?? for all you Wilt Chamerlain haters.?
Question:You seem to answer, he was only good because he played against shorter centers?
Wilt was 7' 1"
Here's who he played against..
Bill Russell 6' 10"
Willis Reed 6' 10"
Walt Bellamy 7'
Nate Thurmond 7'
Lew / Kareem 7' 2"
Artis Gilmore 7' 3"
Wilt held more then his own with all of them...
So if you want to say Shaq is better then Wilt.
As Aerosmith sings DREAM ON!!
I like Shaq and he is a great BB player
but can anyone give Wilt his Due?
The Centers he played against weren't too shabby.!
They weren't just a bunch of short white centers.. As answers on this ?? seem to say!!
Give him his due.
Wilt and MJ are my favorite NBA players
of all time.
I was a season ticket holder for the Lakers from 1969 to 1976.
btw, in case you haven't seen it, here's a 10 minute clip of the last 3:21 of game 7 of the 69 Laker/Celtic final. Wilt, of course, was on the bench, thanks to van Breda Kolff, but the announcers never even mentioned that during this part of the broadcast. I hadn't seen this since it was originally broadcast, although I've seen the clips of Don Nelson's shot far too many times. LOL
Also, check out this tribute to Chamberlain and Russell ("The World's Greatest"):
While it's true that people of a certain age who don't know anything about basketball history don't think Wilt was as good as he was, this is not true of people who know basketball (especially players who had to face Wilt on the court). Most of the book that talked about his exploits are no longer in print, and nobody reads today anyway.
I've been very surprised at the lack of respect by ESPN for anyone who played prior to the formation of the network. It's too bad, especially since guys like Wilt and Russell made it possible for the NBA to exist today. As is the case with most people, ESPN's historical persepctive began on the day it was "born". ESPN often says Jordan was the greatest player ever, but if ESPN were a book, it would be written on about a fourth grade reading level.
Shaq himself actually does know about Wilt...while he was at LSU, Dale Brown hired Bill Walton to work with O'Neal on his game. Walton talked a lot with Shaq about the history of the game, and also gave Shaq several books to read, and among them were autobiographies of Wilt and Kareem, along with the two books that Russell wrote, "Go Up For Glory", written in 1966 and "Second Wind", written in the mid 70s, after Russell retired.
Shaq got to meet and talk with Chamberlain, Russell, Jabbar and Walton early in his pro career, when he made a commercial with all of those guys.
Russell's books, as well as Wilt's, are pretty amazing (I have both of Russell's books as well as Wilt's autobiography from 1974 ("Wilt - Just Like Any Other 7-Foot Black Millionaire Who Lives Next Door"), and also Wilt's "A View From Above" and "Who's Running The Asylum?"
It's amazing how incredibly thoughtful and well-read guys like Wilt, Russell and Kareem were. And regardless of whether you agreed with their political philosophies, the fact is, they had the guts to tell people what they really thought. They took stands. The last player in the NBA who had the guts to tell people what he thought was Charles Barkley. Athletes don't take stands on anything anymore, their shoe companies won't let them.
And of course, what they went through in terms of racial discrimination was unbelievable. It's a good thing Jordan came along when he did, because he wouldn't have lasted a week trying to travel around the south in the 1950s, looking for a place that would serve him food.
And you're right about the guys Wilt played against. Wilt played against far more Hall of Fame centers than Shaq has (including guys Shaq's played against who will be HOFers some day). In fact, just about the only HOF centers that Wilt didn't play against were BIll Walton, Moses Malone and Robert Parrish (plus a couple of guys like George Mikan, who's careers preceeded Wilt's).
Hall of Fame centers against whom Wilt played include Clyde Lovellette, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Lanier, Bob McAdoo, Dave Cowens, Walt Bellamy, Willis Reed, Wes Unseld, Nate Thurmond, Bob Pettit (who would play center against Wilt), Elvin Hayes, Jerry Lucas and Dolph Schayes.
Not only did Wilt play against all of these guys, but the NBA had many fewer teams then, which means he had to go against these guys many more times per season.
Wilt only played against Kareem for 3 seasons (their careers overlapped by four seasons, but Wilt missed nearly the entire 1970 season with a knee injury). Yet they faced each other 27 (TWENTY SEVEN!!) times in their careers. How long would it take for Shaq to go against Yao twenty seven times, even if they met in the playoffs, playing only twice a year because they're in different conferences?
Wilt went against Bill Russell 142 times in their ten year rivalry, including playoffs. One hundred forty two times in ten years...that's 14 x per year that Wilt had to go against Russell (and Russell had to go against Wilt).
Wilt had very few nights off. And he averaged 45.6 min/game over his entire career, which spanned 1,045 games in the regular season. Think Greg Oden will do that? Oden's exhausted if he plays 30 minutes in one game.
Wilt never played against Artis Gilmore, although their careers did overlap a little. Gilmore went directly to the ABA from college, so he never played against Wilt at the pro level.
btw, for those who like to quote Larry Bird in order to prove Jordan was the greatest, they always use Bird's quote he made after the 1986 playoff game in which Jordan scored 63 in a losing effort (Bird: "That wasn't Michael Jordan, that was God disguised as Michael Jordan"). I need to point out that after Magic hit the junior sky-hook to beat the Celtics in 1987, Bird said after the game "Magic's just a great basketball player...he's the best I've ever seen. He's unbelievable... I don't know what to say".
So Magic actually replaced Jordan as the best player Bird had ever seen, just one year later. Bird didn't say Magic was the best he'd ever seen except Michael Jordan, he just said Magic was the best he'd ever seen...just thought I'd point that out.
The argument as to who was the best basetball player ever is really silly anyway... it's fun to argue about it, but there's no real answer. Russell was the greatest winner in the history of the game, and since the object of the game is for one team to beat the other, Russell did that better than anyone. Winning consists of a lot of things besides individual stats and highlights. Wilt was far more physically talented than anyone who ever played the game, and was the only player who could dominate with his offense, his defense and his rebounding, at the same time, throughout his career. Jordan was the best player of the 1990s, but the league had become more watered down then, with a lot of guys (relatively speaking) who went to the NBA right out of high school, and weren't really ready for that. Someone out there think Sebastian Telfair would have made the NBA in 1980? Give me a break.
EDIT: And yes, Wilt would destory Shaq if they ever went against each other in their primes, regardless of which NBA set of rules was used (old rules, when traveling was illegal, or current rules, in which traveling is allowed). If Wilt were allowed to travel like Shaq (and all players today) are, there'd be NO stopping him. And if Shaq had to play the old way, with footwork and fundamentals replacing traveling, forget it. but yeah, Wilt would dominate Shaq in every category, even passing, as Shaq never led the league in assists. Shaq also doesn't have (and never had) the stamina to stay on the court with Wilt for a full game. Wilt was a 48 min/game player in his prime, in fact he averaged OVER 48 min/game in one season (result of overtimes). In 1962, in an 80 game season, Wilt played 79 complete games, and missed 8 MINUTES of one game (ejected). He'd wear Shaq out by halftime.
7'1" with a 52" vertical? The basket was below his shoulders when he dunked! Not to mention he was more diesel than Shaq could ever hope to be. He dominated with skill and athleticism, not with his massive rear end!
He also had an outside shot, hit his free throws, and once led the league in assists.
This older site here has all his other stats, records and achievements: http://wiltfan.tripod.com/index1.html...
MJ may have won more games, but Wilt was up against tougher competition night in and night out. For those of you who disagree, Wilt's rookie year there were 8 teams in the NBA and only 4 made the playoffs. The talent level had to be high because there were so few spots available; also, the only "expansion" teams came in via the ABA which was an established league. MJ's rookie year there were 23 teams in the NBA and 16 made the playoffs. (The first round then was best of 3, second round was best of 5.) There have been 7 expansion teams since, all during MJ's career. (I believe a big reason the Bulls won 72 is that there were 2 expansion teams that year.) The overall talent level is now lower because there are so many more teams. Also, the overall talent level now is lower because if you look at stats they are lower. When Wilt played, a 20 point 10 rebound guy was a journeyman; now that kind of player is an all star.
whetzellus - Wilt would have handed Shaq his lunch. Did you ever see Hakeem Olajuwon match up against Shaq? Match up is not the case -- Hakeem DOMINATED Shaq. Even when Wilt was a shadow of himself, he played Kareem (the second best center of all time) better than anyone else at the time.
EDIT.in addition to what Bill H said..in Wilt's first 4 years in the league, he averaged 37.6, 38.4. 50.4, and 44.8 ppg, all better than Jordan's career high of 37.1 ppg. In addition, Wilt was hauling in 20+ rebounds per game, while playing almost every minute of very game.
It's too bad that ESPN was not around when Wilt played, otherwise, we would not even be having this discussion.
And to add on to what Tweety said....yes, Bird did say that about Jordan, but that was for ONE GAME!
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