3 and the Bulls didnt come to 72 wins. MJ also shot most if not all of his teams technical foul shots (padding his stats) even tho Paxson and Kerr were better FT shooters. In Wilts era, this was not allowed. I also contend MJ never in the Finals faced a center as good as Wilt or Russell. The best center Jordan beat in the Finals was Vlade Divac who averaged 13 points in '91. The other centers he beat were Kevin Duckworth, Mark West, Oliver Miller, Sam Perkins, Ervin Johnson, Greg Ostertag, and Antoine Carr. None of them are HOFers. None of them averaged more than 13 points or 10 rebounds. People like to say Wilt dominated a bunch of white guys, didnt Jordan? His 63 point game in double OT came with Danny Ainge, Gerry Sichting, and Larry Bird checkin him. His 69 point game came in double OT with Craig Ehlo checking him. Wilt dropped 100 in REGULATION as well as a few 70 point games. MJs The "shot" in Cleveland came with Ehlo on him. In fact you'd be hard pressed to name 5 athletic shooting guards that Jordan faced in the 80s. Its no coincidence when better athletes like Penny Hardaway, Steve Smith, Grant Hill, Kobe, etc came into the league Jordan stopped averaging 30 a game. Never reached 60 points in the 90s, and didnt stand out as much.

Add in the fact that the game was a lot faster paced in Wilt's day, as there were a lot more shot attempts, it was a heck of a lot easier to get those rebound numbers, especially when you're a good foot taller or more and supremely more athletic than the rest of your competition. This is no fault of Wilts, he was a freak of nature for his time and I respect his talent... but jeeze man, you really have to take his video game numbers with a grain of salt.

Even in Wilts era there are only 4 men to average over 20 boards a game, so lets not act like that was the norm. Prior to Wilt the most anyone had scored in the NBA was 28 a game, he averaged 37.6 as a ROOKIE almost 10 points higher than the record. No other player in Wilts era averaged 40 or 50 points a game. No other player has a 55 rebound game (on Bill Russell no less) even with the faster pace. One thing that gets lost in pace is how in shape u had to be to run up and down the court scoring 100 every night. No one had ever shot over 50% til Wilt. No one shot over 60% til Wilt. No one shot over 70% til Wilt. Teams didn't have the constant timeouts and TV timeouts, and they score less now even with a 3 point line! Wilt regularly led the league in minutes, even averaging over 42 a game at age 36! One year Wilt averaged 48.5 minutes, playing every full game and a few OTs. MJ led the league in minutes once in 15 years and averaged less than 40 a game for his career. I doubt MJ could've played at that pace and play that many minutes if he cant lead in minutes in a slower game.

You saw what happened when America released the '92 Dream Team on the rest of the world, right? Every game was a blowout, the rest of the countries couldn't keep up and weren't equipped to handle it. Now international basketball has evolved since then (though they're still behind us) and they're at least a bit more respectable competition-wise. That was essentially Wilt Chamberlain, he was ahead of his time.

Dream Team 1 played nobodies. Guys were asking for autographs before games. Today's Olympic squads see international squads filled with NBA players and all stars. That's why Dream Team 92s games are rarely replayed, the comp was a JOKE and it's not entertaining.

I think he'd be damn good in today's league, but by no means would he be anywhere CLOSE to the dominant force he was back then.

I think in today's game with so few skilled big men, much better spacing (thanks to the 3 pt line), superstar calls, and the fact he'd still be taller, stronger, and more agile than most guys he would face (guys like Byron Mullens and Spencer Hawes would be checking him) he'd dominate even more!

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Michael has less FGs made than Wilt. He played with a 3 pt line which did not exist in Wilts time. In fact the one season Jordan shot over 40% from 3 was when the NBA moved the three point line in to college distance. The Bulls won 72 games that year. When the league moved it back a year later Jordan went back to shooting below 30% from 3 and the Bulls didnt come to 72 wins. MJ also shot most if not all of his teams technical foul shots (padding his stats) even tho Paxson and Kerr werw better FT shooters. In Wilts era, this was not allowed. I also contend MJ never in the Finals faced a center as good as Wilt or Russell. The best center Jordan beat in the Finals was Vlade Divac who averaged 13 points in '91. The other centers he beat were Kevin Duckworth, Mark West, Oliver Miller, Sam Perkins, Ervin Johnson, Greg Ostertag, and Antoine Carr. None of them are HOFers. None of them averaged more than 13 points or 10 rebounds. People like to say Wilt dominated a bunch of white guys, didnt Jordan? His 63 point game in double OT came with Danny Ainge, Gerry Sichting, and Larry Bird checkin him. His 69 point game came in double OT with Craig Ehlo checking him. Wilt dropped 100 in REGULATION as well as a few 70 point games. MJs The "shot" in Cleveland came with Ehlo on him. In fact youd be hard pressed to name 5 athletic shooting guards that Jordan faced in the 80s. Its no coincidence when better athetes like Penny Hardaway, Steve Smith, Grant Hill, Kobe, etc came into the league Jordan stopped averaging 30 a game. Never reached 60 points in the 90s, and didnt stand out as much.

Wow, you're bashing MJ for being a stat padder but then in the same breath defending arguably the biggest stat padder in the history of the game? I'd hope Wilt had more FGs made than Jordan, hell I expect him to. However let's take a look at their first 8 seasons FG% (yes, I'm cherry-picking 8, just like you cherry-picked the majority of your stats):

MJ: 51.5%, 45.7%, 48.2%, 53.5%, 53.8%, 52.6%, 53.9%, 51.9%

Wilt: 46.1%, 50.9%, 50.6%, 52.8%, 52.4%, 51.0%, 49.9%, 52.8%

And you were making a big deal about MJ never leading the league in FG% earlier? Wilt did it three times with just those numbers posted.

So Michael Jordan, who in 1996 with the shortened 3-point line won 72 games (NBA record), only won 69 the following year (a whole whopping 3 games short of the NBA record he had just set) after the 3-point line was moved back to normal? Wow, what a forgettable season that must have been, I bet he didn't even win a championship that year-- oh wait... by the way, wasn't the rest of the league subject to that same change? Or was Michael somehow the only one that benefited from a shortened 3-point line?

And I'm really not following you with the whole 3-point, free throw thing... are you saying you actually think Wilt is at a disadvantage because he wasn't able to shoot 3's? Seriously? Like... do you actually think he would be shooting 3's? Same thing with the free throws. Wilt was a horrible free throw shooter, shooting a paltry 51% for his career. And for as much as flack as you're giving Michael for shooting free throws and getting so many points at the line you conveniently left out that Wilt holds the NBA records for most FTAs in a game, most FTAs in a season, and most consecutive seasons (6) leading the league in FTAs. His year he averaged 50 ppg, he also averaged 17 FTAs a game that season (he routinely averaged around 13 a game in his pre-Laker years). His 100 point game? 32 FTA, 28 of them made. For Jordan getting so many superstar calls, the most free throws he ever averaged in a season was 11.9 (and this number was noticably higher than what he normally averaged), damn near close to what Wilt averaged for his career (11.4). MJ averaged 8.2 over his.

But yeah, there's a reason Jordan never played those dominant 90's centers in the Finals... that's because for one Shaq, Ewing, Mourning, Manute Bol (wasn't great, but dude was still 7'7"), Mutombo (2nd 3-peat), and Divac (2nd 3-peat) all played in the Eastern Conference. I'll give you one guess on who knocked all those centers out of the playoffs... as for the Western Conference you had Hakeem and Robinson as the truly dominant big men over there and they never managed to make it to the Finals during Michael's time. Not his fault. I can also contend that Wilt never played a SG as skilled as MJ in the Finals as well (see how that works?). And really... do you seriously want to start comparing MJ and Wilt's playoff numbers/success? Trying to make a case for Wilt over MJ in the Finals, let alone the playoffs is like going up poo creek without a paddle.

Yeah, there's a reason Jordan stopped averaging 30 a game in the 90s when Kobe and the others came into the league... it's because the man was 35 years old. He played a position that relied on using superior athleticism to create open shots. So since he began to lose that ability he perfected his post fadeaway shot. But yeah, let's pretend that 29.6 ppg ('97 season) and 28.7 ppg ('98 season) are so far off from 30 ppg. He actually did manage 30.4ppg in his '96 season. Anyways, what's Wilt's excuse? He experienced a major drop off in his 8th season, and aside from that following season (33.5 ppg) he subsequently fell down each year where he was consistently shooting in the low 20s, then his last 2 years he averaged under 15 ppg (14.8, 13.2 respectively). Keep in mind he was the same age as Michael in these two seasons when Michael managed his 29.6 and 28.7 seasons. So once again, how do you criticize MJ for something when it happened to Wilt far worse? Did *gasp* competition other than 6 foot white guys finally hit the league and expose Wilt? Isn't that pretty much the argument you tried to use against Michael by saying people like Kobe, etc. came in and his numbers dropped?

The Bulls lost the majority of those games though, so no Jordan wasnt as effective playing the facilotator role. They went on a 7 game losing streak during those 11 games. Its also worth noting most of Jordans triple doubles came during that stretch. He has 0 triple doubles in the Finals and only 2 in the playoffs. Contrast that with guys like Wilt, Magic, and Big O who won tiytles playing all around games. Jordan at PG had nowhere near the success. And Wilt holds the record for most consecutive triple doubles (9) anyway.

So Wilt gets credit for all his great stats, even though it only ever got him 1 championship before he joined the Lakers (Wilt only averaged 9.3 shots that season, coincidentally he also won a championship that same year), yet you downplay MJ's stats at the PG position by saying the Bulls lost the majority of those games. Jordan at the PG was an experiment, the Bulls were already losing games that year, and out of those 24 games with him at the position they won 13 of them. That's good for a .541 record during that span. And no, they went on a 6-game losing streak, not a 7-game. But on the same token they also went on a 6-game winning streak when Jordan was playing PG. So...? I don't know, it's obvious you have some kind of bias against MJ for whatever reason, you're constantly cherry-picking stats and continue to fail to mention both sides of the story each time. Lol, once again... are you sure you want to mention titles and Finals when comparing Jordan vs. Chamberlain?

Yeah, Wilt averaging 37.6 ppg in 46.4 minutes as a rookie is impressive, but I'll still take Jordan's 28.2 ppg in 38.3 minutes as a rookie facing far tougher competition. Doesn't Wilt, as a rookie, averaging 10 points over the highest ppg total in NBA history up to that point speak volumes about the competition he faced back then? Seriously, that's the point I'm trying to make. The league didn't really get competitive until the ABA merger in the 70s, and then it really started to explode in the 80s (toughest era ever, imo). Yeah, Michael dropped 63 on Bird (a top 5 all time player) and the Celtics loaded with HOFers. The same Celtics that were routinely battling it out with Magic (another top 5 all time player) and the Lakers for championships in the 80s.

Dream Team 1 played nobodies. Guys were asking for autographs before games. Todays olympic squads see international squads filled with NBA players and all stars. Thats why Dream Team 92s games are rarely replayed, the comp was a JOKE and not entertainibg.

I think you may have missed my point here. I was comparing the rest of the world during the '92 Dream Team's run to the NBA of the 50s/60s. The competition was comparable. Just like you said, hasn't the rest of the world caught up to us quite a bit competition-wise? The same could be said of the NBA of the 70s, where it began to evolve and culminated in the golden age of the 80s and 90s.

I think in todays game with so few skilled big men, much better spacing (thanks to the 3 pt line), superstar calls, and the fact hed still be taller, stronger, and more agile than most guys he would face (guys like Byron Mullens and Spencer Hawes) hed dominate even more!

Haha.. I don't even have anything to say to this. But if you honestly believe that then I guess it's your right. I'm not arguing that he wouldn't be dominant, because he definitely would... but no way in hell do I believe he'd have a season averaging 50 ppg/25 rpg.

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Without Wilt, there would have been other black stars (Russell, Oscar, Baylor) who could have filled the role- by the time MJ is coming along in the 80s there is no way the NBA doesnt have a bunch of black stars.

Thats like saying there were other black leaders besides MLK, by the time 2008 rolled around we would've had a black President. Russell and Oscar were NOT the stars of the league when they played at that point (in the 50s). Most teams in the 1950s and early 60s had 2 black players at most on their rosters. Their was an unsaid rule that that was the maximum allowed. And as Wilt so eloquently put it, these were "blue collar" players who did the dirty work and were not featured as "stars". The 2 biggest stars at that time and the highest paid players in the league were Bob Cousy and Bob Pettit. Just as today there was a notion that blacks werent intelligent enough and savy enough to be QBs or leaders on the football field, there was a notion back then blacks werent smart enough or savvy enough to lead as PGs or volume scoring "stars". Wilt was without a doubt the first black STAR in the league and came in as the highest paid player at that time. Wilt already was a proven box office draw from playing with the Globetrotters (who were more popular and regularly outdrew NBA teams at that time), no other black player can say that. So yes, Wilt did very much pave the way for MJ's generation, much in the way he has paved the way for the Kobes and LeBron's. Wilt went thru the racial slurs and being called the N word during the NCAA tourney and being blasted by the media for dating white women so that MJ wouldnt have to. Hell when Wilt played in 1957, UNC didnt have a single black player on their roster. Jordan was born in 1963, Wilt had already been ROY, MVP, All-Star MVP, scored 100 points, averaged 50 for a season, grabbed 55 rebounds in a game, etc. He absolutely blazed the path that Jordan would later follow.

Wilts unworldly statistical records come from the fact that (almost) everyone else in the league was fuging garbage. He was playing against 6'8 white guys most nights, though thats certainly not Wilt's fault (nor was it his fault that he got stuck playing with crappy teammates most of his career).

This is my biggest beef with Jordan fans is that they "make stuff up" to fit their argument rather than research it. Many of these guys you call "fuging garbage" are on the NBA's Top 50 list, guys who've been HOFers for 4 decades. But because you're not familiar with them, or they dont have Nike backing them telling you how great they were, you dismiss an entire era of basketball. I don't think thats fair, and I'd imagine if some elementary kid today who never saw MJ or Bird or Magic play said the same thing about their era and proclaimed LeBron's era has better players and athletes, you wouldnt like it. Again, Wilt Chamberlain played Bill Russell & Kareem 2 of the greatest centers to ever play the game. There's not a center in the league today who's faced that caliber of competition.

But ignoring that part of the conversations is pretty silly- ever watched a game from that era? The level of play was awful- you were a good shooter if you hit 40% of your shots

I will leave a quote from Wiltie to respond to this 1....

"In my day, there was far more opposition. Players like Jerry West or Oscar Robertson, two of the greatest in the world, couldn't move successfully against players of Bill Russell's, Nate Thurmond's or Wilt Chamberlain's caliber, because their shots would've been blocked. But today with zone defenses and so forth. Michael and the others can get to the basket more easily. I am not saying that they couldn't have made it under the old rules, but when it is easier, their percentages are going to be higher. These differences should be taken into consideration when talk turns to today's percentages and how these guys are shooting better today.

and another...

"I maintain that only the three point shot is a valid standard for measuring today's true percentages. Look at the three point shot perecentages and you will see that guys like Jordan are shooting around 30 percent.

When I was playing, most of the shots came from what is today the three point area. The guards were all shooting two hand set shots and one hand stabs (as they called them) and shooting off of picks. All of these were basically three point shots. Yes, and their percentages were between 31 percent and 43 percent.

Those stats have been thought of as poor, but in comparison with what the guys are shooting today from the three point area, a different picture emerges. Avereage players are shooting only about 33 percent from the three point area, and the good guys are shooting 40 percent. One player is shooting 51 percent, and another may be reaching 46 percent-but that's it. Most are down in the low thirties, and some are even shooting in the twenties."

There were no 3 point lines to provide "spacing" that you see in today's game. And yet, you had more HOFers playing then and every team in the league averaged over 100 points.

Comparing the stats Wilt put up in the 60s and early 70s to the stats MJ put up in the 80s and 90s is as unfair a comparison as comparing Wilt's titles to Bill Russell.

No it's not. A basket is still only 2 points, rebounds, assists are still tallied in the same manner as they were in Wilt's day. The fact is, Jordan's #'s just dont come close to Wilt's. Nobody makes this argument when comparing Jordan to a present day player. Nobody says you cant compare stats between eras then, because that is favorable to Michael. Comparing him to a Goliath like Wilt is not.

Wilt may very well have been the greatest player ever, but its hard to know because the other players of his era were only occasionally good enough to even challenge him. I agree that he doesnt get the respect that he deserves, mainly because we overrate championships and Wilt kept losing them. But even you have to admit that Wilt really should have won a couple more- there were only like 8 teams in the entire NBA for most of his career

Wilt played in an era when the Celtics kept at least 7-8 HOFers on their squads and won 8 straight titles, 11 in 13 years. They also featured the best coach and GM in perhaps NBA history. When you look at that, its like Wilt says, he and his teams deserve a lot of credit for even challenging those guys. And he still managed to win 2 titles anchoring what are considered 2 of the greatest teams in league history. The '67 76ers (their first championship) and the '72 Lakers (their first championship in LA). There was no blueprint he was following like today's players who can look back at past greats. Wilt was the first of his kind doing things no one had ever done before.

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Wow, you're bashing MJ for being a stat padder but then in the same breath defending arguably the biggest stat padder in the history of the game? I'd hope Wilt had more FGs made than Jordan, hell I expect him to. However let's take a look at their first 8 seasons FG% (yes, I'm cherry-picking 8, just like you cherry-picked the majority of your stats):

MJ: 51.5%, 45.7%, 48.2%, 53.5%, 53.8%, 52.6%, 53.9%, 51.9%

Wilt: 46.1%, 50.9%, 50.6%, 52.8%, 52.4%, 51.0%, 49.9%, 52.8%

As I stated in an earlier post, at that time in the NBA no one had ever shot over 50% from the field before Wilt. Which he did in his 2nd season. Keep that in consideration when looking at these #'s. Centers and forwards routinely crowded the paint (as they were no 3 point lines to spread the floor with) so those wide open lanes to the paint that MJ enjoyed and guys like Kobe, LeBron, etc enjoy today didn't exist. There was a 6'10 or 7 foot body waiting for you in the paint everytime.

Wilt was able to make it to an NBA Finals and several conference Finals in his first 8 seasons. Didn't MJ lose his first 3 playoff series in the 1st round? He lost 1-3 in '85, got swept in '86, and got swept again in '87. In fact, the Bulls were a sub .500 team making the playoffs those first 3 years. Jordan's most dominant individual season is '87 in which he averaged an amazing 37.1 PPG, but the Bulls only won 40 games and got swept in the 1st round. The '62 season Wilt averaged 50, his team won 49 games and lost in a Eastern Conference Game 7 to the eventual champs the Celtics. Big difference ehh? Its not a coincidence Jordan and the Bulls did not become an above .500 team or won a playoff series until they pulled off draft day trades for Scottie Pippen (HOFer), and Ho Grant (underrated big who gave the Bulls a low post presence that MJ could not provide).

And you were making a big deal about MJ never leading the league in FG% earlier? Wilt did it three times with just those numbers posted.

Because for a guy to lead the league in FG attempts in 9 seasons, not being the league leader or even one of the league leaders in FG efficiency says a lot. Anybody can score 30 points, 40 points, if they shoot the ball enough. Antwan Jamison has had back to back 50 point games before. What seperates great scorers is %. MJ fans and Kobe fans dont typically value % because neither one of those guys ever dominated in that area and cared more about attempts than efficiency. Wilt led the league in attempts 7 seasons and in 4 of those he led the league in FG%. Which meant even though he hoisted up more shots than anyone, more of em went in than anyone else in the league. Jordan could never say that.

So Michael Jordan, who in 1996 with the shortened 3-point line won 72 games (NBA record), only won 69 the following year (a whole whopping 3 games short of the NBA record he had just set) after the 3-point line was moved back to normal? Wow, what a forgettable season that must have been, I bet he didn't even win a championship that year-- oh wait... by the way, wasn't the rest of the league subject to that same change? Or was Michael somehow the only one that benefited from a shortened 3-point line?

The 3 point line was moved back in the 98 season, not 97. The Bulls won 62 games that season, which would be on par with how many they were winning their first 3 championships. A guy who was shooting below 30% from the 3 point line his whole career suddenly attempts and makes more 3's in those 2 years than ever before or after. And you dont think that helped? Even Scottie attempted more than double the amount of 3's those 2 seasons than at any point of his career. But let me guess, it didnt help. Just imagine if the NBA made a college 3 point line for this year's Miami Heat that features capable 3 point shooters like LeBron, Wade, Chalmers, Ray Allen, Battier, Miller, Jones, Bosh. You don't think that would increase their scoring shooting from 20 feet instead of 23? And teams today attempt and make waaaaaaaaaaaaay more 3's than any teams in the 80s or 90s. You dont think that wouldnt help them win more games? I do. I wont even mention the league expansion that occured during Mike's titles that helped water down the league talent level even more (Hornets, T'Wolves, Heat, Raptors, Magic, Grizzlies all came in the NBA from the late 80s to mid 90s, 6 extra teams most of which were bottom feeders when MJ played)

And I'm really not following you with the whole 3-point, free throw thing... are you saying you actually think Wilt is at a disadvantage because he wasn't able to shoot 3's? Seriously? Like... do you actually think he would be shooting 3's?

Wilt has youtube clips where he's shooting hook shots from 3 point range. Wilt played PG for the Globetrotters and routinely took jumpshots. The guy is more skilled than you are giving him credit. Besides, adding a 3 point line is a "rule change" that benefited perimeter players like MJ greatly. Take away all of MJ's 3 pointers and he has significantly less points. MJ getting to 55 points shooting 5 3 pointers over the top of a defense is easier than scoring 100 points all off 2 pointers in a crowded paint of defenders. If it was so easy, guys like Shaq and Dwight would overpower their way to 100 points. Neither has ever come close.

Same thing with the free throws. Wilt was a horrible free throw shooter, shooting a paltry 51% for his career.

Free throws was his one weakness. Ironically, you look in the NBA record books for most FT's made in an NBA game, and who's name is at the top of the list? Not MJ.

And for as much as flack as you're giving Michael for shooting free throws and getting so many points at the line you conveniently left out that Wilt holds the NBA records for most FTAs in a game, most FTAs in a season, and most consecutive seasons (6) leading the league in FTAs. His year he averaged 50 ppg, he also averaged 17 FTAs a game that season (he routinely averaged around 13 a game in his pre-Laker years). His 100 point game? 32 FTA, 28 of them made.

Thats because teams routinely relied on the hack-a-Wilt when he played, even fouling him away from the ball so much at the end of games the NBA created a rule that intentionally fouling a player at the end of games who doesnt have the ball results in 2 FTs and the ball. Most people dont even know this rule was created because of Wilt Chamberlain. His large number of attempts was due to teams knowing he was such a poor shooter, so guys were coached to hammer him and put him on the line. The direct opposite of Jordan who if you fouled too hard or set too hard a screen on, you could get ejected for it. The NBA and David Stern never allowed players to play dirty with Michael. If you know of an instance where that was the case, I'd love for you to youtube it for us. I've never seen anyone get away with that when it came to Mike and not be penalized for it. I've never seen or remember the media praising players for fouling MJ hard and "tough" like they did with Wilt and routinely do with LeBron now.

For Jordan getting so many superstar calls, the most free throws he ever averaged in a season was 11.9 (and this number was noticably higher than what he normally averaged), damn near close to what Wilt averaged for his career (11.4). MJ averaged 8.2 over his.

MJ also shot 59 free throws in 4 playoff games as a ROOKIE in '85. Can you point me to another superstar player since that averaged 13 FTs a game in the playoffs in his first series as a ROOKIE? MJ came in getting preferential treatment. He's the only NBA player I've ever seen get into a fight during a game and be allowed to keep playing while the player he fought (Reggie Miller) got tossed.

But yeah, there's a reason Jordan never played those dominant 90's centers in the Finals... that's because for one Shaq, Ewing, Mourning, Manute Bol (wasn't great, but dude was still 7'7"), Mutombo (2nd 3-peat), and Divac (2nd 3-peat) all played in the Eastern Conference.

If you notice almost all these centers are much younger than MJ or came into the league AFTER he won titles. Shaq had only been in the league 2-3 years when he faced Jordan, Mourning the same, Bol was trash, Mutumbo was younger, Divac was nothing special.

as for the Western Conference you had Hakeem and Robinson as the truly dominant big men over there and they never managed to make it to the Finals during Michael's time

Not true, Houston won the '95 NBA Finals, sweeping the same Orlando team that beat MJ and the Bulls pretty handily in 6 games. Houston is also the 1 team in the 90s that had a winning record vs. the Bulls. Makes sense tho, as Hakeem was older than Michael and was drafted before him, so he wasnt in awe of him the way centers younger than Michael and or came into the league ater him (Ewing, D Rob, Shaq, Zo, etc) were. Its not a coincidence that all the stars like Magic, Bird, & Isiah who came in the league 4-5 years before Jordan routinely dominated him and beat him on their way to titles in the 80s, which was their primes. Bird swept him TWICE. Isiah beat him 3 straight years. Magic won MVPs over him and took his team to Finals 8 times in the 80s when Jordan couldnt get out the 2nd round. Age and experience make a difference. So by the time Jordan was the big dog in the 90s, there were no centers who could match him and all those other guys I previously named either were too old and injured. It is only THEN that Jordan begins to dominate. Keep it in perspective, when those other guys were at their peaks, Jordan wasnt even appearing in Finals.

Not his fault. I can also contend that Wilt never played a SG as skilled as MJ in the Finals as well (see how that works?).

Its unfortunate you're not familiar with the original "Mr.Clutch". Sam Jones is from Wilmington, NC (Jordan's hometown) and has 10 rings (4 more than MJ). He hit so many clutch shots and made so many plays in the NBA Finals that he was put in the HOF and is a Top 50 player all time (I guess since there was no ESPN back then to hype him he still counts as "weak competition"). Wilt also faced "the logo" Jerry West, who unlike Jordan, has led the league in assists before from the SG position.

And really... do you seriously want to start comparing MJ and Wilt's playoff numbers/success? Trying to make a case for Wilt over MJ in the Finals, let alone the playoffs is like going up poo creek without a paddle.

If all you're looking at is scoring totals yeah. Take for instance Wilt's 1967 Finals where he averaged 17.6 PPG. You will probably say he didnt show up, since he allowed 4 of his teammates to attempt more shots and score more points than him. Yet Wilt was the MVP of that series because he sacrificed scoring (as he was coached to do, in an attempt to get more out of his teammates) and averaged 6.8 assists and over 20 rebounds a game. As the defensive anchor of his squads, he didnt need to shoot the ball 30 times to be great. He could impact the game defensively by blocking shots and locking down the boards that helped his team win. Thats what true big men do. In fact that '67 Sixers squad only lost 3 playoff games during that run. Just because Wilt didnt increase his shot attempts in the Finals the way that MJ did does not mean he did not impact the game. Hell he won Finals MVP in '72 taking less than 10 shots a game. Because there's more to basketball than just scoring and volume scoring. There have been several guards in the history of the NBA to average 30+ points in the Finals. D Wade and Jerry West are two who instantly come to mind. You'll be hard pressed to tell me another center who averages 20 points and 20 rebounds in the Finals.

Yeah, there's a reason Jordan stopped averaging 30 a game in the 90s when Kobe and the others came into the league... it's because the man was 35 years old. He played a position that relied on using superior athleticism to create open shots. So since he began to lose that ability he perfected his post fadeaway shot. But yeah, let's pretend that 29.6 ppg ('97 season) and 28.7 ppg ('98 season) are so far off from 30 ppg.

Thats the thing, when teams started bringing in bigger more athletic players, Jordan's advantage in that scope diminished. At no point in his 30s did Jordan ever drop 60 points again. Both of his 60 point performances came in his 20s in the 80s. Wilt at age 32, scored 66 as the third option on the Lakers behind West & Baylor. That makes him the oldest player in NBA history to ever have a 60 point game.

He actually did manage 30.4ppg in his '96 season. Anyways, what's Wilt's excuse? He experienced a major drop off in his 8th season, and aside from that following season (33.5 ppg) he subsequently fell down each year where he was consistently shooting in the low 20s, then his last 2 years he averaged under 15 ppg (14.8, 13.2 respectively).

Wilt's function changed. His first 7 years in the league he led in scoring each year, yet never could get enough out of his teams to win a title. In 1967, his coach Alex Hannum asked him to "facilate" more and his scoring was reduced, yet he won his first title playing that way and the Sixers set a then record of 68 wins and 13 losses. Wilt nearly averaged a triple double thru the playoffs that year and set the consecutive triple doubles streak the following season. When he was traded to the Lakers, they already had 30 point scorers in West and Baylor (both of whom are top 10 all time scorers), so there was no need to for Wilt to attempt 26 shots a game like an MJ. Those last 2 seasons you pointed out Wilt shot less than 10 shots a game. And still shot well over 60% and 70% those 2 seasons as an old man. Did Jordan even shoot over 50% as an old man in his last 2 seasons? Nope, he didnt. Do you think MJ could impact games and be GREAT shooting less than 10 shots a game? I don't. Yet Wilt won a championship and Finals MVP doing just that.

Keep in mind he was the same age as Michael in these two seasons when Michael managed his 29.6 and 28.7 seasons. So once again, how do you criticize MJ for something when it happened to Wilt far worse? Did *gasp* competition other than 6 foot white guys finally hit the league and expose Wilt? Isn't that pretty much the argument you tried to use against Michael by saying people like Kobe, etc. came in and his numbers dropped?

Walt Bellamy, Nate Thurmond, Bill Russell are just a few names Wilt faced. All 3 are HOF centers who are not 6 foot 8 white guys. All got dominated by Wilt. He outscored and outrebounded all of them head to head. Just because you dont know about players in the 50s and 60s doesnt mean they all suck and that they all were white. Research things you don't know about.

Yeah, Wilt averaging 37.6 ppg in 46.4 minutes as a rookie is impressive, but I'll still take Jordan's 28.2 ppg in 38.3 minutes as a rookie facing far tougher competition. Doesn't Wilt, as a rookie, averaging 10 points over the highest ppg total in NBA history up to that point speak volumes about the competition he faced back then? Seriously, that's the point I'm trying to make. The league didn't really get competitive until the ABA merger in the 70s, and then it really started to explode in the 80s (toughest era ever, imo). Yeah, Michael dropped 63 on Bird (a top 5 all time player) and the Celtics loaded with HOFers. The same Celtics that were routinely battling it out with Magic (another top 5 all time player) and the Lakers for championships in the 80s.

So you would take a rookie who averaged less than 30 points on a sub .500 team that got bounced out easily in the 1st round. Over a rookie who led the league in scoring (37.6), rebounding (27.2), was MVP of the league and got his team to the 2nd round? OK. LOL.

I think you may have missed my point here. I was comparing the rest of the world during the '92 Dream Team's run to the NBA of the 50s/60s. The competition was comparable. Just like you said, hasn't the rest of the world caught up to us quite a bit competition-wise? The same could be said of the NBA of the 70s, where it began to evolve and culminated in the golden age of the 80s and 90s.

If the competition was so weak why didnt black players like Walt Bellamy, Thurmond, Big O, etc average 50 a game? They were going against the same competition as Wilt. Don't you think its kinda weird to make an argument for 1 player, MJ, you have to discount an entire era (2 decades) worth of basketball as irrelevant and having no meaning to prop him up? Do they do that in baseball? Johan Santana and Prince Fielder face better "athletes" so what Hank Aaron and Willie Mays did means nothing, since they were playing a bunch of white guys! LMAO.

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This is my biggest beef with Jordan fans is that they "make stuff up" to fit their argument rather than research it. Many of these guys you call "fuging garbage" are on the NBA's Top 50 list, guys who've been HOFers for 4 decades. But because you're not familiar with them, or they dont have Nike backing them telling you how great they were, you dismiss an entire era of basketball. I don't think thats fair, and I'd imagine if some elementary kid today who never saw MJ or Bird or Magic play said the same thing about their era and proclaimed LeBron's era has better players and athletes, you wouldnt like it. Again, Wilt Chamberlain played Bill Russell & Kareem 2 of the greatest centers to ever play the game. There's not a center in the league today who's faced that caliber of competition.

C'mon man, you seriously think the level of play was equivalent to today? Half the big men in the league were 6'8 and shorter, almost all of the guards couldnt dunk, a lot of the players smoked cigarettes, and if you shot 40% from the field you were good shooter. Many of the guys I called "fuging garbage" were indeed pretty terrible, but there were absolutely some players who were legitimately talented. They just looked even better than they are because of the competition.

Bill Russell is a legend. Hall of famer. Greatest winner ever. But do you really think a 6'9 center with no offensive moves would be as effective today?

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C'mon man, you seriously think the level of play was equivalent to today? Half the big men in the league were 6'8 and shorter, almost all of the guards couldnt dunk, a lot of the players smoked cigarettes, and if you shot 40% from the field you were good shooter. Many of the guys I called "fuging garbage" were indeed pretty terrible, but there were absolutely some players who were legitimately talented. They just looked even better than they are because of the competition.

Bill Russell is a legend. Hall of famer. Greatest winner ever. But do you really think a 6'9 center with no offensive moves would be as effective today?

Bill Russell had incredible leaping ability! He's a better athlete than given credit, he just wasnt a great offensive player.

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Yeah seems like we're just gonna keep going back and forth here. I respect what Wilt did for the game, he truly was a man among boys during his time and the leagues first superstar... but no one is ever going to convince me that a lot of his crazy unbreakable statistics he put up wasn't a direct result of the competition around him he faced. We'll just end it there I guess. Wilt is one of the greatest in my eyes, but to me MJ is the undisputed GOAT.

That's interesting about Sam Jones, I'll have to look him up. Can't believe I've never heard of him... and if I had I guess I just forgot. Though I guess he probably gets overshadowed by MJ. Haha, yeah I know all about Wilmington, I actually live about 25 minutes outside of Wilmington in a small town called Whiteville (it's actually about midways between Lumberton, where his dad was murdered, and Wilmington). You already know how big MJ is worldwide... yeah well the dude is like a local legend around here being so close to home. Funny story about that is I know a guy pretty well whose cousin was actually one of the gunmen that shot Jordan's father.

... and trust me, that 'gambling debt' rumor that's been going around for God knows how long is a crock of poo. Those guys weren't hitmen, they were just your typical low-life kind of people and they really had no idea who the guy was when they jacked the car. Figured I'd take an opportunity to squash that crap in case anyone actually believed it.

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Bill Russell had incredible leaping ability! He's a better athlete than given credit, he just wasnt a great offensive player.

I don't see why he couldn't be a dominant rebounder, shot blocker, and passer today. Shaquille O'Neal, all 7'1 330 lbs of him NEVER led the league in rebounds. He was routinely outrebounded by 6'8 Dennis Rodman, 6'9 Ben Wallace, 6'9 Chris Webber, 6'11 Kevin Garnett. Shaq never led the league in blocks. Always trailing guys like 6'10 Alonzo Mourning, 6'11 Tim Duncan, and 6'9 Ben Wallace. Size means very little, wingspan is where its at. And 6'9 Bill Russell has a 7'4 wingspan. Plus when a guy wins 2 NCAA titles back to back, a Gold medal, 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons (2 of which he was "Player-Coach" with no assistants, just himself) its hard to doubt him.

Thats kind of my point. Without an offensive game, if Bill Russell played today he would be a Ben Wallace/ Dennis Rodman type player. Great player, very important on the right team, but not an MVP caliber player. And he was easily the best big man Wilt played against for most of his career.

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That's interesting about Sam Jones, I'll have to look him up. Can't believe I've never heard of him... and if I had I guess I just forgot. Though I guess he probably gets overshadowed by MJ. Haha, yeah I know all about Wilmington, I actually live about 25 minutes outside of Wilmington in a small town called Whiteville (it's actually about midways between Lumberton, where his dad was murdered, and Wilmington).

Ain't Whiteville where Otis Nixon is from?

Here's a recent article on the great Sam Jones. He went to school at my alma mater...

1qJzEF.AuSt.156.jpeg

N.C. Central reconnected with its basketball royalty this week in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Sam Jones, a Hall of Famer whose jersey No. 41 is retired and hanging inside the Eagles’ gym, surprised the team and coach LeVelle Moton with a visit and inspirational message after their victory Monday at Bethune-Cookman.

The current Eagles were born decades after Jones won 10 NBA championships with Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics and weren’t even in elementary school when he was named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players during 1996.

They know Jones’ name and history – Moton has made sure of that – but they had no idea who the elderly man was chatting with their coach.

“They see Sam Jones every single day,” Moton joked, “but he was in his 20s in the photos.”

So Moton connected the generations and introduced Jones to the team.

“They gave him a standing ovation,” Moton said.

The visit was rare – Jones lives in Orlando, Fla., and plays golf as often as possible, Moton said – but their friendship has stayed constant for two decades.

Moton is from Boston, a Celtics fan with a particular admiration for Jones.

Without prompting, he recounted Jones’ largely anonymous role in John Havlicek’s steal that clinched Game 7 of a 1965 Eastern Conference finals. Havlicek tipped the inbounds pass that led to one of the most famous radio calls in sports history, but it was Jones who beat 76ers forward Chet Walker to secure the loose ball.

Moton, a star guard with N.C. Central during the mid-1990s, met his hero almost by accident. Jones was back on campus, visiting coaches, when Moton walked into the basketball office.

“I literally almost collapsed,” Moton said. “I shook his hand and wouldn’t let go. … I was star-struck.”

Moton sensed a similar sentiment from his players Monday.

“This generation is funny,” Moton said. “Their basketball history begins with Michael Jordan. My goal since I got here was to recreate the history … connect the dots. Every player who walks through those doors needs to know that history.”

Jones addressed the team with a life lesson: N.C. Central’s campus sits in the shadows of three college basketball giants, but zip codes don’t determine success. He told them it’s not about North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State or even Wake Forest. It’s about making the most wherever you are.

Jones regaled the team with a story about how he was drafted. North Carolina star Lennie Rosenbluth scored 20 points as the Tar Heels knocked off Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas to win the 1957 NCAA championship.

Boston’s Red Auerbach took a scouting trip south with the intent of drafting a Tar Heel. Bones McKinney, a former Wake Forest coach, told Auerbach he could visit Chapel Hill, but the best player in the state was a few miles away.

The Philadelphia Warriors selected Rosenbluth with the sixth pick. Boston made its choice two picks later.

“Red drafted Sam Jones without ever seeing him play,” Moton said.

http://www.newsobser...-sam-jones.html

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Giving so much pie in this thread lol. Everyone is honestly doing a very good job of presenting their argument, as well as backing it up. I'm definitely gaining a lot of information. One of the better threads I've seen in the basketball section.

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Ain't Whiteville where Otis Nixon is from?

Here's a recent article on the great Sam Jones. He went to school at my alma mater...

http://www.newsobser...-sam-jones.html

Nah, he's from around the area though... Chris Wilcox, Patrick Lennon and Chester McGlockton are all from Whiteville though. You probably heard of Chester at least, he was a 3x All-Pro, 4x Pro-Bowler DT that played with the Raiders back in the 90s. He was a bit of a journeyman after that though and passed away about 2 years ago. May or may not have heard of Wilcox, idk, he hasn't really done too much in his time in the league, he's on the Celtics now though.

And I totally forgot Wilt played in Conan, though it's been a while since I saw any of those movies.

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LarryBrownUCLA11pg-vertical.jpg

Of all his memories of Wilt Chamberlain, the one that stood out for Larry Brown happened long after Chamberlain's professional career was over. On a summer day in the early 1980s at the Men's Gym on the UCLA campus, Chamberlain showed up to take part in one of the high-octane pickup games that the arena constantly attracted. Brown was the coach of the Bruins back then, and Chamberlain often drove to UCLA from his home in Bel Air, Calif. "Magic Johnson used to run the games," Brown recalled Tuesday after hearing that Chamberlain, his friend, had died at the age of 63, "and he called a couple of chintzy fouls and a goaltending on Wilt. "So Wilt said: 'There will be no more layups in this gym,' and he blocked every shot after that. That's the truth, I saw it. He didn't let one (of Johnson's) shots get to the rim." Chamberlain would have been in his mid-40s at the time, a decade removed from one of the greatest careers any basketball player ever produced. But the advancing years meant little to Chamberlain in terms of physical conditioning. Into his 50s and his 60s, Chamberlain remained an incredible specimen -- a mountain of a man who was as coordinated and talented athletically as he was imposing physically. The Cleveland Cavaliers called him in the early '80s and asked him if he'd still be interested in playing. Five or six years later, when Chamberlain was 50, the New Jersey Nets had the same idea. Neither of those potential comebacks ever came to pass, but the very idea of signing a player so old shows just how well Chamberlain kept himself in shape -- and how shocked people were when they heard he had died.

When word came that Chamberlain had died, Brown passed along the news to his team, the Philadelphia 76ers, and told them a story that tried to put one of Chamberlain's greatest accomplishments -- averaging more than 50 points in a season -- into perspective. "It was a night when someone, Bernard King or Adrian Dantley, scored 50 points," said Brown, who coached at Kansas and played at North Carolina -- the two schools that took part in one of the greatest college games ever, the 1957 NCAA championship game won by the Tar Heels against Chamberlain's Jayhawks. "It was the 257th time a player other than Wilt had scored 50 or more, but all that did was tie the number of times Wilt did it," Brown said.

http://static.espn.g...012/110842.html

A pic of old man Wiltie in his late 50s standing with Patrick Ewing and young Shaq in '92. Between the 3 of them, who looks more physically imposing to you?

patwiltshaqhe1.jpg

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