Wilt vs Russell

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Today we have David and Mr C talking about the battle of Ages: Wilt vs Russell

Case for Wilt:

Mr C: Wilt Chamberlain once averaged 50 Points per game in a season once. Russell never averaged 20 points per game in a season.

Wilt led the league in rebounds 11 times. 8 of those were against Russell. Russell beat Wilt in rebounds per game only twice in his career.

Russell obviously wins defense but Wilt was a great defender too.

Their passing is the same. Wilt averaged 4.4 assists per game for his career and Russell averaged 4.3 assists per game for his career.

Wilt throughout his career averaged more minutes per game than Russell. Wilt’s career minutes per game was 45.8 and Russell’s was 42.3. Wilt also averaged 48.5 Minutes per game one season! (There’s only 48 minutes in a no overtime game!)

The only two things that you can argue for Russell. Russell had better defense and won more. In my opinion winning is based on your team. Russell had 7 Hall of Famers on his team one year. Wilt had 3.

If you put Wilt on the Celtics, the Celtics still win eleven and possibly twelve or thirteen.

Bill Russell vs WiltThe Case for Bill Russell

David:  Basketball is a TEAM game.

If you wanted a league of one on one, yes, I’d put big money on Wilt to win that game.

But in a TEAM game, you have to have a player that not only is great, but can make you win.

That was Russell.

Lets be clear, we are talking about two guys that are first ballot hall of famers and would make any team successful and could lead the Bobcats to a title in todays game.

But between the two?

I want the guy that makes my team BETTER, Russell did the dirty work that Wilt simply was not willing to do.

Wilt was about WILT. There is a REASON he never fouled out of a game, because once he got a few fouls, he became Dominique Wilkins in the post. He never came out of a game because he wanted to get those stats.

That’s what you have in Wilt.

A GIANT man who only cared about getting his stats- Why do you think he went and lead the league in assists? Great accomplishment but AGAIN- Its a ME thing.

Why do you think former players FAWN over playing with Russell but NO one talks about loving to play with Wilt.

In a TEAM game. I want Russell.

The Case for Wilt

Wilt 3Mr C: Wilt was a team player! He just didn’t have 7 HALL OF FAMERS on his team.

Wilt (on the sixers and warriors) had only one or two scorers.

Russell had Havlicek, Cousy, KC Jones, Jo Jo White, Bill Sharman, etc.

Wilt had Billy Cunningham and Hal Greer. It’s a lot easier to be a team player when you have 7 Hall of Famers!

Wilt had to carry his team in every category.

He had to score for his team. No one else could!

He had to get all the rebounds. He was the only one who could!

He couldn’t foul out because if he did the team would almost automatically lose. They had no play makers other than Wilt!

For a team to win, you need a play maker. If you don’t it’s tough to win. That’s why Wilt never fouled out. He wanted to win, and if he fouled he wouldn’t.

Wilt was also not all about stats. He was always depressed because everyone called him a loser. Was Wilt more into his stats than Russell, yes. But they equally wanted to win.

Wilt would’ve done anything to win.

Bill RussellDavid:

You really think the Hall of Fame is a proper measuring stick of playing greatness?
The only more false measure of greatness is the Fannation top ten.

Wilts the only guy that can score, rebound, pass, inbound and take the trash out in MULTIPLE cities with dozens of teammates?

Teams with rings have a disproportionate number of Hall of Famers.
As do Teams in large markets
Plus having Fan-freindly players and fawning press helps as well.

Boston? Check, Check and Check, having Bob Ryan on your side could get Vin Baker into the Hall of Fame.

Reggie Miller is getting into the Hall of Fame, I’ll stop and wait while you look at his career stats, and Second team All-Nba teams. (Gets a pass on 1st team due to MJ, but true Hall of Famers should be 2nd right? Right?)

You obviously have not seen Wilt play, I never saw him play live, but I have seen replays of games on late night ESPN (back when they played old games overnight)

Wilt has ALWAYS been about the stat- be it points, rebounds or notches on the bedpost.

WiltMr C:

You don’t get into the hall of fame by just being that guy on that team. You actually have to be someone.

I do agree a lot of Hall of Famers shouldn’t be there but you actually have to be really good to get in!

I have seen Wilt play. I watch highlights of him all the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s one NBA TV’s Wilt 100 or highlights on youtube. I’ve seen his fade away bank shot, I have seen his dipper dunk, and I have seen his greatness!

Wilt has not always been about his stats. He wanted to win. Wilt strived greatness in winning and stats. I know he would take winning over stats any day.

Bill Russell was also only 6 feet 9 inches and 215 pounds. Do you realize he would be a power forward today? He would not be averaging 20 rebounds a game and he would not be blocking a ton of shots.

Wilt was 7 feet 1 inch and 275 pounds. He could easily pass for a center and still dominate.

(By the way Reggie Miller is one of the greatest clutch players of all time. He gave the NBA great games between the Knicks and Spike Lee. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.)

David: Wilt 2


If we judged players off Youtube, Harold Minor and Isiah Rider would be top 10 players of all-time and Tim Duncan would be a scrub.

You have not seen a SECOND of the Wilt 100. NO FOOTAGE EXISTS

Paul Arizin was the second best player of the Warriors
THREE top 5 finishes in MVP voting (and an 8th place) BEFORE WILT GOT THERE

So glad he sucked.

You know, did scrub things like LEADING THE LEAGUE IN SCORING TWICE and twice top 10 in rebounds (at 6’4!)

on the Elo Fan Ratings – he’s 52 OF ALL TIME- you know SCRUB level.

Tom Gola? 3 top 10 finishes for MVP before Wilt got there. Guess he sucks too right?

Looking at the Lakers- Jerry West and Elgin Baylor are KNOWN to be sorry players, right?

The whining of not having the best players with him is irrelevant. Bottom line is all those Celtics are IN the hall riding Bill Russel’s back cause he COULD carry those teams to titles.

Wilt was about Wilt. In a TEAM Game, I want the anchor both mentally and physically. Mr Bill DOMINATES on Defense, more than Wilt EVER did

There is a reason he spent 11 years in the top 4 of MVP voting. Wilt only had 9 times top 4 in a longer career.

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  1. I got this to say first… the two greatest players that I ever saw on an NBA court are Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. Two players from two different eras. Two different positions. Both great and dominant in their own eras.

    Second… I saw Chamberlain and Russell play… on TV.. but the real games as they happened… No one.. and I mean no one could ever play Chamberlain straight up as tough as Russell could. And, the thing that always pissed me off… (I hate any team from Boston bar none) is that Chamberlain had that damn height advantage. Russell was that good and that strong.

    Now, having said that.. I agree Russell had the better team and therefore could concentrate on just being a great defender and taking it to Chamberlain every time he tried going inside. Chamberlain was the man.. the only man… on his team. I give the edge to Chamberlain… but… Russell is the second best center I ever saw and that ain’t chopped liver.

    Shaq? Shaq who?

  2. Since I’m too young to have seen either of these men play, I am going to go by stats and impact on the game. For me it has to be Wilt. Wilt Chamberlain changed the game, and has done things that I don’t think any player is going to match. Russell? Great player, no doubt, but he had the support of a fantastic team in the Celtics. Chamberlain did play with some Hall of Famers but far too often it was him versus his opponents.

  3. There is no argument I hate more than the one that one player is better than another because he has more rings. A ring is the result of the people you were surrounded with. Having said that; as far as the comparison between Wilt and Russell, there was no comparison. Chamberlain was the better player BY FAR. It isn’t even close. I’m old enough to remember 1967, when Chamberlain declared in September, he would lead the league in assists. Chamberlain holds 71 NBA records, 62 by himself.. Among his records are several that are considered unbreakable, such as averaging 22.9 rebounds for a career or 50.4 points per game in a season, scoring 100 points or 55 rebounds in a single game, scoring 65 or more points 15 times, 50 or more points 118 times. During Chamberlain’s time, defensive statistics like blocks and steals had not been recorded yet. However, according to Jack Ramsay, “Harvey said he used to tell one of his statisticians to keep track of Wilt’s blocks in big games…One night, they got up to 25.

  4. Sometime between 1969 and 1972 I saw this happen… on TV… but I saw it happen…

    Between 1969 and 1971 Happy Hairston and Wilt played together on the Lakers… Hap was by no means a small man… 6’7” and 225 and was a pretty nifty player in his own right… retired with a double double… points/rebounds…

    Lew Alcindor aka Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (he adopted the Muslim name in1972) played for Milwaukee at the time…

    The two teams were in a very heated game one day and Alcindor/Jabbar was screwing with Hap… Well, I don’t recall who did what to get it started but Alcindor/Jabbar went after Hap and was about to haul off on him… Chamberlain pulled Happy away… stood between him and Lew/Kareem and just waved his hand as if to say, “Come on big guy, take me on.” Guess who backed down… Funniest thing I ever saw at the time.

    Peeps did not want any part of Chamberlain… he was a big strong mother fucker.

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