Greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan or Wilt Chamberlain

Who was the greatest NBA player of all time? Michael Jordan or Wilt Chamberlain?

It honestly depends on your criteria. If we're talking about overall all-around talent, the answer is neither. Such a player would be Magic Johnson, who regularly played all 5 positions on the floor, and well. Magic could rebound, take the short jumpers, hit the long shots and 3's, play solid defense, run the offense from the point guard spot and elevate his game to carry the team when needed. And, needless to say, he was one of the key players, if not THE key player, on those Showtime Lakers teams that won several championships. If not for his HIV infection forcing his retirement, his career would have lasted several more years than it did.

But the criteria fans often use isn't just basketball skills. Context plays a big role, and this is where the two names above stand out, even over Magic and his all-around game.

At Wilt Chamberlain's time, the idea of a big man dunking over everybody and dominating the paint was a fairly new concept. Once you had Wilt scoring points in bunches, including his famous 100 point game in Hershey, PA, this revolutionized the pro game and opened the door for dominating big men like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. He is a big reason (pun intended) why dunking and athletic seven footers are a big part of NBA basketball today.

Wilt's biggest weakness was, ironically, emphasized by his strengths. Because he could use his size to score in bunches by leaping over people and scoring layups and dunks, his shooting skills remained unrefined, and he was a famously bad free throw shooter (career free-throw percentage was 51.1%: a competent shooter should be able to make 75-80%). Consequently, he was a poor shooter, and if he wasn't close enough to the basket, you could neutralize his strengths. Fortunately for Wilt, he was so big, athletic and powerful that few people could keep him away from the basket over his career.

Michael Jordan, at a lanky 6 foot 6, didn't have Wilt's size, but he more than made up for it with his incredible work ethic, athletic talent, competitive drive and marvelous basketball skills. Jordan was a good shooter in his prime, but he was more famous for his great vertical leap and spectacular driving dunks that have been canonized on numerous posters (players who got dunked on by Jordan were often said to have been 'posterized'), earning him several entries into the All Star Game's Slam Dunk Contest, which he made famous and won several times.

Jordan has had numerous great, high scoring games that featured game winning shots. His scoring prowess alone was greatly responsible for the Chicago Bulls' ascension from mediocrity to serious playoff contention in the 80's, and once he received strong supporting teammates like Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, the Bulls became one of the NBA's great championship dynasties, winning six championships with Jordan in the 90's.

He is also famous for making big, game winning shots under pressure. One of the NBA's most famous moments was a last second outside shot Jordan made in a playoff game against the Cleveland Cavaliers as time expired, and featured him leaping high into the air in fist-pumping celebration (and nearly kicking Cleveland's Craig Ehlo in the face). And the 6th and final NBA championship came when Jordan shook Bryon Russell, Utah's best defender, and scored a go-ahead jump shot with 5 seconds left to seal the clinching victory in the NBA Finals. It was his last play as a Chicago Bull. These moments played a huge role in lifting Jordan from mere star to iconic NBA legend.

Jordan's only weakness could be a product not of his ability, but of his ego. Jordan made those big shots and scored all those points in large part because he wanted to take those shots and wanted the ball. Frequently. As a result, he often took too many shots in games, and towards the end of his career, he missed a lot of those shots, wasting valuable possessions for his team. Fans saw 30 point games from Jordan, but often forget that while he, say, made 9 shots, he missed 14-16, and got many of his points from getting fouled and going to the free throw line, where unlike Wilt, he was a capable shooter.

But in that lies another issue: as his star status rose, NBA refs often gave Jordan favorable foul calls, calling frivolous fouls on his opposition for minor physical contact with Jordan on many plays, and allowing him to go to the line and score easy points. Jordan was conversely allowed to frequently make rough contact with opposing players on defense and often escaped getting called on it. In fact, on the aforementioned shot over Bryon Russell, replays show Jordan clearly shoving Russell aside before taking the ball to shoot, the sort of contact that usually draws an offensive foul.

This tilted games in favor of Jordan's teams and inflated his point totals. He still ultimately made a lot of great shots and played well enough to win even if his team received no such help, but he did receive some help that Wilt never received in his era.

Also, Jordan tarnished his image following retirement after his 6th championship. Years after, he attempted an ill-advised comeback with the lowly Washington Wizards, with which Jordan had served as team president and part owner. Jordan was still a solid, talented player, but his skills were greatly diminished from rust and age, seeing him miss more shots than usual. His age (41) coupled with 30-40 extra pounds took a toll on his aging knees and led to injuries hampering his efforts. He retired for good after two relatively mediocre seasons that saw the Wizards perform no better than usual. The ill-advised comeback can only do so much to tarnish his legendary image, however, and his efforts with the Chicago Bulls still cement his legacy as one of the best ever.

It's almost unfair, given the different contexts of the league in their respective times, to try to quantify the greatness of Wilt or Jordan and declare one greater than the other. Both were legendary stars in their time, with trasncendent ability that changed the game and the culture of the game. I'm willing to let their performances in their respective eras speak for themselves, and call this debate a draw.

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Comments 257 comments

oliver 9 years ago

Who is the greatest player of all time? Jordan or Wilt? That is definitely a question worth asking for all the reasons you mentioned and all the proofs that you gave. It's just sad that you failed to make your own judgement. I myself asked that question but, I'm not as learned in basketball as you are so I found your essay interesting. A draw is the weekest possible conclusion you could have made because these two are definitely different. Their carreers are different. Their contributions were different. You could have made a judgement but, declined to do so. Any answer would be debatable but, it would have been a stand and a fitting end to this essay. For example, given the examples you've cited, I'd say Jordan was the greatest. Because I believe that he ellevated himself, his team, the league, and the game to heights that few even dared to imagine before him. His games, and especially that last Bull game winning shot, live on in my imagination nearly a decade after. Was that a weak choice? Maybe. But it was a choice. & you could have done so much better. So... who do you think was the best player?

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lottomagicp0615 8 years ago

Wilt was a great and dominant force in the NBA, and seeing how he amazingly avg 40 or more points mutiple times and ripped down board after board, is kinda hard to argue against. But I still have to MJ. For one reason Wilt's Level of competion was far beneath him. I mean Wilt was just bigger, stronger, and faster getting off his feet than anybody then. There has been only one person that could even guard him and that was Bill Russel. Russell could defend him really well and yet even he would get lit up some nights. Plus Wilt played center. While he did have a decent mid range jumper, most of his points where right at them rim, most being tip ins,layups, and dunks. This doesn't take away from his dominance, but he did have it easier when it came to scoring.

Mike's level of competition was greater than Wilt's, players were faster, stronger, and more atheletic. From '84-present the talent level in the NBA has just been amazing. Night in and night out MJ was guarded by the best, but also had to guard the best. Plus you take into account that he played guard and made most of his points from jumpers or attacking the giants at the rim. As easy as it looked for him to put the ball in the basket, had it tougher when it came to scoring.

Both Mike and Wilt were excellent defenders. So they cancel each other out there.

All around you just have to go MJ

Sareen 8 years ago

Jordan is definetly talented. I have not seen Wilt play,but after this blog,I must watch the past games he has played in.Jordan is definetly a remarkable player.

Jacob 8 years ago

Wilt obviously had physical advantages that Jordan simply did not. Jordan in my opinion utilized what he had better thatn anyone else... He mastered the mental more than any other. Perhaps that Wilt was a more effctive player at times.. but in my opinion Jordan was the better player.


Josip B. 8 years ago

Wilt all the way!

Mekkar 8 years ago

one on one Wilt would dominate Jordan

have you seen Wilt play ? Jordan is the most hyped of all time - along NBA control of the media now

wilt could carry a team of nobodys (Phila. Warriors) - Jordan cannot (with Rodman & Pippen)

mekkar 8 years ago

wilt could carry a team of nobodys (Phila. Warriors) - Jordan cannot (unless with other great players such as Rodman & Pippen in roles that Wilt would fill by himself)

how to increase vertical 8 years ago

Its very interesting to know and have a glance of our favourite players! Thanks for the such a cool Hub! Nice list, I'd definitely agree with.. Thanks for the xcellent Hub! Its amazing...

cj 8 years ago

i've never really seen wilt play much, so i honestly couldn't guess accurately, (though i like to think jordan was better despite a lot of stats). but really, you should consider bill russell, who played against wilt. i mean, the point of the game is winning and he won 11 championships in 13 years - most of it against wilt - and he also had some very well rounded stats. i put these three and magic up there myself.

ghhfgh 7 years ago

magic deff isn't the best all around mj was and wilt or jordan is easy mj because wilt played against people way smaller and less athletic

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Sportsrulz19 7 years ago is the link to my hub. I like your page and I would love if you became a fan of my hub as I have become a friend of yours.

I'mJustSayin' 7 years ago

Even though the media hypes MJ as the best, Magic Johnson is the greatest player of all-time. He won championships in high school, college, NBA, and the Olympics. Magic made his teammates/team better than anyone who has ever played the game. He also one 5 titles and made the finals 9 times in 12 seasons during the toughest/best decade in NBA history. He outassisted per game everyone in league history and averaged a higher field goal % and free throw % than MJ. He also had a 3:1 assist to turnover ratio and played all 5 positions at an all-star level. Had MJ's best 90's Bulls teams played in the 80's, they would win 2-3 titles at best. Also, if not for the HIV situation, Magic could have played 4-6 more years at or near the same level and won 1-2 more titles. If you were a GM or team owner, it should be a no-brainer that you start your team with Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

bogartkick 7 years ago

If I were to choose, I will definitely go to MJ. I'm not really familiar of Wilt Chamberlain because I haven't existed there yet and I also didn't watch his previous games on Vintage NBA or NBA's Greatest games, but Michael Jordan is definitely the most popular basketball star ever in NBA history, and he's my bid of being the greatest NBA player of all time.

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Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

If Wilt was a 25 year old playing in the NBA right now, no one would be talking about anyone else. I don't believe the talent in the NBA is better than it was in the 60's and 70's, but exercise, health and fitness regimens are. (Does anyone believe Pau Gasol could keep Wilt off the boards?) In fact, the talent is diluted with almost twice as many teams in the league than when Wilt entered the NBA.

They changed the game to keep Wilt from dominating it, something they never did for Jordan. Widening the lane and creating an invisible "plane" you could not cross over when shooting free throws were all put in place to keep Chamberlain from dominating even more than he did.

I love Michael Jordan as a player, he is one of the best, most gifted, most enjoyable players EVER to play the game. But my vote goes to Wilt Chamberlain.

By the way, regarding the assertion that Magic Johnson was the best all-around player to ever play, I would throw out Larry Bird and Rick Barry as possibilities for that title. The only thing Magic did that these guys didn't do was dribble the ball upcourt.

Gary Mialocq 7 years ago

I saw them all play and I saw Russell play vs. Chamberlain many times. Russell was easily the greatest player of all time. He played 142 games vs. Wilt and won 84 of them. I don't want to hear that Russell had better teammates. At age 35 the Celtics beat the Lakers with Wilt, Baylor and West. I've been lucky enough to see every one of the greatest play, Oscar, West, Monroe, Michael, Kareem, Maravich, Bird, Dr. J, Magic, but the greatest player of all time was Russell. Just win, baby.

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Drew Breezzy 7 years ago from somewhere in my mind

Clearly Jordan yes he had the greatest coach in basketball and a team full of talent but 2 3peats of Nba championships enough said.

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will vaughn 7 years ago

winning is the end result,since we all were not around to see the first of the nba greats it would seem like a no brainer,bill russell has 11 rings one as a player coach,end of arugment,and im a laker fan ,m-johnson,went to the finals 9 times in 12 years,mick,won 6 lost none,karreem won,in MILWALKEE,11rings,wow

Derek 7 years ago

To compare a Center that played in an era that featured nobody even comparable to his physical attributes to Michael Jordan is a travesty. Wilt has numbers that just cannot lie, and I'm more than willing to give him that. However, Michael played against dozens of hall of fame players that exist in the top 50 of all time. Wilt did not. Michael was 6'6" and averaged more points per game than any player of all time (including his two years with Washington in which he averaged well below his career norm). To use the argument that Jordan got favorable calls against his legacy is down-right wrong. What superstar has not gotten the benefit of the doubt in the referees' eyes? As for the game winner against Utah; if any ref made that call against any player in the final seconds of an NBA Finals game they would be "murdered" by the media for influencing the outcome of that game. Listen, I don't want to take anything away from Wilt's illustrious career, but given the fact that he played against competition equal to what George Mikan played against almost immediately disqualifies him from the argument. Fact is, Jordan dominated the best players that "dominated" their own peers. Does the fact that Joe Montana played useless years with the Kansas City Chiefs take anything away from his all-time great career with the 49ers? No. It doesn't. The arguments made against Jordan in this article are weak at best. He got favorable calls? He played two (still good) years in Washington? Oh, please. Jordan is the greatest; not was, is. And will be until somebody does something that makes the debate Jordan versus <insert future great player's name> there will be no dispute over the greatest NBA player of all-time.

zag 7 years ago

lets put it this way. if you measure greatness by # of rings then bill russell is . if you measure by broken records and dominance wilt is. if you measure it by overall polished game oscar robertson edges out mj with his triple double average. if you measure it on impact on the nba basketball wilt is he changed thee fucking rules.

But if you measure by marketability and impact on pop culture jordan is by far

tony 7 years ago

its funny because wilt didn't win until he went to LA

quinton 7 years ago

i think it should be michael jordan because he is the best in the world so we should get it on if they get there game on

Wilt 7 years ago


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TheHonestMan 7 years ago from Inland Empire, California

I would say Jordan is responsible in many ways for ushering in the new era of prolific scorers such as Lebron, Wade, and Kobe as can be seen by the similarities in their playing styles. Wilt was no doubt dominant in his heyday, but could he honestly have been as dominant if he was playing now against players like Shaquille O'neal, Dwight Howard, and Yao Ming just to name a few. I think Jordan would've been nearly as dominant playing now as he was in his prime during the early 90s. So I would have to go with Jordan on this one.

lebelhomme 7 years ago

jordan by far!!!

he was more quick,skills,air!!!!!

nobody can beat mj ,he is the GOAT!!!!

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tdelamatter 7 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

I think this comparison is not good, because Wilt was definitely the best scorer and most dominating center numbers wise of his generation, but as for winning, he doesn't compare favorably to most.

Bill Russell has 11 rings out of 13 seasons.

George Mikan 5 rings in seven seasons.

Michael Jordan 6 rings in 15 seasons (although his last two were arguably to become an owner and not really playing for a championship)

Magic Johnson 5 rings in 13 seasons.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 6 rings in 20 seasons.

Kobe Bryant 3 rings in 12 seasons.

To put Wilt in the same category as these guys is laughable to me. He should be compared to someone like Shaquille O'Neal, who had all the talent and never could find the desire to win deep enough in his heart.

Wilt went against Russell all the time, and couldn't beat him. To me this speaks volumes.

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Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

The league isn't more talented than it was in Chamberlain's day--it is less talented. Shooting guards don't dribble, point guards don't shoot, small forwards are often just a second shooting guard in the lineup, and few players have a mid-range game. High school players not ready to compete lard NBA benches, the NBA draft is all about "potential" instead of accomplishments, and there are 30 teams instead of 16 (which means half the league would be playing in the Eastern League or in a home-town church league in Wilt's day).

Besides Bill Russell, Wilt played against such great players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Lanier, Dave Cowens, Nate Thurmond, Walt Bellamy, Willis Reed, Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes, and Jerry Lucas. There were far more quality centers in the NBA when Wilt played, in part because big men are now unwilling to go to college to develop their skills. Where does Eddie Curry appear on the list of great players? Or Tyson Chandler or Kwame Brown? Can anyone name five excellent NBA centers from the last five years? How about the last ten years?

My friends, Wilt was the best to ever play the game.

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pgorner 7 years ago from Tijuana, Mexico

This was the best hub about Michael Jordan I've ever seen. You even mentioned his ego and the push on Russell. Good job.

clahan93 7 years ago

i think jordan is the best!!!

he is a full pack player!!!

Improve Your Vertical 7 years ago

Although they were both great players Chamberlain definitely had an advantage at the time he played. He was so much bigger and stronger than anyone else in the league at that time that he caused some major changes that you noted in the game.

When you compare Michael Jordan during his time, he was initially an incredible individual player and evolved into a great team player who simply took over during the pressure moments. You could never say that about Wilt and I believe that is why you have to give the nod to MJ.

Perhaps a better question currently would be if you could take either one of them in their prime and add them to a team now, who would make the biggest difference, I would vote Jordan!

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ThomasWMutherJr 7 years ago from Topeka, KS

A good post, but there were a number of things you skirted. Most especially, DEFENSE. It hardly garners a mention. Jordan was an excellent defensive player, but his "D" paled when compared against his transcendent offensive abilities. His domination of the game came from this mastery of getting the ball into the hoop--and to a lesser extent, drawing the defense and passing off (something he did well, but of course, did not match his contemporaries Magic and Stockton). His defense against players his own size was among the best in the league, but he showed considerable weaknesses whenever he was matched up against a smaller or larger player--a circumstance that is unavoidable in the hurly-burly of NBA basketball. Chamberlain, however, was quite likely the greatest defensive player of all time. This was something that was overlooked during his formative years as there was another player who almost matched him in defensive prowess--a player who focused on defense to the virtual exclusion of offense, and who just happened to be playing on the greatest team of the era--Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics. But putting the debate of who was better defensively, Chamberlain or Russell, there is no doubt that Wilt's dominance of the defensive portion of the game has not even remote competition in today's game (the last player to come within a stone's throw was Bill Walton, a player who never even reached his prime owing to a series of unfortunate injuries). This is the main difference between Jordan and Wilt. Jordan's dominance came on the offensive side, while he was "merely" very good on defense. Chamberlain's dominance actually occurred on the defensive side, where his shot blocking ability (alas, occurring in an era before they were tallied) and rebounding were stupendous (he is the career leader in rebounds with only Russell coming close), while his offense was so good that today, that's all most people hear about (after all, he had the 100 point game and the season 50.1 scoring average, while his defensive abilities, other than rebounding, aren't reflected in the statistics). It is true, as you point out, that free throw shooting was an obvious weakness, but I contend that his inability to shoot from outside was NOT a weakness, but a strategic strength. Why would you put the greatest rebounder of all time on the perimeter?

I take nothing away from Jordan. He was phenomenal. A master of putting the game on his back and carrying his team to victory. His will to win, his athleticism, his shot-making were awe-inspiring. But Chamberlain's dominance on BOTH ends of the court--a dominance on the defensive side that knows no peer (well, except for Russell), a dominance on the offensive end that forced rules changes (as noted by Mike Lickteig above). And, let's not forget that one year Chamberlain actually LED THE NBA IN ASSISTS!!! (yes, you read that right)--something Jordan never came close to doing. Thus, in spite of the admitted weakness at the free throw line, Chamberlain would rank first ahead of Jordan, Jabbar, Bird, Magic, and Russell as the greatest player of all time, and the greatest "all around" player as well. Magic doesn't qualify here as his defense was anemic (he was a poor one-on-one defender, and only a good team defender. Bird would be a better competitor for this "all-around" designation as though his one-on-one defense was mediocre, his team defense was superb as his unparalleled understanding of the game led him to anticipate where the pass would be going or where help was needed).

As to the idea that Jordan would make the bigger difference if you added him to a modern team than Wilt--well, I would think that turning, say, a middle-of-the-road team into the best rebounding team in the league, giving them the best interior defense in the league, and giving a huge boost to their offense would count for quite a bit. And incidentally, Chamberlain would STILL be the strongest player in the NBA, as he was the strongest player of all time (he did a clean-and-press of over 400 pounds once--back when the world record was only about 40 pounds greater).

Chamberlain over Jordan.

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ThomasWMutherJr 7 years ago from Topeka, KS

Incidentally, another statistic that is more than a bit mind-blowing: Wilt Chamberlain NEVER fouled out of a game. Not once. Add to this his incredible near-invulnerability (he had only one injury that kept him out of any games, breaking his leg, an injury he returned from much earlier than anyone anticipated)--the fact that in his prime he averaged more minutes per game than anyone in history (imagine the advantage of keeping the greatest defensive player of all time on the court for virtually the entire game! [one year, he averaged MORE than 48 minutes a game]), and this just adds further proof that Chamberlain was the greatest of all time--rest his soul.

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Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

Tom Muther made an excellent point about Wilt and his defensive abilities. Jordan likely wasn't the best defender on his team, let alone the league--Scottie Pippen or Dennis Rodman drew the tough assignments. And yes, I believe that if Wilt were in his prime he would dominate Shaquille O'Neal. If O'Neal had to play someone that matched his strength, he would be forced to rely on his skills. Wilt was the more skilled player, offensively and defensively. Wilt would certainly dominate Yao Ming and Dwight Howard!!!

This blog has led to some outstanding and enjoyable discussion and debate. Thanks for the post, I wish I wrote it!!!!

j.jones 7 years ago

When someone avoids discussing the obvious, it makes it more obvious. NO ONE is talking about what the NBA looked like in Wilt's time. What was the average height? Of centers? The NBA was still just evolving. There was no aggressive global recruiting policy. So Wilt only played against some of the best in the u.S. But what about the rest of the world? There was no strong interest, internationally,in basketball back then. Jordan played against the best in the world. I disagree with Mike Licktig.Jordan was not just a good defender. He got 9 all-defensive 1st team selections. He had the highest steals per game average in history. He would have eclipsed Stockton's record if not for the multiple retirements. He was the greatest shot-blocking guard to play in the NBA. He was the first player to get over 200 steals and 100 blocks in one season, and then duplicated the feat, another record. He got Defensive Player of the Year. He got 5 Mvps. More than Wilt. 6 rings and 6 championships. More than Wilt. He won tons of games at the line. Something Wilt couldn't do with his anemic free throw shooting. The height of the players guarding Wilt was about THE SAME AS THOSE GUARDING JORDAN!!! 6'9" Russell guarded Wilt. 6'10" Rodman of the Pistons guarded Jordan. Plus 6'10" Gerald Wilkins of the Cavaliers. And 7'0 John Salley. I remember seeing 6'9" magic johnson and 6'9" Larry Bird guarding Jordan, and he clowned on them!! When Wilt was playing, there were a number of 6'8" centers still in the league. When Jordan was playing there were NO 6'8" centers. But lots of 6'9" forwards. The league was smaller, weaker, and slower. When taller players joined the league, in the latter half of Wilt's career, his numbers became more human. He could NEVER have scored 100 pts. on Kareem, Nate, Walt, Wes, Elvin, or even Russell. Michael's stats went up when it counted, in the playoffs. Wilt's dipped. Who would you rather have at the line with the game ON the line?

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Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

I’m not sure anyone avoided talking about how the NBA was when Wilt played, I’m just not sure it is as relevant as j. jones suggests. Wilt’s statistics dipped in the latter part of his career due to age and the fact that the Lakers didn’t need him as a scorer, not because the league outgrew him. Remember, he led the league in rebounding in his final year in the NBA. No, Wilt might not get 100 on Jabbar or Nate Thurmond, but he regularly posted 20+ points AND rebounds on all of those centers you mentioned, including Jabbar, and blocked a ton of shots besides. No center in today’s NBA would get big numbers on those guys, and j.jones didn’t even mention Dave Cowens, Bob Lanier, or Walt Bellamy. Earlier in Wilt’s career, he had his single game rebound high against the great Bill Russell. Does anyone think Wilt would be slowed down by Pau Gasol, or Kendrick Perkins or Tyson Chandler or Emeka Okafor or Eddie Curry or Joaquin Noah or Eric Dampier or even Yao Ming? What about Joel Pryzbilla or Andrew Bogut? Is Dwight Howard really any better than Elvin Hayes was? If someone wants to mention Shaq, well—who has he ever guarded? Wilt would get his numbers on him too, and win the game besides. And, as far as international players go, who is out there that would give Chamberlain a battle? The league is taller now, sure, but how many of those tall guys go inside and battle? Most of them are content to shoot jump shots. How many of them excel on defense? Wilt might have averaged 60 a night as a young man with the level of talent at center in the NBA today.

To take this rationale further, perhaps Jordan’s NBA was still “evolving”, as well. Could Jordan shut down LeBron James, Dwayne Wade or Kobe Bryant? (I’m guessing that task would fall to Rodman or Pippen; Phil Jackson wouldn’t even LET MJ guard those guys.) Jordan won his titles guarding guys like Jeff Hornacek, Byron Russell, and John Starks. Are these players better than Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, Pete Maravich, and Oscar Robertson? Jordan couldn’t even beat the Pistons until they grew older. You mention 6’10” Gerald Wilkins and Rodman guarding Jordan (an exaggeration of both Wilkins and Rodman’s height, by the way), but you failed to mention that the Pistons beat the Bulls when Rodman was there. I don’t ever remember seeing Larry Bird or John Salley actually guarding Jordan. He might have drove to the basket on them, but that isn’t the same thing.

If this debate centers on what the league was like when Wilt played, okay—let’s try something. If Jordan played in Wilt’s time, would he have been a small forward or even a skinny power forward, posted up by Paul Silas or Bill Bridges every night and dominated? Would he be strong enough to keep Elgin Baylor from scoring or rebounding? Could he have averaged a triple double, as did Oscar Robertson? If Jordan couldn’t beat Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars until they aged, why should we believe he would have done any better against Chicago’s Jerry Sloan and Norm Van Lier, or New York’s Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe, or the Lakers’ Jerry West and Gail Goodrich, or the Bucks with Robertson and Lucius Allen, or Boston with Jo Jo White and Don Chaney? All of these players would star in the modern day NBA. Could Jordan have led the league in scoring AND assists, as Nate Archibald did? Let’s say he continued to play guard in the old NBA, something that wasn’t really the case for 6’6” athletes back then. Could he have kept up with Sam Jones, Nate Archibald, and other lightning-quick guards from the “old days”? Would he have shut down relentless offensive players such as Jerry West or John Havlicek, or would they have worn HIM down? I would counter the absurd argument that Wilt would struggle in today’s NBA with the notion that MJ wouldn’t necessarily have flourished in Wilt’s time, either. A silly statement? Perhaps, but no less so than the assertion that the modern day NBA would have bothered Chamberlain if he played today.

If you’re talking titles, beating an aging Lakers team without Jabbar or the Jazz, the Sonics or the Suns for a title is hardly the same as battling the Celtics with Russell, the New York teams with Willis Reed, or the Bucks with Jabbar. If Wilt played in the NBA of the ‘90s, he would have demolished those teams. “Hey, Wilt, you better be ready—you gotta play GREG OSTERTAG tonight!!!!” "Watch out, Wilt, Kevin Duckworth is coming at ya!" The point is, the league is so diluted by expansion, a lot of these guys wouldn't even be in the league when Wilt played. They would have been in the Eastern League or playing in their church on Sundays.

Avoiding the obvious? With all due respect, I think the issue isn't that relevant. The NBA was fine in Wilt's day. And Wilt dominated.

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hoopstars 7 years ago

If this will be based on the stats and records, i think you all know who is the best.

however there's no official or real basis to come up with an answer which makes it all very hard.

With this i think this will leave to every person's own view.

MJ for me. :-)

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racquetsportatlas 7 years ago

It's hard to compare players from different generations. Besides, people define best player differently. Some people look at stats, some look at winning, some look at value to team, etc. I'd say Lebron is the best player of all-time right now and will only get better, especially when his jump-shot becomes more consistent. Obviously, every new generation is going to bring faster, stronger, higher-jumping players than ever before. So, in those terms, Wilt would probably be dominated by current players such as Shaq and Dwight Howard. MJ wouldn't be as good as Lebron or Kobe nowadays either. I think the proper way to look at this is to see was most dominant in their respective era. It doesn't all have to do with winning either. If the greatest player of all-time was on a team of all scruubs, he would never win a championsihp over a team of all-stars. Wilt was the most dominant player of all time and that's why he is my pick.

Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

good hub

but it was Bird or Magic for making there teams better

Rita 7 years ago

DEFIDENTLY WILT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Micheal never scored 100 points in 1 game.racquetsportatlas,

if you're reading this,it's LeBron not lebron!

ThomasWMutherJr profile image

ThomasWMutherJr 7 years ago from Topeka, KS

A Belated Afterthought--

Regarding the assertion (made by j. jones) that Chamberlain's statistics dropped in the playoffs--this is not entirely accurate. This supposed fact has been parroted by numerous commentators over the years, and has seldom been challenged. Why? Beats me. First of all, it is a matter of record that the "Big Dipper's" rebounding per game average increased during the playoffs. During the regular season his career average was 22.9, while during the playoffs it was 24.5. Not a huge increase--true enough--but it certainly is far from a decrease. Of course, when people talk about this decrease they are really speaking of points, reflecting a belief that scoring is the end-all stat--and in this regard, one would have to conclude that Chamberlain's points-per-game average did indeed dip in the playoffs--from 30.1 in the regular season to 22.5 in the playoffs. That is a rather significant drop, but not as significant as the raw numbers would indicate. Consider: it's a well known fact that when Chamberlain moved to LA from Philadelphia, his emphasis on scoring dropped, owing to the fact that LA had a wealth of scorers--Baylor, West, and Goodrich. Thus, for the last 5 years of his career, he focused almost exclusively on defense. He occasionally would put up big numbers on offense when the occasion warranted it, but he basically left the scoring to his offensive minded teammates. But here's the thing, during those last 5 years, he played in 80 playoff games. During his first 9 years--years where his scoring was tops, or near the top, in the league, he played in 80 playoff games. Thus, his career playoff scoring average was skewed by the fact that fully half of the games he played in were during the period when his scoring plummeted due to a change in his emphasis.

Just something to consider when comparing the careers of these two giants of basketball.

Oh! And regarding "Truth from Truth's" comment that we should be choosing between Bird or Magic for best of all time "for making their teams better"--wouldn't it be a safe bet to suggest that both Wilt and Jordan made their teams considerably better?

Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

Wilt did make his team better,but Bird and Magic made there teamates better.

Marcus Deal 7 years ago

Whoa whoa whoa whoa. Half of you are boarding complete insanity while the other half of you are profoundly ignorant. Does anyone wonder why players such as Oscar Robertson was scoring 37 PPG and almost avergaing a triple double?? Does anyone ever wonder why Russell and chamberlain were averaging like 27 RPG? Im going to show a ten year difference in each centers RPG statistics.

Chamerlain 1959-1960 : 27 RPG

1969-1970 : 18 RPG

That's a 9 Rebound difference? That's pretty huge.. lets check out kareems

Kareem Abdul Jabbar 1970-1971 : 16 RPG

1980-1981 : 10 RPG

That's a 6 rebound difference... Now I know what you are going to say next. This happened because they got old... Well lets take the ten year difference from centers from the 80's and 90's.

Shaq 1992-1993 : 13.9 RPG

2002-2003 : 11.1 RPG

Hakeem 1984-1985 : 11.9 RPG

1994-1995 : 10.9 RPG

Robinson 1989-1990: 11.8 RPG

1999-2000: 10. 8 RPG

These players from the 80's to 90's never broke over 15 RPG once in their career. Wow... it seems the players like Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem have some sort of magical rebounding ability... I guess somehow we lost this trade secret to rebounding over the years or.. maybe maybe the 1960's to early 1970's was known as the run and gun era. Let me explain this to you.

The real reason was because the game was different back then. Look at the stats. The game was much faster back then. Every possession was a fast break, there were 100-120 shot attempts per game. So more shot attempts means more rebounds. It wasn't just a matter of those two guys averaging 20+ rebounds a game, there were at least 5 or 6 who averaged 15+ those two where just the best. See for yourself:

Wilt and Russ were physically dominant, but the pace was lighting fast in that era.

60's teams combined took about 220 shots per game, making 40%, leaving 92 rebs to be had.

Today teams take 150 shots, making 45%, leaving only 68 rebs up for grabs. 24 more chances to reb in the 60's!

The same thing goes for scoring. They took more shots than any other era in NBA history. That's why players like Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar were scoring over 35 PPG.. not the fact that they were superhuman lol.

Now Im not knocking wilt whatesover. Im not like these young kids whose balls haven't dropped that say Michael Jordan couldn't keep up with kobe when im pretty sure I remember a 40 year old MJ after knee surgery score 50+ on our current superstars. I remember seeing an old wilt chamberlain block two of kareems skyhooks. So the whole argument about older players not being able to keep up in today's NBA is a bunch of crap but its also a bunch of crap when you say that WIlt could come in today's NBA and average 50 PPG or more lol. If Russell played today.. at best he would amount to a suped up Dennis Rodman.. If wilt played today he would be a slightly better prime Shaq. He would be no where near making the same stats as in the 60's. Now that I have educated you, I will explain why Wilt is nowhere near being the greatest player of all time.

Fact: Wilt was obsessed with breaking statistical records.. In fact that's all he was worried about. That's why his teammates kept feeding him the ball the night he broke 100. That's why he when the coach told him he couldn't score anymore he decided to become the first center to lead the league in assists. He also never wanted to foul out not because he was a great defender but because he didn't want to ruin his record. Its been reported and documented that Wilt refused to play Defense after his 4th foul. This is not a true player but a selfish one.

Now Mike Lickatack whatever your name is.. I have a bone to pick with you. Someone your age should know better, half of the crap you have been spewing makes your credibility about on par with a drugged out LA mexican hooker. Michael Jordan without a doubt is the greatest basketball player in the history of the NBA. Not only was he the most effect offensive player during the 80's (which many analysts and historians agree on is the best era of competetive basketball) but he was also the leagues best perimeter defender.

MJ: Most blocks for any SG in history

MJ: Second most steals in NBA history.

You make fun of MJ losing during the 80's and only winning in the 90s.. lets look at the teams Michael Jordan lost to:

The Cetlics (2x) the Pistons (3x) well Im not sure if you know this but the 86 celtics and the 1989 Pistons are in the top 5 greatest teams of all time. They were also championship contenders and made it to the finals.. every single time. Now lets look at the players the celtics had:

Larry Bird

Kevin Mchale

Bill Walton

Dennis Johnson

Robert Parish

Danny Ainge

lets look at the pistons

Joe Dumars

Isiah Thomas

Dennis Rodman

Bill Laimbeer

Rick Mahorn

almost every single person on those teams were all stars.

Do you know the only person on MJs team that was halfway decent was scottie Pippen and for those that dont know. Scottie Pippen did not become an all star till 91. So its a little stupid to say Jordan cant be the greatest player of all time because he couldn't beat the 80's celtics and pistons who were overpacked in talent.

Great HOFers of the 80's and 90's (MJs era):

Isiah Thomas

Joe Dumars

Larry Bird

Magic Johnson

Hakeem Olajuwon

Moses Malone

Charles Barkley

Julius Erving

Robert Parish

Kevin Mcahle

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

John Stockton

Karl Malone

Patrick Ewing

David Robinson

Shaquille Oneal

Tim Duncan

Kobe Bryant

Allen Iverson

James Worthy

Clyde Drexler

Michael Jordan

That's almost half of the top 50 players in NBA history. 5 of the top 9 players of all time (exclude MJ himself) competed against MJ






Michael Jordan is the first person (other than a center) to lead a team to a dynasty (the chicago bulls). They also did this without a dominant frontcourt, which if you know basketball is almost essential to winning a championship and they also did this with free agency.

Also the 60's had like 8 teams and an incredibly short season. less stress better performances.

So universally the vote is in..

MJ is the greatest player of all time

Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

Marcus, Marcus, Marcus…of all the people who have commented here, you’re the only one who felt the need to insult everyone, emphasized poignantly by mocking my name. How are we supposed to view your credibility if you begin your comments by spewing abuse? And since you categorically insulted everyone, it forces me to ask: are the ones who agreed with you on Jordan’s dominance the insane ones or the ignorant ones in your eyes, and which are you for agreeing with them?

Never did I say Jordan couldn’t be the greatest player BECAUSE he couldn’t beat those great Celtics or Pistons teams. I did say beating Seattle, Utah, Phoenix or the Lakers after Abdul-Jabbar retired doesn’t make you great. Never did I claim Chamberlain would maintain his stats if he played in the NBA of the ‘90s, I said he would be considered the best if he played in the modern era. But since you brought it up, let’s measure Wilt against modern players. Take Wilt’s 22.9 rebounds per game career average, CUT IT IN HALF, and see who he outrebounds during the course of a career. If his numbers were 11.45 rebounds per game, it exceeds the career per game averages of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (11.2 rpg), Karl Malone (10.1), Robert Parrish (9.1), Hakeem Olajuwon (11.1), Shaquille O’Neal (11.2), Patrick Ewing (9.8), David Robinson (10.6), and Bill Laimbeer (9.7). Every one of these guys is on your great player/Hall of Fame List from Jordan’s era. Half his TOTAL CAREER REBOUNDS would place him in the top 20 career rebounders with 11,962, ahead of Dennis Rodman—the greatest rebounder of Jordan’s NBA.

As far as players losing the “trade secret” of how to rebound, well—maybe they did. Rodman averaged no less than 14.9 rebounds per game between 1992 and 1998—Jordan’s era. He averaged 18.7 rebounds per game in 1992. Kevin Willis increased his total rebounds by 554 from 1991 to 1992. Yes, he played more minutes the next year, but that’s revealing also: in 584 extra minutes he pulled in 554 rebounds—nearly a rebound per minute extra. Kevin Willis was hardly an all-time great. Even Larry Smith averaged double figure rebounds for five seasons while never averaging more than 31.7 minutes per game. It must mean the rebounds were there to be gotten by virtually ANYONE willing to do it. Wilt would have still gotten his share, Marcus, unless Willis, Rodman and Smith were all better than Chamberlain.

If you want to compare scoring, it’s one thing to call Chamberlain selfish and only concerned with statistics, but Jordan had a couple advantages while he racked up his points. One is Jordan’s 581 3-point goals made. If you deduct 581 points from Jordan’s career totals (1 point for each 3-pointer made, Marcus), his average is almost identical to Chamberlain’s: 31,711 points in 1072 games, compared to Wilt’s 31,419 in 1045 games. Why is Jordan unselfish and Wilt a ball hog? Are you telling me Jordan wasn’t interested in leading the league in scoring? Look at career assists and we’ll discover Wilt averaged 4.4 assists per game to Jordan’s 5.3. Was Jordan’s extra 0.9 assists per game what made him unselfish? A bigger factor is that Jordan brought the ball up much of the time. He controlled the offense during large chunks of the game, while Chamberlain either had to wait for someone to pass him the ball or go get it off the boards. Which means, to some degree, his “selfishness” was determined either by his teammates’ willingness to throw him the ball, or his own efforts to rebound. Jordan could bring the ball up and shoot it virtually whenever he wished. Like Jordan, Wilt scored a bunch when his teams needed him to. When he teamed with Jerry West, Elgin Baylor or Gail Goodrich, his scoring declined. Would Jordan share the ball and chop 8+ points a game off his career average to focus on defense and let others score?

When you reference Chamberlain’s never having fouled out of a game, you assert it wasn’t because he was a good defender; it was because he didn’t want to foul out. Uh…. Who does WANT TO foul out? Who in the world DOCUMENTED that Chamberlain stopped playing defense after he picked up his fourth foul, as you suggest? How was this determined? Was this documentation compared to other players in a statistical effort to prove Chamberlain played LESS defense than someone else in foul trouble? Without explaining what this “documentation” is or what it means, it carries about as much weight as your drugged-out LA… well, you remember the rest, don’t you, Marcus?

Okay, let’s move on to your list of players in the NBA’s top 50 and your assertion that almost half played in Jordan’s era. I’m assuming you’re taking your list from the NBA’s top 50, so I will also. Let’s look at the players who played part or all of their career in Chamberlain’s era: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, Paul Arizin, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier, Hal Greer, John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Sam Jones, Jerry Lucas, Pete Maravich, Earl Monroe, Bob Pettit, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Bill Sharman, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Jerry West, and Lenny Wilkens. That’s 27 players, Marcus—OVER half the list and more guys than you listed (you even inexplicably counted Jordan as having played against himself).

The ‘60s had a shorter season? Okay, for awhile there were 80 game seasons instead of 82, but I doubt that alleviated too much stress, as you suggest. There were also no private jets ferrying players from city to city. And a smaller league—that just meant Chamberlain had to play the good players THAT MUCH MORE OFTEN. How many of the NBA players Jordan feasted on wouldn’t even make the NBA of Wilt’s era? Guys in the NBA now would be in the Eastern League back then.

Thanks for the entertainment, Marcus, but you didn’t prove anything except your willingness to insult us while tossing out random statistics and declaring your point proven. I never discounted Michael Jordan’s greatness—he is among the best to ever play the game and will always be considered among the greatest. But I still believe Wilt was the best.

ThomasWMutherJr profile image

ThomasWMutherJr 7 years ago from Topeka, KS

Michael Lickteig--you miserable slut! You have disagreed with Marcus Deal, "the Great and Powerful" and therefore, by definition, your opinion is without merit. Your ill-formed ideas might have been excusable previously--after all, there is (or rather was) no definitive proof of the superiority of Jordan over The Big Dipper (or vice-versa), but since Dec. 4, we have been given the Word of Marcus, and there is no longer room for reasoned debate. You gave it a valiant effort, and to this poor ignorant savage, I would have said you had bested him . . . except for the fact that The Word of Marcus is irrefutable Truth. You . . . me . . . we all need to just accept this. Everything else is vanity and vexation of spirit.


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iiop 7 years ago

this isn't even debatable...

wilt played in an era where there were only less than 10 teams... he was the tallest in the nba way back... it was like a 7 footer against 5 footers... come on, im not taking anything away from wilt but if he was in his prime and played in the 80's and 90's(both tough defensive eras) i bet he won't score 100... mj played against tough defense(hand checking was allowed)... wilt will be like mutombo... and talking about greatness? check out the playoffs... mj played with a flu.. 55 point game.. 3s.. the shot.. mj is the reason why barkley, ewing, mourning, shaq(won title when mj retired),cleveland cavs, malone and stockton never won a title... mj dominated them... he is both a player and a winner.. bill russel is the greatest winner, wilt a player... mj is the GOAT... ask magic about it, ask barkley, ask ewing, ask kobe, ask lebron, ask wade... mj GOAT...wilt never won until he got west(already an established all star).. mj won with pippen(a nobody in the nba draft) who michael made from an ordinary role player to an all star... wilt never made team mates better... michael did... do you think we will know who steve kerr, luc longley, wennington is?






Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

I should just give up, but I can't resist. Wilt Chamberlain, 2nd greatest career scoring average. Wilt Chamberlain, greatest rebounder (average and total). Wilt Chamberlain, only center to lead NBA in assists. Wilt Chamberlain, only player to average 48.5 minutes during a season (he missed 8 minutes the entire season because he was ejected from a game). Wilt Chamberlain, starting center and captain of 72 Lakers, who posted a record-setting 33 game winning streak en route to a 69-13 season, second best in the history of the NBA. He also won the title that year. Wilt also played for the 1967 Philadelphia 76ers, winning a then record 68 games and beating Bill Russell's Celtics in the playoffs en route to the NBA title. Wilt Chamberlain would likely possess the NBA record for shot blocking if such statistics were kept, and also likely would have set a record for NBA All-Defensive team if such awards were bestowed in Wilt's years.

Comparing Wilt to Dikembe Mutombo is like asking if Michael Jordan could beat Lou Hudson if Jordan played in the '60s. Comparing him to Shaquille O'Neal makes a little more sense, but as I pointed out earlier, if you took Chamberlain's career rebound per game average and cut it in half, he would still outrebound Shaquille O'Neal.

Wilt played against Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in his prime, Nate Thurmond, Willis Reed, Dave Cowens, Bob Lanier, Walt Bellamy, Jerry Lucas, Wes Unseld, and Elvin Hayes.

The Celtics and Knicks teams he competed against had five players each on the NBA's top 50 players.

Celtics: Russell, Jones, Havlicek, Cousy, Sharman. Knicks: Reed, Lucas, DeBusschere, Frazier, Monroe.

Players from the NBA Top 50 that Jordan beat in the Finals: LA '91: Magic Johnson, James Worthy; Portland 92: Clyde Drexler Phoenix 93: Charles Barkley Seattle 96: no one Utah 97 and 98: Karl Malone and John Stockton.

Michael Jordan is a great player. But I still think Wilt was the best.

Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 7 years ago from Piece of land!

I am the greatest player of all time according to me

Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Just curious...who made the most 3 point shots?

ThomasWMutherJr profile image

ThomasWMutherJr 7 years ago from Topeka, KS

It's easy to discredit that which one has no first hand knowledge of. Most of the people here who have so vigorously and assiduously promoted Jordan as the best player (some even suggesting that it wasn't even close) have never seen more than a 10 second clip of Chamberlain. They just assume that since his playing days were back in the Dark Ages he could not possibly have been any good. Yet no one (in their right mind) would suggest that the best sculptor of today was obviously superior to Michelangelo. And not many educated people would claim that Paul Simon could put notes together in a way that would make J. S. Bach jealous. The difference is that Michelangelo's and Bach's works are still around us, still observed and listened to. But almost no one under the age of 45 has ever seen Chamberlain play a complete game. Such a one could then easily discount his abilities. Mr. Lickteig and myself, however, are old fogeys (well, old anyway) and have seen both Chamberlain and Jordan play with our own eyes. Now some will insist that our choice of The Big Dipper is a result of prejudice against present-day players or of nostalgia. But this idea doesn't hold water. Speaking for myself, Jordan would probably be my choice for the best guard of all-time (though Oscar Robertson would be an equally good choice). And LeBron James is making a strong case for inclusion in my top 5 of all-time. If I were truly prejudiced against more modern players, my top 5 would consist of nothing players from the 50's and 60's, instead of merely 2 (Wilt and Oscar). More likely, those who so vehemently deny Chamberlain his rightful place as one of the greatest of all-time is guilty of something very much like ageism. I've seen Chamberlain play with my own eyes. I've also seen Elgin Baylor, Elvin Hayes, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson (THIS guy averaged--AVERAGED--a triple double one year, and came within 4 rebounds of doing it a second time!), Jerry West, Jabbar, Bird, Magic, Jordan, Stockton, Dr. "J," Kobe Bryant, and LeBron. They were all great players (2 of them still are), and they would all be all-stars in any era. There is no way one can say with absolute certainty whether Jordan was better than Chamberlain or vice-versa--they played different positions in different eras in a team sport--but to anyone with first hand knowledge of both players, it should be undeniable that they were each fabulous players. Anyone who denies the greatness of either clearly does not know what they are talking about.

look 7 years ago

Wilt, no doubt about it

Mark Ellis 7 years ago

Wilt was the better player of the two. The man had speed, jumping ability, and strength. His quickness was remarkable for such a large man.

He was also "coachable" and would sacrifice scoring to help the team when asked by his coaches.

jerome 7 years ago

its mj he is the greatest of all time

Steve 7 years ago

First of all, I've seen all of the footage available on both players, have read all of the stats on each of them and have studied their backrounds as well. To begin with, anyone who says that Wilt Chamberlain was more athletic in a basketball sense than Michael Jordan was doesn't know what their talking about! Michael Jordan had a 48 to 50" verticle leap, he had the greatest hang time EVER, he ran a 4.3 40, he had one of the very quickest first steps off the dribble ever seen in the NBA, he was the most graceful player and his creativity was unmatched. This includes over Wilt "the stilt"! If you try to compare their accomplishments during their reign in the NBA, Wilt wins as far as broken records are concerned even though Jordan did end his career with a higher PPG, a much better free throw percentage, more overall points, more assists, an astronomical amount of more steals, etc. but most importantly, M.J. was a superior clutch player in the post season AND in the finals. Wilt Chamberlain's numbers actually dropped in the biggest games where M.J.'s increased which is why he owns the post season stats where it counts the most! Another thing I would like to point out is the difference in championship rings. M.J. was the ONLY player in NBA history to prove that a scoring leader could win championships. Wilt had to lower his level of productivity by quite a bit in order to get the two that he has. The other mile stone accomplishment of Michael's was that his Bulls team under his leadership was the only dynasty to win multiple championships without a domineering center. I think this speaks for itself! M.J. also had the ability to make his teammates better and help them raise their level of play. Who did Wilt Chamberlain make better? M.J. has 6 titles, Wilt has two. Who do you think was the better team player and champion? I think that's self-explanatory. If you want to compare who was more sound overall, where were Michael Jordan's weaknesses of the game? He could drive the lane better than anyone else, he was an outstanding mid ranged jump shooter, he could hit 3's in clutch situations, he was arguably the greatest perimeter defender of all time, he could shoot with either hand, he had a very good FT percentage, etc., the list goes on. On the other hand, Wilt was horrible at the free throw line, he was not a good outside shooter, his left hand was obsolete, his dribbling was supect meaning that he wasn't a very creative ball handler and he had trouble leading his teams to championships. He had to "blend" with other superstars on his team to finally make that happen. If you want to compare who was more exciting to watch, this isn't even a close call! Michael's shot selection was second to NONE! I've never seen a player in NBA history who could make some of the outrageous shots that M.J. did game after game throughout his entire career! This included Kobe Bryant. He did things that weren't even human. His dunking was spectacular as well and his game overall was beautiful to watch. Wilt just dominated smaller and less skillful guys while making it look easy but I never saw him do anything that actually made my jaw drop. Perhaps his reverse finger roll was the most impressive thing I saw him do. There's no comparison between the two in the creativity department. I guess that leaves us with one more thing... the comparison of eras. Sure, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor all came out around Wilt's prime time but they were much smaller men than he was giving Chamberlain a ridiculous size advantage so I did some research on the centers who were actually playing against him when he was dominating the league winning 7 straight scoring titles. I attempted to find other allstar caliber centers that rivaled him besides Bill Russell who was 3 inches shorter and 55 lbs lighter! There was only one that I could find (Walt Bellamy) who was matched with Wilt throughout most of his record breaking years. A few other big name centers came along a little later such as (Nate Thurmond, Willis Reed & Jerry Lucas) but they arrived in the league two or three years towards the end of Wilt's dominance in the league. By that time, he already had his 50 point season and 100 point game. There was no competition for Wilt throughout most of his prime outside of Russell. It's that plain and simple. Even the other centers I mentioned who came along later were at a big size disadvantage by at least 3 or 4 inches in height and by a minimum of 40 lbs in weight. That's astonishing! On the other hand, Michael Jordan was about average size in the league. His true height was 6ft.4 3/4 even though he was listed at 6ft.6. His domination was strictly because of his superior skill, athleticism, intelligence and will to win. He had no other advantages. That's what makes him the greatest player ever in my mind other than everything else I mentioned above! Look at the level of competition he had from the start of his career until the end... Dr.J, Moses Malone, Artist Gilmore, Ralf Sampson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Dominique Wilkins, Isiah Thomas, Kevin Mchale, Hakeem olajuwon, Reggie Miller, John Stockton, Dikembe Mutombo, Clyde Drexler, Shawn Kemp, Karl Malone, Penny Hardaway, David Robinson, Gary Payton, Alonzo Mourning, Grant Hill, Patrick ewing, James Worthy, Tim Hardaway, Charles Barkley, etc. This list goes on and on. The talent in the league when Jordan reigned went far beyond the talent that Chamberlain had to play against in his prime. Jordan was dominating the league despite of all of these superstars and seperating himself further and further from all of the other players as his career went on. He was just the greatest ever hands down! I know that I'm sounding like I have no respect for Wilt's talents, skills and accomplishments but that's only because he's being compared to the greatest who ever played the game. Chamberlain was outstanding for his time and in his own right but he shares the top 3 spot for the greatest centers of all time with two others as far as I'm concerned. Bill Russell is one of them who was the greatest defender ever, the greatest team player ever and had the most championships ever with 11. The other one is Kareem Abdul Jabbar who has the most career points ever, retired 3rd of all time in blocked shots and rebounds, won 3 highschool championships, 3 college championships and 6 NBA championships not to mention his 6 NBA MVP's! It's tough to put Chamberlain above these guys even though he owns more records. They all belong in the same class but Air Jordan soars above and beyond and is in a class by himself!

Steve 7 years ago

I do have one more thing to add, Steven Gomez mentioned that Michael Jordan got away with offensive fouls and that the calls went his way but I have something to add to that. First of all, that was just the nature of the league then. It was a more physical game than it is now, it was rougher, hard fouling was rarely called and handchecking was still legal which was an advantage for the defender. Michael had to play through all of that. Those Detriot Piston and New York Knick teams got away with murder when it came to fouling Michael Jordan. The "no calls" went both ways my friend! I can't tell you how many times I saw Bill Lambier practically rip M.J's head off driving the lane or Dennis Rodman tripping him as he went by or someone grabbing his jersey attemting to stop his pursuit or all of the elbows he got in the head while he was attempting to dunk, etc. These guys he went up against were brutal and they geared their defenses just to stop him. The killer was, that hardly any of this stuff was ever called. M.J. just had to play through it. Meanwhile, he'd STILL score 30, 40, 50 and 60 a game! As for his shooting declining in the twilight of his career, who's doesn't? I think the fact that he was a very good free throw shooter and he was still finding ways to pick up fouls was a very smart move offensively. If your jump shot isn't working, try something else and that's exactly what he did!

S.M.  7 years ago

To Thomas W Muther jr, I have to comment on your statements about defense. For beginners, you're in the minority by a long shot when you claim that Wilt Chamberlain was a greater defender than Bill Russell. Russell is widely acknowledged for being the most dominating post defender in the history of the NBA, he practically invented the blocked shot and turned it into an art form, he was a few inches shorter than Wilt as well as being quite a bit lighter and yet he still managed to get postion in the low post to grab nearly as many rebounds as Wilt AND he was the only player in the NBA who could somewhat contain Wilt Chamberlain and keep his numbers down which usually is what gave the Celtics the win. He was by far the greatest inside defender EVER considering the size disadvantages he had to overcome that Wilt didn't. Russell was not a big center. My second point is onto the subject of Michael Jordan. I find it to be very interesting that ONLY wilt Chamberlain fans have this nasty habit of discrediting M.J.'s defensive skills! The last I checked, he is the number one shooting guard of all time in blocked shots as well as the fact that he lead his team year after year in that category, he has the second most steals in NBA history and had 3 steals titles to go along with that, he was one of the very few "non-centers or forwards" to ever win the defensive player of the year award, he was arguably the greatest defender of his era and even some of his worst critics have acknowledged that he is probably the greatest perimeter defender EVER. I would sure love for you to explain to me where Wilt Chamberlain has accomplished more than this on the defensive end and what makes him a better defender than Michael Jordan. Inquiring minds want to know! I'm aware that he was a great defender and he probably didn't get as much recognition for his work on that end of the floor as he deserves but I think it's quite a bit of a stretch to put him before Jordan and Russell in that category. The other thing that I would love for you to prove is what you said about M.J. that he couldn't guard bigger or smaller players. I have thousands of hours of footage during the Chicago Bulls "golden era" and I can't say that I've ever seen that! Give me the names of the players that he supposedly couldn't guard and the games in which they played in and I'll go look that up. Lol!

S.M. 7 years ago

This one is for Mike Lickteig, you have got to be kidding me when you said that Michael Jordan couldn't beat Isiah Thomas or Joe Dumars until they aged! That has to be one of the most ridiculous things I ever heard! First of all, the Bulls won their first championship immediately proceeding the Piston's back to back championships. How old do players get in one year? Did they hit their next birthday and then suddenly collapse from old age? Lol! Secondly, the real reason behind why Jordan was finally able to get past the Pistons was because it's a team sport and it took a couple of years for the Bulls to gel and fall into form with the addition of Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant and Bill Cartwright. Then, with the emergence of Phil Jackson as head coach and Tex Winter inplementing the Triangle offense which has proven to be a championship philosophy, the last piece of the puzzle was put into place to set the Bulls in motion. This is not a one man sport. It was all of these things put together that got the Chicago Bulls started on their championship run. To say that M.J. couldn't beat those guys before is just plain dumb, I'm sorry. If you really want to look at it from a one on one perspective, then maybe you should consider Jordan's 59 points against that team or his 61 points against that team, or the fact that no one on that team could stop him so they had to double and tripple team him all of the time or that the "Jordan rules" which Chuck Daily devised was to gang up on him and punish him physically because they couldn't deal with him any other way. This was all before the Bulls ever conquered the Pistons. No, neither Dumars or Thomas ever BEAT Jordan!

S.J. 7 years ago

Mike Lickteig, I should quit too but I can't resist either! I want to start by going through your list of Wilt's accomplishments. #1. "Wilt Chamberlain, second greatest career scoring average". Who is first? I believe it is Michael Jordan! #2."Wilt Chamberlain, greatest rebounder (average and total)". Why shouldn't he be? He was taller than everyone else in the league and outweighed everyone as well by a minimum of 40 lbs. which helped give him position in the low post. The funny thing is, that Bill Russell was right behind him in this category and he was 4 inches shorter and 45 lbs lighter than Wilt! I think that clearly says something. What does that say to you? #3."Wilt Chamberlain, only player to lead the league in assists." That's because he was a record breaking junkie rather than someone who focused on team success. He wasn't given the "green light" to be the main scorer on his team at that point in his career so he set out to break the assists record. If he would have spent more of his time making his teammates better rather than focusing on putting himself in the limelight, he'd have more championship rings! Also, this accomplishment would have been a lot more impressive if he would have been dominating the league in scoring and on the defensive end as well but he wasn't at that time so he set his sites on one thing. #4. As for his record breaking time played in a season, that IS impressive for a big man, I have to admit but keep in mind that M.J. didn't miss many minutes or games in his prime either and he usually played harder than everyone else on both ends of the floor! #5. "Wilt Chamberlain, starting center and captain of 72 Lakers who posted a record setting 33 game winning streak en rounte to a 69-13 season, second best in the history of the NBA. He also won the title that year. Wilt also played for the 1967 Philadelphia 76ers, winning a then record 68 games and beating Bill Russell's Celtics in the playoffs en route to an NBA title". Michael Jordan, the only shooting guard in NBA history to lead his team to not only one championship, but 6! During that time, he led the Chicago Bulls to a 69-13 record matching Wilt Chamberlain's 72 Lakers as well as eclipsing that record with a 72-10 NBA all-time best. He and the Bulls accomplished this in back to back seasons! Both years M.J. won championships as well and both years he was the finals MVP. Beat that! #6. You might be right as far as Wilt possessing the blocked shots record if they kept such a log in those days but then again, how much taller than everyone else was he? How much did he outweigh all of the other players in the league which was a big reason why no one could keep him away from the basket? I think that it's much more impressive for a shooting guard who was short of 6ft 5 to not only be the best shot blocker in history at his position, but to lead his entire team in that category over power forwards and centers who were many inches taller and many pounds heavier! I also have to make a comment regarding your statement about Shaq. If he would have played in Chamberlain's era, he would have dominated even more. It would have been ridiculous to watch those guys during that era try to stop him and that includes Wilt! He is the same height as Chamberlain was but this time, Wilt would have been the one giving up a 40 or 50 pound weight advantage. I would have loved to see him try to keep Shaq away from the rim or DOUBLE him in rebounding! If you actually think he would have pulled that off, you need to put the crack pipe down, my friend! One last thing... Wilt did not play against Kareem Abdul Jabbar in his prime. Jabbar didn't come into the league until the twilight of Wilt's career and Wilt had nothing but problems guarding him against Kareem's skyhook. Russell, Jones, Havilcek, Cousy, Sharman, Reed, Lucas, DeBusschere, Frasier and Monroe were some great players for their time but are you seriously going to tell me that those guys are better than Johnson, Worthy, Drexler, Malone and Stockton? You also discredited Payton and Kemp who were multiple allstars. Payton was considered to be one of the best all around point guards in the history of the game and was the defensive player of the year as well. If those two players were playing during Wilt's time, they would have easily made the top 50 list. I love Wilt Chamberlain. He was super athletic, he was dominating and he helped revolutionize the league. He was a huge contributor for it's growth and beginnings but he's not in the argument with Michael Air Jordan!

nnnnnnnnn 6 years ago

theres no such thing as a the greatest player ever

ss 6 years ago

it is a draw

AI 6 years ago

The weakest argument constantly made against Chamberlain is "he's only good because he's big." Every single player on the NBA's top 50 all time, and every player at practically every level, with rare exceptions, are taller/bigger people. The argument here is about who WAS the greatest player, not who would be if they were all the same size. Every argument saying that someone's accomplishments should be discounted because that person had a physical advantage over his competitors is patently false, and would eliminate every player discussed from consideration.

S.J. 6 years ago

I have to totally disagree with you, AI. That's not a weak argument at all. I don't know how tall you are but basketball has always been a "big mans" game. At least until Michael Jordan came along! Suppose you are the average mans height at 6 ft. tall and you were playing against a bunch of migets or Junior high school kids. Are you really trying to tell us that it wouldn't make a difference? That they would have the same advantages as you do and that it would be the same thing as playing against adults at your size and skill level? If that's the case, you should put the crack pipe down! I can make this argument on a street level or on a professional level and it wouldn't make one bit of difference. Size DOES matter. Take the one on one match up between Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Dr. J. for instance. Kareem spanked him and it didn't have a thing to do with him being more talented either. In fact, Dr. J ran circles around Jabbar in athletic talent but it was the fact that Kareem was a towering 7 ft.2 to Dr. J's 6 ft.7 that made all of the difference in the world. Make those two the same height and the outcome would have been totally different without question. Anyone who argues that is a fool!

cj 6 years ago

The comment that Wilt was a poor shooter is a false one. Look up any youtube video of him. He hits turnarounds that no big men today shoot. He said himself that he purposely didn't dunk as much as he could have to prove he was a consummate player. Wilt did things no one will ever come close to doing again. Regardless of a height advantage, 55 rebounds in a game is unreal. The fact that it was against Bill Russell is also pretty impressive.

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LT Jaeger 6 years ago

Really an interesting debate on here, with many excellent comments, especially early in the discussion.

Part of the problem of this debate is that few people saw Wilt in his true prime, and so many are ignorant of the quality of many of the centers during that time. Besides the obvious stars (Russell, Bellamy, Thurmond) there were add'l quality centers around such as Zelmo Beatty, Willis Reed, Jerry Lucas, etc.) With the smaller league, that means Wilt was playing against a quality center during half of his games. Can that be said now? Of course not.

MJ was incredible; no one with any semblance of intelligence would say otherwise. But Wilt was off the charts. Athletically, don't forget that Wilt lettered as a FRESHMAN at UK in shot put, high jump, and the quarter mile.

The argument that Wilt "was just bigger" than everyone is an odd one. Of course he was bigger!! That's like saying MJ could just jump higher, or that Shaq's accomplishments don't count because he's heavier than anyone else.

Most of the points have already been made, but one that I'll add is that the game is now refereed differently, and that Wilt was not allowed to bull his way to the basket like Shaq is today. As crazy as it sounds, Wilt probably would have averaged another 5-8 points per game if he had been allowed to play offense like Shaq does

Would he have averaged 50 in today's game, with fewer shots and a wider lane? Probably not, but 40 would be likely, and that's pretty damned dominant. And his shot blocking skills were just insane. I remember a game vs. the Phoenix Suns on National TV, where after the game the tape was reviewed, and Wilt was credited with TWENTY-THREE blocked shots!. As an old man, I watched him block five consecutive shots by Kareem, including a sky hook and a dunk.

MJ was the best of his era, hands down. But Wilt was the man; no one else could do what he did back in the day, and inserted into today's game, he'd still dominate. D Howard would foul out against him in about 20 minutes; Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Ben Wallace, etc., while all fine players, wouldn't stand a chance.

Julia 6 years ago

Obviously Michael Jordan is waaaay better.... He is my idol ppl.

Andrea 6 years ago

1) 13 years as a pro, 11 titles (even if with the Boston Celtics)

2) Never lost a 7th game

3) Terrific statistics in 7th games

4) Basketball is a team game the goal is winning the game.

I read a lot of nice and valid justifications for MJ and for Wilt but with a pragmatic approach there is only an answer

The greatest player is BILL RUSSELL and this is the opinion of many experts.

I believe that Wilt can be compared with Bill, they played in the same years and in the same role, and Bill won 11 titles.

The comparison with Michael can be more difficult, Russel was the cornerstone of the Boston Celtics, an excellent team, Michael was the only superstar of the Chicago Bulls.

Moreover they played in different years and in different roles.

11 titles (on 13 attempts) even if supported by the rest of the Boston Celtics are a difficult figure to be beaten even by the 6 titles with the Chicago Bulls and by the talent and scoring and defending of Michael.

P.S. I am Italian and a soccer fan, even in soccer the people loves the forward scoring players, but at the end defense is the key for success.

don 6 years ago

One would have to be brain dead to even suggest that Michael Jordan isn't the greatest basketball player, ever.

CJ Phillips 6 years ago

How many people here on this post actually saw Wilt Chamberlain play? As a fan and basketball journalist have met and socialized with 33 of the Top 50 players of all time as selected in 1997. People who say Wilt was taller than all of the other players do not know the facts. Wilt was never ever the tallest player in the NBA when he played. When he was 36 he outplayed a 25 year olf Kareem Abdul Jabbar blocking his shots and out rebounding him. In his 50s' Wilt dominated a young Magic Johnson in pickup games at UCLA. Wilt had to face a future Hall of Fame centre in nearly each and every game.

Ray Barohn Sportswriter 6 years ago

Jordan played mostly in the 90s...tough defense but not a lot of firepower in the league..definitely not the most competetive era..not like the 80s was. There was a point in the mid 90s where Jordan started getting a lot of calls by refs. But on the other end of the court, the calls were not made against Jordan. You see this preferential treatment of the NBAs star players carried on today.

Wilt was scoring at will against a smaller league, but remember, Wilt was also ON a team of nobodies and still dominated against 3-4 guys. Not like Shaq at all. Wilt was far more athletic and his size made him even a better player. Plus Wilt actually had a tON of calls against him because the refs felt he had too much an advantage. Jordan was talented and could leap, but so what? He still needed Pippen and later Rodman. Jordan's playoff record until Pippen arrived was 1-9.

AI 6 years ago

SJ - You have missed the point entirely, as many do. Yes, Wilt being bigger was an asset to him. It was part of what made him a great player, not something to be used to discount his accomplishments. If Jordan were only 6 foot instead of 6-6, he's have had less success as well. A good deal of his dominance was in the fact that he was bigger than most guards!

The point is not that his size and athletic ability edge over his competitors doesn't matter, but that it does matter, and is in large part what made him the best. The fact that his physical advantages are there doesn't detract from his accomplishments; they are both part of the whole.

Russell definitely deserves more consideration than he gets, I agree with Andrea on that. He should be in this conversation.

mj4life 6 years ago

if u look at mj's accolades at, its obvious he has accomplished more than wilt; exclude the scoring record and rebounding records, they dont mean anything: WINNING IS EVERYTHING!

that said, sure russell did 11 rings; and jordan won 6. imho if he didn't retire afer his first 3 peat, i could see him getting 8 peat???

his game was balanced both defensively and OFFENSIVELY, which russell didn't have; he went against the likes of dexter, magic, larry, erwing, olajuwon, barkely, stockton, malone...all quality hall of famers that are also included in the list of top 50 best bball players of all time; need i say more??

jlip 6 years ago

I know that this thread is about Wilt vs. MJ, and I like the conclusion made by the original poster that basically you can't come up with a definitive answer. But I want to address a point that's related to the thread but doesn't directly answer the question of who is better. I know that most people have mentioned more that just scoring as part of their arguments, but let me say this about scoring IMO. (I will use the phrase "shot jacking" or some variation of it multiple times in this post for dramatic effect.)

IMO individual scoring is the single most overrated criteria when trying to determine a player's greatness. Scoring is more the result of shot jacking than the result of how good of a player one is. (Even if you're shooting a high fg%, you can still be considered a shot jacker IMO.) Dr. J could easily be in the Wilt/ MJ scoring category but he consciously chose after dominating the ABA in scoring to limit his production according to the wishes of his coaches once he got to the 76ers so that they could run a more balanced offense.

In order to win a scoring title FOR THE MOST PART all you have to do is take an all star and have him jack up considerably more shots than everyone else. MJ has the highest career scoring average. Well... he has also led the league in field goals taken during a season more than anyone else in NBA history. Wilt is 2nd in that category. With that type of willingness to shoot the ball shouldn't they be the two top scorers in NBA history? As a matter of fact the 3 highest career ppg averages for retired players in NBA history are MJ, Wilt, and Baylor (in that order.) The 3 players who have attempted the most fgs per game are Baylor, MJ, and Wilt (in that order.) Coincidence? I think not.

Even in the post MJ era, players such as Iverson and T-Mac have won scoring titles while shooting less than 42% from the field. Guess why? They jacked up more shots per game than everybody else. Is that a surprise? Scoring is the single easiest of the 3 major stats (scoring, rebounding, assists) to dominate, and scoring titles are pretty unimpressive to me. Players from ALL FIVE positions have won scoring titles. Only forwards and centers have won rebounding titles. Only guards have won assist PER GAME titles. (Wilt led the league in TOTAL assists in 1968. Not assists PER GAME.) There is a direct correlation between your willingness to take shots and scoring. That doesn't necessarily make you greater than the next person.

A big deal has been made over MJ averaging 22ppg as a 39 year old in his first season with the Wizards. It is ignored that he jacked up over 22 shots per game? He attempted as many shots per game as a 39 year old that played fewer minutes as he did when he was 29 and played more minutes. After having been retired for over 4 years he returns and attempts MORE SHOTS PER GAME that season than anybody else in the league other than Iverson. The league had other superstars who were in or close to their prime at that time such as Shaq, Duncan, KG, Kobe, T-Mac, Vince Carter, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. A few of those players have been notorious shot jackers at times in their careers, but MJ who was again 39 and hadn't played in nearly half a decade still proceeds to jack up more shots per game than each one of them. How was his 22ppg that season really that impressive given that context? To me it just seems to support my theory...The more shots jacked up the greater the chance of scoring more points.

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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

I have taken this argument about Wilt vs. MJ to my own article, but I have to commend CJ Phillips, Al, L.T. Jaegar and Ray Barohn Sportswriter for their insights. Their comments about Chamberlain's accomplishments and his legacy are on the money.

jlip, you make an interesting point about field goal attempts, as well. Chamberlain led the league in field goal percentage during much of his career, and only twice did he not hit 50% from the field. Once was his rookie season, and the other time he missed 50% by one shot.

It has been interesting seeing who has responded since I moved over to the comments on my own article. CJ, Al, LT and Ray, you guys know the game well.


Mr Broke  6 years ago

Hmmmm Wilt and Michael were OUTSTANDING players without a doubt so lets leave at that.NOT Michael vs Wilt that would be like the battle of the gods So really a draw

Mr Broke  6 years ago

ALSO Wilt Chamberlain R.I.P

manny lopresto 6 years ago

Mike lickteig makes a lot of sense,he knows what hes talking about.I watched many 1960s and 70s nba games and remember all of the players.The teams were deep and talented,because of the fact that expansion had not watered things down yet.And there were a ton of 6 10 or 7 foot guys,and a lot of them were cut too.Wilt was not playing against a ton of slow white guys amd 5 footers like the young guys like to think.The nba was full of black players who were in the great majority by the late 60s and a lot of giants like wilt were around,trust me.I can name a ton of guys who were 6 11 or better.Guys like havlicek,barry,robertson, and west were very explosive and they would give jordan a lot more trouble than the guys who played in his era.That's reality.

manny lopresto 6 years ago

There are a lot of guys who played in the nba who one could make a case for as greatest player ever,not just jordan or chamberlain!What about jabbar,he played 20 years on such a high level?What about russell?Who in today's nba could out rebound chamberlain,russell,jabbar,and bob pettit.No one!Who could run an offense like cousy or majic?No one!Go tell larry bird that jordan was better,hed spit in your face.Could anyone in today's nba guard john havlicek,no.Do you guys seriously think jordan would dominate havlicek, jerry west dr, j , elgin baylor,or oscar robertson?Give me a break!Jordan is great,so is shaq,but they would have big problems playing against these guys.There are a lot of great modern players like karl malone kevin mchale and kobe bryant.But these guys were not bigger or more talented than rick barry or dolph schayes.John havlicek would rip today's nba stars apart and run them ragged.His game was solid in all phases.How many of today's players could do the things that pete maravich did?He was probably more talented than anyone ever,but he had problems with alcohol abuse.

manny lopresto 6 years ago

Jordan was probably the best all around talent to play the game because maravich was a drunk.Chamberlain was the most dominant,jabbar the most consistant over a super long career,while russell was the greatest winner.As great as jordan,magic,and bird were,they were only very,very slightly better than west,robertson,and havlicek.Its my opinion,but its reality.If you guys think jordan,magic and bird would dominate west,rick barry, and havlicek you are dreaming!

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infomanic 6 years ago

this is a very hard question to answer, the reason i would say this is you have to take account when they played. you also have to base it on wins or stats if its on wins i take Micheal Jordan if its on stats i take wilt.

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Dan Druff 6 years ago

How can people say Michael Jordan is 'over-hyped'? Absurd.

Wilt was a unique player for his time. Today he wouldn't be nearly as dominating. In my mind, Chamberlain probably isn't in the top 3. That shouldn't, however, take away from his game. He revolutionized the sport and his position.

MJ is the best to play the game.

mac daddy 6 years ago

Lets just forget mj and wilt they are great but they had size for wilt and one of the most athletic body ever in mj the best player of all time is john stockton he had no size or major athletic body but was flat out amazing

freddie freeloader 6 years ago

To the guy STEVE who says MJ had to play in a physical league.......... if you think MJ was jammed but Wilt Chamberlain was not you better take a look at some facts. Chamberlain got beat up bad.

Hack-a-Shaq was invented in the 60s against Chamberlain.

Shaq averaged 7 FT per game

Wilt averaged 11.

But that doesn't explain what Chamberlain went through.

He often was not just fouled but elbowed, kneed, and slugged.

He had BITE MARKS on his arms after games.


Shaq NEVER went through abuse like Chamberlain did. And when the league found out that Wilt was afraid of his own strength, that if he retaliated he might put someone in the hospital, well it just got crazy.

If someone had knocked MJ's teeth out, the guy would have gone to jail plain and simple.

The refs work for the league, and the league did everything it could to promote MJ.

MJ great player, but it is a plain fact that he cheated for years. He pushed off his defender over and over, including that famous last shot - which is INFAMOUS THE WORLD OVER - and never got a whistle.

You can't use fair play as criteria in this comparison THAT'S FOR SURE. If you do, well as in all other categories - scoring, defense, rebounding, blocked shots - Chamberlain matches or far surpasses anything Jordan ever did. And he did it fairly.

Chamberlain = GOAT. Nobody even close. Just look at the record books. But make sure you look at ALL of them. It's easy to compare Jordan to Wilt when you talk scoring (where they matched almost stride for stride). But when you look at the whole game, there's not any question who dominated every part of the game. Chamberlain did; Jordan didn't.

No One Special 6 years ago

It did become strictly a business when Jordan took over as the NBA's dominant figure. The stats do not lie. Wilt was honestly the best player. Don't forget, Stockton has 2 of the 4 all time career primary stats...steals AND assists. I do not take any pleasure in reiterating what someone said earlier, but it is true...Jordan was treated like fine china by the refs.

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Freeway Flyer 6 years ago

Wilt put up ridiculous stats, but it's hard to imagine him doing that if he played 20 years later. If Shaquille O'neal played back in the 1960's, can you imagine what he would have done?

Basketball is ultimately a team sport, so you have to partially judge a player's greatness by his ability to win. Jordan (6) and Magic (5) got more rings than Wilt (2). That's not all Wilt's fault, but it still has be taken into account.

As a Laker fan, I am biased toward Magic. He was my favorite player of all time to watch, and so much of what made him great can't be measured by stats. Still, if I had to choose who to start a team with - Magic or Jordan - it wouldn't be easy.

Independent 6 years ago

How do you measure the best player of all time? What rule of thumb do you use? PPG? APG? RPG? The measure I use is the value add to their team.

This is a no brainer. Magic wins this hands down. Magic improved and bettered the playing group around him as is testament for his team making nine finals in thirteen years. Had Magic and his team been free from injury this would have been higher.

If you want to ask who was the best skilled player of all time then none of the above would apply. The clear winner is Pete Maverich a ledgend well before his time!!!!!!

freddie freeloader 6 years ago

An interesting post here from Independent about Magic.

Magic certainly took the Lakers to heights they had not seen since Chamberlain retired. And he had an immediate impact on the Lakers.

But Wilt helped his teams, too.

Look at the 15 game turnaround the Warriors had when he came in as a rookie; the 12 or 13 game turnaround that the Sixers had.

That's immediate impact that as far as I know no other player has ever had. Certainly not Jordan. Maybe Jabbar but it's an intangible - the Bucks were an expansion franchise only 2 or 3 years old when he came along. And, as you point out, Magic was IMPACT also.

But, not only did Chamberlain have tremendous impact on his teams as a player - look at why was he traded to the 76ers. It's total myth to say the Warriors didn't want him. The fact is, the Warriors were broke, and the $150,000 cash that they got for Chamberlain saved that franchise from going under. That is truly impact.


A Double Double Double is 20 in any of the 5 categories, points, rebounds, assists, blocks or steals. As I have seen posted around the internet, it is true to say that a double double double is a career game for any player.

As for the myth that Chamberlain fell down in the playoffs, take a look at his 1970 Finals

Lakers vs. New York 29/04/70

21 26

Lakers vs. New York 06/05/70

45 27

And again in the 1972 Finals

Lakers vs. New York 30/04/72 23 24

Lakers vs. New York 03/05/72 26 20

Lakers vs. New York 07/05/72 24 29

How many DDDs did Jordan have?


That's ZERO.

How many DDDs did Wilt Chamberlain have?

At 30.1 ppg & 22.9 rpg it's just his LIFETIME AVERAGE!!!

It's not fair to compare players to Chamberlain, it just isn't. He stands far above the rest of the NBA.

bob 6 years ago


someone 6 years ago

This is probably the most difficult decision in the NBA. Both players a dominant force in their own era and both outstanding basketball players. However i believe that the fair decision is Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain. Wilt beats Jordan in 4 of the 7 key basketball aspects, PPG (points per game), RPG (Rebounds per game), BPG (Blocks Per Game),and Field goal percentage. Some questions raised however that in wilt's era the competiotion was much easier, but thatis wrong. In the 50s-60s there were players such as Bill Russel, Patrick Ewing, Jerry West, Bob Cousy and many more.


Boone 6 years ago

This is for the person that stated Wilt would dominate Jordan in a one-on-one game... I'm guessing that you are assuming the one-on-one game would be a half-court game. If they were playig full-court, Jordan would dominate. Wilt would not be able to get the ball up the court on Jordan. If Wilt ever got the ball in the paint, yes, he would dominate. However, that is a big if. Obviously Jordan would have a difficult time attacking the rim, and would likely resort to taking outside shots. However, Jordan is a pretty good shooter and would likely make nearly 50% of his shots. Even if Wilt did not miss or got every rebound, I have a difficult time imagining any situation in which Wilt would be able to consistently get the basketball up the court one-on-one vs Jordan.

bisonman 6 years ago

To "someone" that posted 2 months prior to this, you obviously don't know much about basketball. First of all, Wilt did not average more points per game than Jordan. Wilt averaged 30.066 PPG, and Jordan averaged 30.123 PPG. Wilt was SO dominant at scoring, and yet Jordan still averaged more points per game than him throughout their careers. Also, do you really think Wilt played against Patrick Ewing... Wow, you need to check your facts.

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mccarty 5 years ago

I love how often people say they never saw Wilt play, then allege that Wilt played against a bunch of no-talents.

Hmm, let's see. Bill Russel. No talent. Check.

Nate Thurmond, also among the 50 greatest of all times. No talent. Check.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar. No talent. Check.

Willis Reed. No talent. Check.

Dave Cowens. No talent. Check.

Look folks, opinions are great, but please, how about not sticking your foot in your mouth by simultaneously acknowledging you know squat about the NBA during Wilt's era and then claiming he played against nobody. That's just plain stupid.

As for all the claims about NBA average height being greater in Jordan's day, please let's phone Spudd Webb, Nate Archibald and John Stockton and tell them "hey, you're short so you obviously can't play worth diddly squat."

So how about spending five minutes looking at videos of Wilt, and notice the amazing agility for a guy that height. The only center who comes close at anywhere close at that height is Olajuwon. And while I have no objection to those who believe Jordan was the better player, some of these comments reflect a sincere lack of interest in knowing anything at all about Chamberlain's game.

Sorry folks, there's just no excuse for being stupid! No brains. Check!

Blaze 5 years ago

Thank you mccarty... This is like when me and my friends disagree on who is the greatest player ever. Most of them will say MJ because they know who he is they have seen a lot of games and have no clue how good Wilt Chamberlain was. You cant put up an argument if you didn't see Wilt play or even checked out how unreal he is (72 NBA records) and for the people saying he was playing against nobodies you should check that out before posting a comment

Wilt Chamberlain best player

nicolas ocoro 5 years ago

Jordan is a better player than Chamberlain, Jordan played the best era of the NBA mid 80s and the 90s, he was more athletic than Chamberlain for his size only 6'6, the other 7'2 when the nba average height was only 6'10. Jordan is more complete than Chamberlain, in terms of jumpshot, dunking, jab step, fadeaway, one on one defense, clutch etc......

Benek 5 years ago

Only Micheal, the best who ever touch the ball, not only basketball :)

bisonman 5 years ago

What is everyone's basis for saying that Wilt is better than Jordan? I admit that I am not old enough to have watched Wilt play, therefore, I can not say whether or not the competition back then was better or worse. However, my grandpa was on the Minneapolis Lakers when Mikan was there, and he agrees that Jordan is the greatest.

Anyways, I would like to think that everyone here would agree with me in saying that the greatest players are the ones that step up their level of play during the biggest games (i.e. playoffs and nba finals). Now, I know that the Wilt supporters will say that Wilt had more difficult competition and his team was outmatched by the Celtics. However, let's take a look at a few quick facts:

# of years their team had the best regular season record: Jordan = 4; Wilt = 4.

# of years their team had the better record in the Finals: Jordan = 4; Wilt = 4.

Record in the Finals: Jordan = 6-0; Wilt = 2-4.

# of playoff series lost when their team had the better record: Jordan = 0; Wilt = 5.

As you can see, Wilt consistently underachieved in the playoffs, while Jordan never did. I will admit that Wilt was a great basketball player, and may have been the best in the regular season. However, this does not make him the greatest player ever. He failed over and over in the big games. And if you claim that the playoffs aren't that important, why don't they just give the title to whichever team has the best record in the regular season. If they would do that, Wilt would have just as many titles as Jordan (they would both have 4). And if there wouldn't have been any playoffs, your argument for Wilt as the greatest would have some backing. But playoffs are when the best players step up their games. Wilt underachieved in the playoffs, while Jordan overachieved.

bisonman 5 years ago

Furthermore, for those of you that claim Wilt did not play with many talented players, you are completely wrong. Let's look at who Wilt had on his teams:

Paul Arizin, Nate Thurmond, Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, Elgin Baylor, and Jerry West. All 6 are members of the 50 greatest. He also played with Gail Goodrich and Tom Gola, both of which are hall of famers.

Jordan played with George Gervin (18 games because Jordan was hurt that season), Robert Parrish (Parrish was way past his prime and only started 3 games), and Scottie Pippen. 3 of the 50 greatest, but two of which were past their prime and only played a full season with Pippen. Jordan also played with Rodman who will likely be a hall of famer.

In summary, Wilt played with 6 of the 50 greatest players and 2 more hall of famers. Jordan played with 3 of the greatest players and 1 more potential hall of famer. And of those 3, Jordan only played more than 50 games with one.

Jordan did not have better teammates than Wilt, yet he accomplished so much more. Wilt fans, please feel free to respond and provide an explanation why you still believe Wilt is better. I am very curious and I would love to learn more if there is something that I am missing.


freddie freeloader 5 years ago

Bisonman, please read the other posts.

Getting multiple 20 20s in a playoff game, or standing #4 all time in playoff triple doubles - AS A CENTER - or getting 41 rebounds against Bill Russell, is not falling down in the playoffs.

Think about Kevin Love all over today's news for a 20 20. Chamberlain's playoff AVERAGE is 22.5 & 24.5 !!!

John Wooden has the best rebuttal of your arguments I have ever seen. "If Chamberlain had played on the Celtics instead of Russell, with Red Auerbach as coach, he would have won 11 or 12 rings."

And last: Jordan's '90s teammates were far superior to every team Wilt was ever on except for 4 seasons, and 2 of those seasons were marked by terrible injuries in the playoffs.

1966-67 76ers - set the alltime record for wins and won a ring.

1967-68 76ers ran away from the league until Greer & Jackson both got severe hamstring injuries, and Billy Cunningham broke his arm - all in the playoffs. As I have seen posted around the Internet - imagine today's Lakers in the playoffs... Kobe & Artest are down with hamstring pulls, and Lamar Odem is out with a broken arm. Do you think Pau Gasol could win a ring?

1968-69 Lakers - In game 7 of the Finals, Wilt went down with a knee injury. Do you remember last year's 2010 Finals? Do you think Perkins' knee injury cost the Celtics any chance of winning game 7?

That knee lasted about 9 or 10 games the next season before it was wrecked and he missed the season.

1971-72 Lakers - ran off the greatest professional sports team streak in history, 33 wins in a row, and won the playoffs going away.

If you think Tom Gola, Paul Arizin & Al Attles were better teammates than Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, & John Paxson...... you just need to do some more reading.

If you think that late 60s Lakers "big 3" of 33 yr old Chamberlain, 34 year old Baylor with ruined knees, and 32 year old Jerry West compare in any way to the late 90s Bulls with Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Tony Kukoc, Steve Kerr & great defense from Bill Wennington & Luc Longley... well, you just need to do some more reading.

Those Bulls teams were completely stacked. The Hof players you mention that Wilt played with, were on 3 different teams over 14 years. It's not like he was playing with 7 Hof players like the Celtics had throughout most of the '60s.

Of course, Phil Jackson was a huge factor for those Bulls teams. His triangle offense has completely dominated the NBA for 20 years. He convincingly proved this fact by moving to the Lakers and immediately turning that franchise around.

Auerbach had the same impact on the Celtics.

Chamberlain is still the best ever.

bisonman 5 years ago

Freddie... You really think Jordan had a better team in the late 90's than Wilt did with the late 60's Lakers?

That 34 year old Baylor with ruined knees averaged 24.8 PPG and 24.0 PPG in '68-'69 and '69-'70. He also averaged 10.6 and 10.4 RPG, and 5.4 and 5.4 APG in those respective seasons. The 32 year old West average 25.9 and 31.2 PPG in those same seasons. That team also had Happy Hairston who averaged 18.1 PPG and 18.5 PPG and 11.8 RPG and 11.1 RPG in those same seasons.

Let me total that up for you. Between the 3 of them, they averaged 68.8 PPG and 73.7 PPG in 68-69 and 69-70. Yeah, they are horrible.

The 4 players of that "stacked" Bulls teams of the late 90's that you mentioned (Pippen, Kukoc, Harper, Rodman) combined for an average of 53.8 PPG, 53.4 PPG, and 53.9 PPG in 95-96, 96-97, and 97-98, respectively. That's 4 Bulls players compared to 3 Lakers players, and those 3 Lakers players still averaged more than the Bulls players.

Just for fun, let's add Luc Longley in there. He averaged 9.1, 9.1, 11.4 PPG in those seasons. That brings the totals up to 62.9, 62.5, and 65.3 PPG. That's including 4 starters for most of the season, plus Toni Kukoc, and they are still less than the 3 Lakers players that I mentioned.

The starting lineup for the "stacked" late 90's Bulls (minus Jordan) plus Toni Kukoc (6th man) averaged less than 3 of Wilt's teammates in the late 60's.

As you can see, I have done my reading. How about you trying doing the same thing?

freddie freeloader 5 years ago

The difference is that scores were much much lower in the 90s than they were in the 60s. Basketball has slowed down dramatically over the last 25 years. In fact you could call a lot of the teams 'sluggish.'

1970 scoring average was around 117 per game. the Lakers were 12th of 14 teams at 114 points per game, and their opponents were scoring 111.

1996, when the Bulls were first of 29 teams, they averaged 105. Their opponents were scoring 93 points a game.

Beating opponents by an average of 12 points a game is an insanely stacked team.

bisonman 5 years ago

Thank you very much for pointing out the fact that the pace of the game was slower in Jordan's time than when Wilt played. You are ABSOLUTELY correct. Although this helps your argument on which team was better, it hurts your argument for Wilt being the greatest ever. When you consider Jordan's scoring average and take into consideration the pace of the game, it makes him that much more impressive. Also, Jordan's playoff scoring average of 33.4 PPG is simply insane when taking into consideration the slow pace of the games in the 90s. This has the same effect on the rebounding stats, and every stat for that matter. Less possessions means less opportunities for rebounds, assists, points, etc. The average NBA team in the 1962 season had 152 possessions. Compare that with an average of between 90 and 100 possessions per game throughout the last 20 years, and that's a HUGE difference. If you gave Jordan and the Bulls 50-60 more possessions per game, think about what Jordan's scoring average would have been.

In contrast, give Wilt's teams 50-60 less possessions per game and see what that does to his number. It makes his scoring average much less impressive (although it is still impressive). Not to mention the fact that basketball was all about getting shots close to the basket in Wilt's time (no 3-point line). This also results in shorter rebounds, making it easier for big men to get more rebounds.

Furthermore, that 73.7 PPG that Wilt's 3 teammates averaged in '69-'70 was 64.6% of the team's points. Jordan's 5 teammates averaged 62.9 PPG when their team was averaging 105 PPG, which is 59.9% of their team's points. So as you can see, even when taking into consideration the pace of the game, those 3 players were better scorers than Jordan's 5 teammates.

I really appreciate you pointing out the fact that the pace of the game was much slower for Jordan than Wilt. Wilt fans usually get upset when I use that as an argument for proving that Wilt's numbers are less impressive than they appear at first glance. I'm glad you're willing to admit that the pace of the game was much slower for Jordan. I hope you are also willing to admit that it makes Wilt's averages much less impressive and Jordan's averages that much more impressive.

freddie freeloader 5 years ago

I don't say those Lakers were poor players, at all. They were among the all-time elite. But you jump around so much you'll have to clarify your remarks.

What does the 62 Warriors have to do with the 69 Lakers? Nothing...

Those teams had nothing in common - players, coaches, strategy, training, money - except Wilt. And he was not the same player. Of course, 69 was the year he wrecked his knee in the Finals... the knee that lasted 12 games in 1970 before Wilt was out for the season, and his high scoring career abruptly changed forever - into the defensive player par excellence.

What does 1970 have to do with Wilt?

If you are going to include Happy in the 68-69 team you'll have to look again. If you want to compare the 70 Lakers with the Bulls, fine, but Wilt missed that season with knee surgery. He came back for the playoffs, and was gigantic, but everyone saw how slow he was. {BTW blaming Wilt for that 70 Finals is nutty. Walt Frazier blew holes in Jerry West, plain and simple. Frazier hit 12-of-17 from the field and 12-of-12 from the line to finish with 36 points, 7 rebounds, 19 assists & 5 steals in that famous G7.}

Of course, I agree with Mike Licktieg - Wilt could not put up such gargantuan numbers today, because the game is so slow. The past 20 years have revolved around using 20 seconds of the clock before taking a shot. There is no idea of building a fast break tempo on any team except the Suns, who average an old fashioned 105 to 110 ppg.

Why don't you answer about the 12 point margin of victory those Bulls had?

Only totally stacked teams (like... well, like the 62 Celtics, who had a 10 point margin over their opponents) can put up such huge spreads over the other teams. Why ignore that fact? That is not only good scoring, that is outstanding team defense. Bill Wennington was a far better C than people give him credit for.

If you had watched games in those days, you would know that all the teams were setting traps & isolation plays on Keith Erikson and Mel Counts. They were trying to run on the Lakers because Wilt was 33, West 31 & Baylor 35.

If you are talking about the 70 season, they were running, all right. But Wilt was playing volleyball on the beach, trying to get his knee into shape.........

Of course, we shouldn't avoid the fact that Wilt not only scored like a banshee that 69 season, he also led the league in rebounding, led all centers in assists, and of course blocks and steals weren't counted but he had plenty of them.

We should compare a career 22.9 rebounds per game, leading the league 11 seasons,and just about every single rebounding record, with Jordan's 6.2 career average. Saying Jordan was a guard so rebounding doesn't count is baseless. Basketball is basketball, and as Auerbach used to say, you can't win without the ball.

Leading the world in scoring is an amazing accomplishment. Leading the world in scoring AND rebounding is a far greater accomplishment.

I was lucky enough to see Chamberlain in his 76er championship season. You will have to imagine Charles Barkley, Dennis Rodman & Kevin Garnett rolled into one to understand Wilt's overwhelming ability to get rebounds. His hands were amazingly quick and powerful. I saw him get a one handed rebound against the Pistons and DeBusschere grabbed on with both hands, trying to wrestle away a palmed ball. Couldn't do it.

I admit nothing, not only because your logic is flawed in many places. It is not more impressive to have an alltime scorer who was on one of the greatest teams in history led by the greatest coach in history, than it is to have an alltime scorer who is also the alltime leader in assists at his position, #4 in triple doubles both career and playoffs, and alltime greatest rebounder.

bisonman 5 years ago

You say that it's not a valid excuse that Jordan was not getting rebounds because he was a guard, yet you say Wilt had a great average of assists per game for a center. Compare him to guards. And if you don't want to have any excuses, you can't use Wilt's bad knees as an excuse. He could have worked out more and worked harder to stay in shape. Most people would agree that he was lazy off the court.

So for argument's sake, let's take ALL excuses away. First, I will take a look at who had a more impressive career based purely on career stats and achievements. After that, I will give you a scenario that should show that Jordan was the far superior basketball player.

Jordan had more points per game, more assists per game, more steals per game, a better free throw percentage, more championships, more season MVPs, more Finals MVPs, more All-Star Game MVPs, and I could keep going.

Wilt had more rebounds per game, more blocks per game, and a better field goal percentage.

I realize blocks and steals weren't recorded in Wilt's time, but I think we can all agree that Jordan would win steals and Wilt would win blocks. So as you can see, when you take ALL excuses out, Jordan is the better player. If you use excuses, you have to use them for both players. And when you use them for both players, Jordan is better. When you take excuses away, Jordan is still the better player.

Here's another scenario where we remove all excuses. Who do you think would win in a one-on-one full-court game? Do you really think Wilt would be able to get the ball up the court on Jordan on a regular basis? Jordan was a far superior ball-handler and would easily be able to bring the ball up the court on Wilt. I realize he would have to shoot from the outside, but he would make about half his shots. IF Wilt ever got the ball in the paint, yes, he would dominate, but that's a HUGE if. So if you remove all excuses and teammates, Jordan is the better all-around basketball player. If you really try to say that Wilt would be able to get the ball on a consistent basis, you are just ridiculous. Wilt was a center, and Jordan led the league in steals 3 times.

Now please, stop trying to make excuses for Wilt and remove any excuses that Jordan might have. Either use excuses in a fair manner, or completely remove them from the equation. Either way, Jordan is the better player.

bisonman111 5 years ago

Regarding the 12 point margin of victory that the Bulls had: When you have the greatest player ever, your team is going to win by significant margins. Yes, Jordan may have had a better team that year than Wilt had most seasons, but that's you using another excuse. You want to stop using excuses for Jordan, but you want to keep using them for Wilt.

You can try to find excuses all day for Wilt, but there is no excuse for Wilt to have been scoring so little in the playoffs if he really was the best to ever play the game. Wilt had as many playoff seasons where he averaged less than 20 PPG as playoffs where he averaged more than 30 PPG. Jordan averaged less than 30 PPG one time in the playoffs (29.3 in his rookie season). Good luck trying to explain that without using an excuse.

freddie freeloader 5 years ago

So MJ defended all those teams by himself, that's why they got beat so bad?

The NBA is filled with killers. Any team with 3 guys shooting 25s is going to beat a team with 1 guy scoring 60... all day long. Chamberlain proved that in the early 60s, and Jordan proved it in the 80s.

Jordan was a great defender, arguably best of all time at GUARD (an argument could be made for Walt Frazier, but that still puts MJ at #1 or #2 all-time), but only the most elite centers can shut down entire teams, and then only for a possession or two. {Except Wilt. I saw him shut down the Pistons entire offense for several minutes. Every shot blocked, stolen, or altered.}

No, scoring margin is probably the key indicator of a stacked team. Large margins indicate a team is playing great defense at every position. That's not an excuse, that's simply fact.

Look at the early "loser" years MJ went through in the '80s, when he went 1 for 9 in the playoffs (don't worry, I don't need any excuses for his more-than-dismal playoff performances, because I know how bad his teams were). HIS defense was a high caliber, but his teams were porous at the forward and grievous in the paint. Compare the 87 Bulls 1 point margin with the Horace Grant & Scottie Pippen Bulls of 88. The margin immediately jumped to 4 points. Jordan was the same guy... it's just a fact, those 90s Bulls teams were totally stacked.

Like him or not, Kobe Bryant has been an elite scorer. I would have him on my All-Time bench, getting a lot of minutes. But Kobe's career playoff average is "only" 25ppg. Is it an excuse that his first 2 years he averaged 8ppg in the playoffs, thus destroying his career stat sheet? You can't just throw Bryant into the second tier because of a stat sheet. It has to be measured.

Chamberlain's career scoring average looks low largely because of his tenure with the Lakers, after he'd injured his knee.

You may think Tom Brady's knee injury, that caused him to miss a season was no big deal. He came right back the next season at the highest level. But in the '60s surgery was an entirely different story. In those days it often meant drilling a hole through the kneecap and drawing the tendons through. It was a career ender for most athletes. For any athlete to return from a knee was almost a miracle. Look at Dick Butkus or Gale Sayers for example. Elgin Baylor was never the same, neither was Chamberlain.

Again. You can certainly glance at a stat sheet and say Chamberlain's numbers dropped in playoffs, but without evaluating what those statistics mean, it's meaningless.

Look at the numbers of games he played each season. In his scoring years, 59-66, he played 52 playoff games. The Warrior offense went through Wilt.

From 67-73 - when he was playing either a triple-double style with the 76ers, or a purely defensive game after '69 with the Lakers- he played in 118 playoff games.

Of course his scoring average is going to take a hit. Just like Kobe's. If we just look at the last column of a career stat sheets we don't know the facts.

The fact is, Jordan's playoff averages would have been body slammed if he would have EVEN MADE THE PLAYOFFS his last 2 seasons. If he had been on the 2000-2003 Lakers, he would have been putting up Glen Rice numbers. How come a guy in the running for G.O.A.T. can't get to the playoffs?

Chamberlain took his team into the playoffs EVERY SEASON.

What excuse are we going to make for Mike's failure to even get to the playoffs? I would assume it's because his team was so lousy, but good luck trying to explain it without "an excuse." It certainly helps his career numbers that he couldn't even make the playoffs. Stat sheets are not the whole story.

Of course, MJ was the primary scoring threat on his team year after year, so his numbers are amazing. We're talking about His Airness!! But he was never able to get a quadruple double. Indeed, when you talk about all-round guard performance..... where IS Mike? 28 TDs is amazing, good for 10th place in the record books. But if he is the Greatest, why isn't he high up on that list? Magic & Oscar are up high on that list.

Chamberlain is the only center on that list, and he's at #4. A center??? If blocks and steals had been counted in his era, he'd probably be even higher because he had lots of 10+ blocks. a 30+pts 20+rebs 4+asts 8-10+ blk stat line looks even more amazing, doesn't it.

Plenty of people remember his '71 playoff game against Jabbar's Bucks... 11 blocks, and 5 of them were skyhooks.

Check out this stat line, reported in the April 1967 Sports Illustrated magazine.

"In the finals, however, PHILADELPHIA gained a quick 2-0 lead by whipping the Celtics 127-113 and 107-102. In the first game Hal Greer tossed in 39 points, while

Wilt Chamberlain had 24 points, 32 rebounds, 13 assists and blocked 12 shots."


All he did was throw down a Quadruple Double... IN THE PLAYOFFS AGAINST THE '60S ERA CELTICS!!!

No, sir. Getting triple doubles and QDs (and Wilt had more than one) is not falling down in the playoffs.

That's not falling down, and you don't need an excuse for a guy that plays the C position and STILL has a far greater all-round game than Jordan.

freddie freeloader 5 years ago

Sorry bisonman, I missed part of your post... Wilt as the lazy man in the off season???

Are we talking about Wilt Chamberlain? Or someone else...

The track & field champion who won the Big 7 high jump championship?

The guy who played in Europe every summer with the Harlem Globetrotters?

The guy who played volleyball at a high level and promoted the game tirelessly?

The guy who travelled all over the United States for various charity fund-raisers? I saw him myself at a couple of those.....

The guy who smoked Magic Johnson in a game at the gym when he was in his mid-40s? The guy who jammed over Mark Eaton & 3 other guys when he was close to 50? Wait...

The guy who was still getting NBA contract offers from the Nets & the Knicks at the age of 50???

I confess I'm amazed at that comment.

There are posts all over the internet about Chamberlain's power-lifting feats, working out with Arnold Schwarzenegger, playing raquet ball, outsprinting Jim Brown, trying out for the Kansas City Chiefs and outracing their fastest halfback, holding late night foot races outside his home in LA in his 50s......

He earned around $750,000 in the NBA, but left an estate worth over $5 million. Peanuts by today's NBA standards, but an astronomical sum for a man who never earned more than about $300,000 playing ball (and spent lavishly on his house, his friends, and his car collection).

He was a conditioning freak who constantly amazed people with his strength and speed.... designed his own car and had it built, designed his own house and had it built...

I'm not sure where you got the idea he was lazy, but it sure didn't come from anyone I've ever seen, or heard, nor any books, magazines or newspapers I ever read.

Maybe you should read some more about Chamberlain, because that comment shows little knowledge of the man.

I recommend the 4 books that lazy man wrote as a good starting place!!


bisonman 5 years ago

I apologize. Maybe I should have phrased that differently. I was talking about his dedication to the game of basketball, not on whether or not he built his own car or played volleyball or was in track and field or had a nice house. I'm not doubting his athletic abilities (Wilt was an EXTREMELY talented athlete). My doubt was in his dedication to basketball.

Wilt's coach in Philadelphia had to schedule practices in the afternoons because Wilt wanted to sleep in and he refused to live in Philadelphia. In the 1966 playoffs, Wilt had a very good Game 3. His coach wanted to have a practice the next morning, but Wilt was "too tired" to attend, and he wouldn't even come in to shoot free throws. It was commonplace for him to miss practices. Maybe he wasn't being lazy when he was missing those practices. Maybe he was building his own car or playing volleyball or doing some track and field events. However, whatever he was doing, he was not showing dedication to the game of basketball. Maybe that is why he often struggled in the playoffs???

Again, I apologize for how I phrased what I said. Maybe Wilt wasn't lazy. Maybe he was just more concerned about volleyball, building his own car, participating in track and field, building his empire than about basketball.

bisonman 5 years ago

Freddie... Do you realize Jordan was 38-40 years old when he was playing for the Wizards, and he was still averaging 20+ PPG. What was Wilt doing when he was 38-40? I seriously think it's funny how all the Wilt fans always say "that was Wilt's defensive portion of his career". So you're telling me the "greatest player in the history of the game" (as you claim), was willing to sit by while his team lost over and over again in the playoffs when he supposedly had the ability to take over the game at any point? When he could shut down an entire team and score at will against quintuple-team defense, why would he let his team lose? Your logic is completely ridiculous.

Also, a 38-year old Michael Jordan led the Wizards to a 26-21 start in his first year with them before injuring his knee. They ended the season with a 35-47 record, which was an 18-game improvement from the previous season without Jordan (a 38-year old Jordan).

I'm not saying that Jordan didn't have a good team with the Bulls. I'm saying that Wilt's teams were just as good.

You Wilt fans flip-flop between wanting to use excuses and not wanting to use excuses. When excuses are used for both, it shows Jordan is better, so you switch to not wanting to use excuses. We again prove that Jordan (without excuses) was better than Wilt, so now you're back to trying to find more excuses. Just give it up.

This is my last post. I'm done arguing with idiots, because eventually you are going to drag me down to that level and beat me with experience.


freddie freeloader 5 years ago

Best of luck. Once it reaches the point of ad hominem instead of talking about the subject, I am also done.

ricky warner 5 years ago

iiop said 16 months ago

this isn't even debatable...

wilt played in an era where there were only less than 10 teams...

When Wilt was a rookie there wre 8 teams in the league. In his second year there were 9. When he retired they were 17 teams in the league.

Correct me if I am wrong but a league with 17 teams can much more selective than a league with 30 teams.

There would be onlt 17 starting centers and 34 starting guards as opposed to 30 starting centers (most of them crappy )like we have today and 68 starting guards. As someone else suggested many of today's stars would be playing ball in Turkey (where they belong) rather than the NBA. People who have seen Wilt usually can count those that haven't seem to have problems with numbers. Maybe it is because they used calculators al their lives and do not know that numbers actually do make sense if you can count.

he was the tallest in the nba way back... it was like a 7 footer against 5 footers...

The average height in the 60's was 6'6" - today 6'7"

By 1965 Wilt had faced off against lil white guy centers like Walt Bellamy 6’11”, Willis Reed 6’10”, Bill Russell 6’9”, Nate Thurmond 6’11 (who had a longer standing reach than Wilt) all Hall of Famers and Zelmo Beatty 6’9 career 17.1 ppg. By 1965 he’d also faced off against Walter Dukes 7’0”, Daryl Imhoff 6’10”, Mel Counts 7’0”, Joe Strawder 6’10”,” Ray Scott 6’9” in a non watered down 9 team. He faced Swede Halbrook 7'3" , Kareem 7'2" (and Wilt was the only guy that I ever saw block his skyhook). It also occurs to me that Jordan never got a tiltl until KAJ retired. During his career, he also faced Bob Lanier 6’11, Wes Unseld 6’7” and Dave Cowans 6’9”, all hall of fame centers. He only played against Artis Gilmore 7’1” once and owned him. Gilmore isn’t in the hall because his career was almost entirely in the ABA. I should also mention that he bested Elvin Hayes also who was a (F-C) and also in the Hall of Fame.

Don't tell me there are no 6'7" centers in the NBA - Ben Wallace four time defensive player of the year is 6'7" and here is a quote from Wikipedia (Player profile)"Ben Wallace plays the center position and has been lauded as a prime defensive presence in his career. He has been voted as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year four times. He is somewhat undersized for a center, being listed at 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m), 240 lb., a frame statistically resembling more of a forward; he himself admits his actual height is 6 ft 7 in."

This current crop of NBA centers is the worst in my lifetime. If one goes to draft express one can see their heuights are exaggerated. For instance , Dwight Howard is 6'9" not 6'11. Turiaf is a mere 6'8". In Russell and Wilt's day players were measured in bare feet.

iiop is typical of a guy who has never seen Wilt - they make up non-existant facts (in layman's terms) Bullshit to support their cause.

If you take away Jordan's 581 extra points that he got on 3 point buckets (which weren't available in Wilt's era)Wilt still averages 30.1 and Jordan 29.5.

Jordan never played in a final versus a HOF center whereas Wilt did in every final that he played in.

My point is thae when Kareem left the game so had the last great center. I don't include Shaq in that group as HE IS THE ONE WHO USED HIS GIRTH- to dominate others and never could shoot from more than 5 feet.

I am sorry for those who never saw Wilt and Kareem and Russell but you missed it. WE are now watching watered down , second rate basketball in the NBA.

freddie freeloader 5 years ago

Check out Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's recent open letter to Scottie Pippen.

Scottie suggested that LeBron James may turn out to be the greatest of all time... Kareem took umbrage with that comment, but not in the usual "MICHAEL JORDAN IS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME" myth that we've all grown sick and tired of hearing....

I prefer Jabbar's perspective to ESPN. After all, he's been an NBA fan for 50 years, and played in the league for 20...

Chico 5 years ago

How Stupid r u people mj all the way than magic wit is a legend but no wer near as good

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C'sFanDan 5 years ago

I dont know how old this forum is but I would like to say that I find many of the posters here to have incredible insight into the game of bball.

I am 45 which means I was born in 66 and did not get to see Wilt play much at all. I have however read a ton of things about the man. I am convinced that he is one of the top 3 or 4 best all around athletes this country has ever seen. It's always entertaining to read someone say that he was so dominant due only to his height, weight, etc.. The sad thing is, those people who say that never saw him play, I am convinced.

When the Bulls won their 6th title, Bob Ryan had an article in the Boston Globe. The article said something along these lines " You hear the word athleticism used so much today that you would think the players of the past couldn't run or jump. Well, hear this and hear it well, Bill Russell would come out of nowhere to block a Michael Jordan shot just as easily and just as often as he did Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor ... . Anyway, the point was/is that sure players are getting a little more athletic as time goes on but it's not that much.

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daskittlez69 5 years ago from midwest

Chamberlain was an awesome player, but I am going to have to go with Jordan here. All around he brought the sport to people that never even seen or played the game.

ThatCoolBlackGuy 5 years ago

I question half the age of the people who posted here because most of you don't know what your talking about.

1. Wilt was shutdown by Russel- FALSE!

Wilt was the NBA all-time rebounding leader and got 55 in ONE game against bill russel and the bosten celtics. Also note that Russel DID play with better teammates even then his laker team, russel played with 7 other hall of fame players beside himself.

2. Wilt played against weaklings who couldn't compete with him- FALSE remember to note that wilt played the celts almost 10 times a year! Not only that but the NBA was filled with great centers for example Nate Thermond or Kareem!

3. Wilt would not compete today- FALSE wilt would FEAST on players today, not one center would lay a finger on him because invade you didn't know wilt could also jump higher And farther then Jordan did, wilt had a 48" vertical leap surpassing jordans 42" and was a long jumping champ! Note there is 2 x the times today so talent has been halved among the NBA. Oh and don't forget guys Wilts physical strength was unmatchable, the picked up players with one arm and flipped them around. The big D coulda picked up Shaq with one arm I bet with a little weight training, note weight training was something wilt didn't do in those days all his strength was his own. And does sleeping with 30K women mean anything to you guys? The man new how to get around and I could say many more things to tell you why wilts the beast but don't feel like typing.

Roosevelt 5 years ago

One thing that you guys are forgetting or don't want to admit is, JORDAN DIDN'T BEAT ANY OF THE GREAT TEAMS, IN THEIR PRIME, and don't tell me that he didn't have a team. In 1989, he had Horace Grant, Scottie Pippen, John Paxson etc. The Pistons beat them 3 straight times, so they were a better team, as was the Celtics, and Lakers. He had 69 points against Boston, and still lost.

What Michael Jordan was is the GREATEST MARKETING HYPE OF ALL TIMES. That's why you could never touch him. Because the NBA is marketing; as such, they made sure he looked good. You couldn't block his shot etc, because the referees would just blow the whistle. All the great players got away with something, but it was clear that he was pushing guys out of the way, his whole career.

When MJ started to win, he was like THE LAST DINOSAUR. He beat an aging Lakers team, and didn't have to face any of the great 80s team. THER IS NO GREATEST OF ALL TIME. MJ didn't go up against Wilt or ELGIN Baylor. Again, HE NEVER DID BEAT ANY OF THE GREAT TEAMS AND COULDN'T, IN THEIR PRIMES!

manny lopresto jr 5 years ago

The best players and teams i saw were in the late 60s and early to mid 70s,although there were some great teams that came about later.Jordan spent his whole career beating up on guys like stockton,hornacek,barkley,and ehlo.He would not have been so sucessful against havlicek,west,maravich,and frazier,trust me.

josh 5 years ago

you troubled yourself into writing an article asking whose the greatest of all time... MJ or Wilt and never made a choice, instead called it a draw?

that's kind of uncalled for dont u think? u presented your comparisons between the two greats and it's clear cut MJ. wilt is also great but he had flaws... do u wants your supposed to be greatest player to be a poor FT shooter? Wilt was up against BILL RUSSEL's boston celtics to contain with and he got beaten up badly so why even consider him ahead of Bill in the first place?

so to YOU... who is the greatest player? NO DRAW... I'l state the obvious... IT's MJ!!!

Jacob 5 years ago

Chamberlain was the greatest ever, 50 ppg will never be touched again, 22.9 rpg for a carreer will never be reached again. 55 rebounds in one game AGAINST RUSSEL, just unreal. And don't even say Russel was tue best ever because he won 11 championships, one season were he won the championship he had 8 players who entered the hall of fame compared to Wilt who most of the time was the only hall of famer on his team with the warriors and STILL went to game 7s with Russel. May I also add Jordan never won till the 90s and Bird and Magic were near the end? Oh yeah, Jordan never won untill he got Pippen either... And to those who called Wilt selfish, well they said that to him once, the next year he became the only center to lead the league in assist. Also don't bring up 3 pointers, it didn't even exist in wilts days, if it did, trust me Jerry and Goodrich would be up there on the all-time list, heck even tue great Larry bird didn't even always have a 3 pointer.

To those who say shaq would beat wilt, I laugh. Wilt had a vertical leap of 48" something few know. Oh yeah and wilt benchpressed a good 100 pounds more then shaq, Michael Jordan himself said "I can't be called the greatest ever because I never got to play against guys like Jerry, Robertson, and Wilt." chamberlain was the best ever, I could go on and on but I'm typing this from my phone and my thumbs are starting to hurt.

Basketballman 22 the awsome 5 years ago

Micheal Jordan is respected and wiltchamberlin is unknow by alot of be people but Wilt chamberlian is better

Dave F 5 years ago

I don't know one person who is truly knowledgeable about basketball and basketball history who thinks Wilt is the greatest player of all time. In 1980 the Professional Basketball Writers association had a vote for greatest nba player of all time and Russell won and Chamberlain came in 3rd. Jabbar was mid career at that point and he and Jordan without a doubt are higher on the list than Wilt. When he played for for the sixers he was at the peak of his career and was playing with 2 other hall of fame players and 2 frequent all-stars and he still couldn't beat Russell. His value as a player actually increased when his physical skills started to deteriorate because he had to start playing team ball instead of a game focused mainly on his scoring and otherwise hogging the ball.

manny lopresto 5 years ago

The guys who played at the highest level the longest were kareem abdul jabbar and john havlicek.I saw them both play in their prime and everyone forgets about them?Do you guys think anyone would block abdul jabbars hook shot today? No.Havlicek would have given jordan alot of problems,the only thing jordan did better than havlicek was that he jumped higher.

Steve 5 years ago

For beginners, this Mike Lickteig character and his buddy Thomas W Muther Jr. are a couple of clowns! They're trying to dominate this page and they're doing it with utter nonsense! I'm not going to go back and retrace all of the ridiculous comments that these two guys have made because there are simply too many of them but I will respond to the ones that stand out the most.

Point #1.

Did it ever occur to you two that basketball is a team sport? If so, then perhaps you should consider the FACT that Michael Jordan didn't lose to guys like Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Magic, Bird or anyone else for that matter until they got old. Maybe it was the Chicago Bulls who lost to their great teams instead because they were up and coming and were still figuring themselves out while playing against well established championship teams. To say that Michael couldn't beat these individual players is flat out ludicrous! If you remember correctly, he had some of his greatest performances against these teams and he single handedly dismantled their defenses but no one man can beat five. Wilt was a testament to that.

Point #2.

This brings me to my next point. You have got to be kidding me with your list of old timers that M.J. supposedly couldn't fare against. They would wear him out? PLEASE!!! Name one of those guys who had the conditioning, the drive, the will to win and the determination that Jordan had. Not to mention his skill set and athleticism. Out of your list, only Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Oscar Robertson could come anywhere close to the discussion but the fact that they only had two championships between the three of them, eliminates them from the argument! One of them had to have Wilt Chamberlain on his team to win one and the other had to have Kareem Abdul Jabbar to win one. Two of the greatest centers of all time. M.J. got 6 rings with nobody dominating the painted area. Case closed!

Point #3.

Michael Jordan wasn't the defender that Wilt Chamberlain was? Silly boys! Try defensive first team 9 times, defensive player of the year in 1988, three times steals leader, highest SPG of all time, the only player to get 200 steals and 100 blocks in a single season twice, one of the best shot blocking guards in NBA history and arguably one of the greatest lock down defenders this league has ever seen. He couldn't guard guys that were bigger or smaller than he was? I don't know what league you were watching at the time but I clearly recall seeing the exact opposite. M.J. was really only 6 ft. 4 3/4" but listed at 6 ft. 6". Meanwhile, he guarded a 6 ft. 9 Magic Johnson for a good portion of the 1991 NBA finals and when he wasn't guarding him, he was guarding Vlade Divoc, a 7 ft. center! Many times he guarded guys like Reggie Miller, Clyde Drexler, etc. that were 6 ft. 7 and he did just fine against all of those guys. As for going small, I have also seen him guard 6 ft. 4, Gary Payton, 6 ft. 4 Joe Dumars, 6 ft. 1 Isaiah Tomas, etc. and did a good job defensively against them as well so I don't know what you're talking about! When did Wilt Chamberlain have to guard someone 6 inches taller than him or someone who outweighed him? When did he ever guard all 5 positions? He dominated guys who HE towered over and who HE outweighed by a huge margin and that's a fact. It's also a BIG DIFFERENCE. As for Scottie Pippen or Dennis Rodman getting the assignment to guard the other teams best scorer, that only happened on occasion and it was a tribute to great coaching. Why wear out your best offensive player and game closer when you can preserve his energy for the last quarter? Learn basketball, then argue!

Point #4.

I'm so sick and tired of hearing about the so-called "watered down 90's" as an attempt to discredit the greatest player of all time. First of all, when Wilt was dominating the league and putting up those huge numbers, only Bill Russell and the Celtics posed any kind of a threat to him. The rest of the hall of fame players that you mentioned didn't come out until the middle to the end of his career when his numbers dramatically declined. You give him a parallel career to Michael's and he's just another name mentioned among the star centers. He would have been playing against Moses Malone, Artist Gilmore, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Walton, Robert Parish and then later on Dikembe Mutombo, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick ewing, David Robinson, Shaq, etc. The list goes on of Hall of fame centers that were in the league during M.J.'s era and don't try to tell me that your list of "oldies but goodie centers" is better than mine! There is no way on earth that Wilt Chamberlain would have even come close to posting the figures that he did in his prime if he was playing against those guys. Also, be fair about this. If the 90's was a watered down era then wouldn't the Bulls have been affected by that as well? In the first 3-peat, M.J. had Pippen. Grant was a decent role player but what was he before and after the Chicago Bulls? During the second 3-peat, M.J. once again had Pippen. Rodman was on the decline and well out of his prime scoring very little points per contest and spending most of his time either getting rejected from games or screwing around in Vegas! The best of Rodman was the guy that Jordan had to go against! It wasn't the guy who ended up on his team so it's really only Scottie Pippen that Michael Jordan had throughout his 6 championships which is nothing compared to all of the stars that Russell had on those 60's Celtics teams, Magic had on those 80's lakers teams, Bird had on those 80's Celtics teams, Isaiah had on those late 80's Detriot Piston teams, Kobe had on those early 2000 Lakers teams, etc. Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen and a bunch of role players, that's it. Big deal! He had to do it with the least amount of talent on his team and with no star center. I'd say that beats Wilt's 2 championships and it also nullifies a "watered down era".

Point #5.

Let's just say for argument sake that M.J. and Wilt had compatible careers as far as what they accomplished in the regular season. Micheal still runs away with the title of being the G.O.A.T. because you can't forget the post season! Game winning shot after game winning shot. Time and time again M.J. carries his team to victory. His numbers actually went up in the post season whereas Wilt's wilted! Michael Jordan has the highest PPG ever in the post season with 33.4. He has most points scored in a playoff game with 63. He has the most points scored in an NBA finals game with 55. He owns most of the highlights. He's a 6 time finals MVP and he's one of the greatest clutch players of all time. You can't say any of this for Wilt and isn't the game of basketball about winning and coming through when it's needed the most? Maybe Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point game would have meant something if it was in the finals. Maybe we wouldn't be having this discussion if he averaged 50.4 points a game in the post season but the fact remains that you couldn't do better than Michael with what he had to work with. Russell had more championships but his teams were also stacked with hall of famers. Wilt had two in 14 years. Who's the very best? You do the math!

I could go on and on but what's the point? I know that both of you will come back with something stupid to say like this joker above me who claims that John Havilcek is as good as Michael Jordan but why should I even bother to dive into that? It's too outrageous kind of like the statements you two have made but someone had to put you in your place! Over and out.

Steve 5 years ago

I guess I'm not done yet! I do have to comment on some things that others have mentioned on here...

#1. What I find very amusing is how anti-Jordan fans continue to say that he couldn't beat those outstanding 80's teams until they got old. First of all, is one great player supposed to be able to beat an entire great team all by himself? When did Wilt Chamberlain ever do that? From what I recall, he got spanked over and over by the great Celtics! Secondly, did it ever occur to you people that the Chicago Bulls just happened to come into championship form a little later than those other 80's teams did? It wasn't that they never got good enough to beat those teams, they just weren't ready at that particular time. They were a rebuilding franchise during the 80's. And last but not least, since when did 30 and 32 become old? When Jordan's Bulls finally got past the Detroit Pistons, Isaiah Thomas was only 30 years old and his team just won the last two championships. Then Chicago went on to beat the Lakers led by Magic Johnson who was 32 and who had been in the last 9 out of 12 finals! Neither of those teams were anywhere near washed up. Furthermore, Jordan won a 3-peat between the ages of 32-35 so where's the logic in this entire argument? The fact is, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls beat two of the 80's all time great teams to win their first championship and there are no excuses. Those teams were still young enough, healthy and they were top contenders. The fact that the Bulls had to get past ball clubs of this magnitude is the reason for their greatness in the 90's and why no one could beat them. They went to school during the best era in basketball!

#2. I keep hearing about the 3 point shot and how it's in Michael Jordan's favor. First I hear "They didn't count the 3 point shot when Wilt was playing" and then it's "They shortened the 3 point line in Michael's favor". Both are ridiculous comments but let's start with the first one. Since when did Wilt chamberlain who was a poor free throw shooter shoot 3's? I don't think it matters that they didn't count them back then. Case rested! Also, if anyone remembers correctly, the 3 point shot was very little of M.J.'s game. In fact, he hardly used it for the first several years he was in the league and even when he did start using it, it wasn't very often. If the rule changes benefited anyone it would have been guys like Larry Bird, Reggie Miller and then later on Ray Allen and Kobe Bryant. Guys who shoot threes!

#3. Another ridiculous statement I keep hearing is how Michael Jordan got away with things and received special treatment while he was playing. You mean like the "Jordan rules" where an entire team could gang up on him and hammer him coming down the lane? You mean that kind of special treatment? You mean like how the New York Knicks had the same philosophy and did the same thing to him? Oh, maybe that's not what you're talking about. You must be referring to all of the elbows that Karl Malone got away with or the butt bumping that Charles Barkley used to do in order to back you towards the rim or how Larry Bird would grab onto your jersey just for a split second so he could get open or how Magic Johnson used to drive to the hole with his knee out in front of him or how Dennis Rodman would stick his foot out and trip you going by or how Shaq would play football in the painted area instead of basketball, etc, etc, etc. The list goes on! Yes, M.J. got away with a palm or a carry every now and then but ALL of the superstars got special treatment and were able to get away with more than your average player. However, none of them got the sort of special treatment that M.J. did from teams like the Pistons or the Knicks so I don't see how any of this went in his favor!

#4. Let's talk about Scottie Pippen for a minute. I've heard those Jordan haters out there say this but even Scottie himself has been poisoned by propaganda and said that M.J. never won anything without him! What? Are you kidding me? Well, let's look at this closely starting from high school. After Michael Jordan was cut from the team his sophomore year, he came back the next two years and broke all of Laney's scoring records. I would say that's winning something. Then, he went on to the university of North Carolina where he hit the game winning shot en route to a NCAA championship. I'd say that's winning something. The following 2 years he was honored with consecutive college player of the year awards. I would say that was winning something. Then, he went on to earn a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics. I would say that's winning something. Then, he joined the NBA and got the rookie of the year award. I would say that's winning something. Then he gets injured and doesn't come back until the 1987-88 season. That's when Scottie Pippen joined the team. So far, it seems to me that Jordan had done nothing but win up until that point! If anyone remembers Pippen's first year in the league, he didn't play many minutes and his game was inconsistent so he was basically a non-factor. This is the year that M.J. put up 37.1 point per game, became the second player besides Wilt chamberlain to score more than 3,000 points in a season and wins the scoring title. I would say that's winning something as well. Scottie Pippen matured some and became a factor the following year. After that, the rest is history until the 1997-98 season where he only played 44 games and Michael Jordan had to carry the entire team on his back to the promise land. M.J. was also the one in his last finals appearance against the Jazz who had to piggyback his team once again with a 45 point performance and made the last three clutch plays to win his sixth championship. After the game Scottie Pippen was in tears and claiming to Jim Grey that it was because he couldn't contribute! So could M.J. do it without Scottie? Yes, he could and he did. Could he do it by himself and without decent role players? No. Was he a winner without Scottie Pippen? Yes. His whole history was about winning with or without him. This continuous argument that M.J. couldn't win without Scottie Pippen has been so over exaggerated it ridiculous! Pippen was a good overall player, a perfect fit for the Bulls and an excellent defensive player but come on already! He was not a lead guy or a superstar. That was made apparent when M.J. left the team and then came back to win another 3-peat. It was also apparent when Pippen went to the star studded Houston Rockets and then to the Portland Trailblazers who also had a stacked team where he never won again!

#5. Some guy in the earlier comments had the nerve to say that M.J. couldn't lead the Wizards to the playoffs but Wilt led his teams to the playoffs every year. Are you kidding me with this comment? Michael Jordan was 39 and 40 years old at the time. Wilt wasn't even playing at that age! If you really want to compare something, compare this...


6 championships

6 finals MVP's

5 league MVP's

10 scoring titles

9 All-NBA first teams

3 times steals champion

3 time MVP finals MVP

Rookie of the year


2 championships

1 finals MVP

4 league MVP's

7 scoring titles

7 All-NBA first teams

11 time rebounding champion

1 time NBA finals MVP

Rookie of the year

M.J. has him beat in every category except for rebounding and this is being nice! I'm not even counting things like the Slam dunk competition, the two gold medals that Jordan won, etc. because Wilt didn't have a chance to participate in those events. I'm also not counting stats that they didn't record in Wilt's time but from what I see it's a slam dunk for Air Jordan!

I better stop now. I'm making you Jordan haters look bad!

Steve 5 years ago

Oops! The second to the last line of their accomplishments are errors!

david 5 years ago

Magic is the GOAT. The Russell argument is old. The Celtics won titles when the league had 8-12 teams and he was surrounded by a deep team with hall of famers coming off of the bench. Also, 11 championships is deceiving since there were only 3 rounds and they were shorter than in the 80's. Magic was the game, too bad his career was cut short.

Rick 5 years ago

Magic was great but even he said that "There's Michael Jordan and then there's the rest of us". He also said that M.J. was not only the greatest player ever but maybe the greatest athlete who played in any sport. Magic is third on my all time list behind Jordan and Kareem and I think he's the greatest point guard in NBA history. However, he had a lot more weapons on his team than Michael Jordan did and still won less championships. His personal resume doesn't stack up to M.J.'s either. He was much better than wilt chamberlain though! More clutch, less selfish, more rings and better overall skills. Wilt was just a giant playing among children and had freakish athleticism but that didn't make him the greatest NBA player of all time. He was basically the LeBron James of his era only bigger.

Donald Duck 5 years ago

Get this, old timers: The shot percentages were a lot lower in the '60s and they took way more shots. For example: 1964/5 Celtics shot 3567 for 8609, which is 41,4 %. The 1995/6 Celtics shot 3163 for 6942, which is 45,6 %. That's a lot of extra rebounds you can grab? (in fact, 1263 extra rebound opportunities for the '64 Celtics). And if you're the biggest man on the court with good rebounding skills, no wonder you're getting 20-25 rebounds per game!

Bill T 5 years ago

Bill Russell - 11 championship rings in 13 seasons, no finals MVP's. This means that he was never the best player on the floor during any of his championship runs. It also shows how deep in talent the Celtics were as a team. Many believe he was the greatest player of all time. How could that be true if he was never the best player in the finals even once?

Wilt Chamberlain - 2 championship rings in 14 seasons, 1 finals MVP. This means that he was the best player on the floor in the most important games of his career only one time despite of the fact that he was so domineering during the regular season and such a remarkable athlete. This proves that he shrunk in the post season and that's not what the greatest players do.

Michael Jordan - 6 championship rings in 14 full seasons, 6 finals MVP's. Need I say more? This means that he was the best player on the floor every time he participated in the finals. A feat that no one has even come close to. Kareem Abdul Jabbar also had 6 rings but it was in 20 seasons and he only has 2 finals MVP awards. M.J. was the greatest without question!

Why are finals MVP's so important? Because it shows that not only can a player lead his team to a championship which is the goal of every basketball player but it also shows that during the most critical moments, they can step up and raise the level of their game. That is so much more important than what anyone can accomplish during the regular season. Who cares how many points you can score or how many league MVP's you can get if you're sitting at home year after year watching the finals on T.V. instead of playing in them? Finals MVP's also mean that you were the best player out of two championship teams which means not only were you a winner that year but also the best player in the league. Russell was that player zero times, Chamberlain was that player once and M.J. was that player 6 times out of 6!

Bill T 4 years ago

I made a mistake on my analysis above and I'll be the first to admit it! I just found out that the finals MVP award did not go into effect until the 1968-69 season when Jerry West won it for the very first time so I'll have to revise my comments...

Bill Russell - 11 championships in 13 seasons, we don't know how many finals MVP awards he would have had. This means that he can't be eliminated from the discussion with Michael Jordan. However, since he played with a total of 7 Hall Of Famers during that run and usually 4 or 5 of them at a time, it's safe to say that those rewards would have been split among them. That would have given Russell 2 or 3 at most. I hardly believe that he would have gotten 6 of them over the rest of the team and definitely not all 11! I also happen to be partial towards a player who did against a more talented league and when the NBA had more than a dozen teams but that's my opinion. Because we don't know the true stats here, the topic IS open for debate.

Wilt Chamberlain - 2 championships in 14 years, a possible 2 finals MVP awards. Because of the new information I learned, he may have been the finals MVP in 1967 as well which would have given him 2 during his career. However, I don't think that makes much of a difference considering how dominant he was in the regular season. He was still underachieving when it counted the most and there really isn't anything to debate here.

Michael Jordan - 6 championship rings in 13 full seasons, 6 finals MVP awards. His resume doesn't change because of this new information and it doesn't change for Kareem Abdul Jabbar either. Jordan is still the only player in NBA history to lead his team to multiple championships and be the best player in the game's biggest moments each and every single time!

Despite of the new information I learned, it really doesn't alter the outcome other than Bill Russell not being completely out of the argument. Wilt chamberlain never had a chance! Again, I must stress the importance of the finals MVP award. It means that you won a championship which is the greatest team accomplishment and it also means that you were the main reason why which is the greatest individual accomplishment. There are no other rewards that can come close. Regular season MVP's, slam dunk titles, All-star MVP awards, scoring titles, defensive player of the year awards, record breaking feats, etc. all fall short of winning the championship and being the best player on the floor! My vote still easily goes to M.J.

4 years ago

Lebron Jamesn Greatest Of All Time

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Y2G 4 years ago

LeBron is way more well rounded then Magic. Magic sucked at defense and at outside shooting.

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classicrocker 4 years ago

It is very interesting to read all these entries! The one thing that gets me upset, is when people enter things, and have no idea what the hell they are talking about. When I read how Wilt was outscored by Kareem on most head to head matchups, and this proves Kareem's was superior is total BS. Let's look at facts. Yes, Kareem did outscore Wilt on most occasions, but kareem was shooting 40 shots compared to Wilt's 10. If you look at Kareem's FG% against Wilt, it was lower, than when playing other centers. Wilt destroyed him in the 72 playoffs, blocking 11 buck shots in the pivitol 6th game , and 5 of those blocks were on Kareem, including his skyhook. He held kareem scoreless when it counted in the 4th qtr, as the Lakers won the game enroute to a title. It is funny, how Wilt led the Lakers to a 69-13 record, he led the league in rebounding, and probably blocked shots if they kept count, and he beat the hell out of kareem's Bucks defensively, and who gets the MVP that year? Kareem! The press was often unfair to Wilt, as Wilt played the role of Russell that year under coach Bill Sharman, and he was shamefully snubbed by the press in favor of Kareem, who led his team to nothing that year. Wilt played 6 less years than Kareem, and has several thousand more lifetime rebounds. That is astounding, considering people think Kareem was more dominant. I do not want to hear that Wilt grabbed many of his rebounds earlier in his career, because Wilt led the league in boards even at the end of his career, and outrebounded kareem in almost every head to head matchup. If Kareem retired with the same # of games as wilt, he would have less points. Wilt retired with 126 NBA records. As of today, almost 40 years since he stepped onto a court, the late Wilt Chamberlain owns 98 NBA records. I think Kareem was a fabulous player, but to say Wilt wan't in his league is laughable. Those who never saw him play, and try to diminish his greatness, just don't get it. When you think of baseball, and its alltime icon, Babe Ruth immediately comes to mind. When you think of basketball, it is Wilt who without question, Basketball's alltime icon. Michael Jordan was a great player, maybe the greatest all around, but he was never as dominant as Wilt. No one was. Regardless of era, he deserves his due as the one of the games best. 3 days ago, the NBA and the sixers celebrated the 50th anniversary of Wilt's 100 point game, and it was good to see a handful of modern day players and oldtimers praise the accomplishment, as one of the historic achievements in all of sports. I often wonder what it would have been like for Michael Jordan to drive into the paint and meet up with Wilt Chamberlain? We'll never know!

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Y2G 4 years ago

Michael Jordan is easily a bigger icon then Wilt. Most fans don't even know who Wilt played for prior to the Lakers. Jordan has an entire brand, and changed the way players are marketed. It's not even close to who bigger icon is, and it's not Wilt. Not to mention Jordan dominated without being a giant before giants were around. He did it with skill and pure passion.

classicrocker 4 years ago

Wilt owns 96 NBA records, How many does MJ own? WILT was easily the most dominant player in history. MJ had 31 50+ point games in his career, and that is pretty impressive, but Wilt had 45 50+ point games in one season. Who was more dominant? The only reason MJ is considered bigger, is because wilt's audience is aging, and MJ's fans never saw him play, but that does not mean MJ is a bigger icon than Wilt. If you think Wilt had no skill. than you know nothing about him. He was simply the most prolific scoring and rebounding machine the game has ever seen, regardless of era. The NBA has been around since 1946, and no one in the history of the game can match him statistically.

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Y2G 4 years ago

Wilt was more dominant, but MJ was better. Wilt was more dominant because of the era he played in. Stats before 1973 are skewed.

kdog 4 years ago

This really isn't close. Go to the stats, for instance, the list of most points in a game and see how many times Wilts' name is there. A list of most rebounds a game.. Years with highest scoring avg, years with highest rebounding avg, his assists are closer to Jordans' than you'd think, he'd probably be right behind Kareem in blocked shots if they had kept that stat (in spite of Russells legend) They had to change the court to try and stop him ( made the key bigger) a change in the court ( 3 point line coming in ) HELPED Jordan. It's Wilt. And easily.

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Y2G 4 years ago

Wow, the arguments get worse and worse. I wonder why Wilt averaged the most points for a season and had so many high scoring games? Oh, maybe because he was one of a handful of a 7 footers in the NBA playing in the easiest era to score in the history of basketball. Seriously, teams averaged 118 points per game at Wilt's peak. Think for a minute. Jordan did it as a guard and won 6 Titles to Wilt's 2, and even ended up with a higher scoring average for his career (let me again say that he was a GUARD), while playing in a slower era. Oh wait Wilt led the league in assists once! Yeah, because he tried to intentionally and passed up easy shots all season long so he could lead the NBA in assists. That was seriously his goal. Not win a title, but lead the NBA in assists. If you bring prime Jordan into the league right now he's a much better version of Dwyane Wade. If you bring in Wilt, you have exactly Dwight Howard how he is now, except Wilt was a better shotblocker. If you think that it isn't close and that Wilt tops Jordan, may god have mercy on your soul because you cannot make a good argument for him at all. Statistics before 1973 are ridiculously skewed, and experts have noted that numerous times.

JORDAN RULES 4 years ago

My point is that it really doesn't matter how much of a giant Wilt Chamberlain was during the regular season. Yes, he averaged 50.4 points a game one year, scored 100 points in a single contest, was a dominant rebounder and even managed to get the assist title but he shrank significantly in the post season and that's a FACT, not an opinion. He did none of these things when it counted the most and not one of these accomplishments led his teams to a title. He didn't get his two rings until he finally became unselfish enough to care about winning more than his personal accomplishments and then his numbers drastically diminished. What is also a FACT is that MJ actually raised the level of his game in the post season, improved his stats and has an impeccable record in the finals. No one can say the same about Wilt and I don't care what argument you present. Do the two even come close to each other in the playoffs and on the biggest NBA stage? Was Wilt Chamberlain anywhere near as clutch as Michael Jordan or the team leader that he was? Was his career as balanced like Mike's between his personal records and team accomplishments? I think we all know the answers to these questions so as far as I'm concerned, the argument ends here!

freddie freeloader 4 years ago

Lots of talk on here about the fast pace of the 60s... it's obvious some of these guys don't understand some really fundamental facts about basketball.

Pace is not some nebulous league-wide factor, monolithic and immutable, like a macro-economic force. Pace comes from the players themselves.

Why have Steve Nash teams virtually always led the NBA in pace? It's very simple. Nash is a soccer player. He thrives on stamina and speed. Those are his strengths, so naturally he demands a very high tempo. It's been real common to see teams get their season highs playing against the Suns. He impacts the whole league's pace.

And there's never been a faster pace in NBA history than the teams that were forced to keep up with Chamberlain.

The entire NBA sped up in almost every category the very first season that Chamberlain stepped foot on the court... that pace increased each year until his torrid 61-62 peak... and then it slowed down over the next decade as he displayed the natural arc of an athlete's career, and the NBA responded to that.

I've seen just about every argument there is used against Chamberlain. It's no surprise that we would see people try to use pace to belittle Wilt's achievements. But using it displays a clear lack of understanding of basketball.

Pace is just another poorly-understood argument, used by people who obviously never Chamberlain play.

manny lopresto jr 4 years ago

Hey steve did you ever see john havlicek play?Of course not, he scored over 26 000 points,would have had over 30 000 probably but he did not get credit for any three point shots he would have hit if they had them then.He had over 5000 assists and got 8 rings.He made the all defensive team a ton of times too.He may not have been better than jordan,but he played on jordans level for 16 years.If you think jordan would push him around like he did craig ehlo or john stockton your cracked!

manny lopresto jr 4 years ago

Mr.muther and mr.lickteig both had many intelligent things to say steve.Its you who dont have a clue about the game.When did you start watching the nba,in 1990?Have you ever seen rick barry play,or pete maravich,or julius erving,no? Ok, we will all anoint jordan the best ever because hes the only guy many of you ever saw play.He may have been the best ever,but not by alot and its very very debatible!The other guy who mentioned lower shooting percentages of past eras forgot to mention that they played defense and were allowed to handcheck the stars back them.The players today dont play defense,dont run plays, travel all the time, and no one was allowed to breathe too hard on jordan.Todays players lack fundamentals thats why the usa is not a lock in the olympics anymore,players rely too much on athleticism and dont learn the nuances of the game like they should.Havlicek forgot more about the game than most of todays players ever learned.

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Y2G 4 years ago

Wow really? Hand checking was taken out of the rules in 99-00, meaning Jordan playing his whole Bulls career with it. It was changed in 94-95 (partially), but Jordan was still a 3 time champion and vet by that time. So how were they not allowed to breath on him again? See his games against Detroit in the playoffs and tell me you didn't just blatantly lie.

manny lopresto jr 4 years ago

Come on !Jordan got every call his way it seemed for a long time.And when did he dominate,he did so after bird and magic got old.When he was in his first year or two he did not outplay larry bird,did he?

manny lopresto jr 4 years ago

Jordan did not escape the handcheck era,i never said he did,but lets face it most off the calls went his way his whole career.He was awesone i wont deny that,so is kobe, but they would have problems against alot of the other top 50 players in nba history on some nights.Thats reality.The game was pretty physical in the past just ask jerry west he got his nose broken at least 6 times in about 14 years.The players of today perhaps stay in better off season condition but they are not bigger than guys like artis gilmore,bob lanier,alton lister ,chamberlain,jabbar,zelmo beatty,mel daniels,geoff crompton,james donaldson,zaid abdul aziz,otto moore,mark eaton,tom boerwinkle,george johnson,moses malone,darryl dawkins,hank finkel,mel counts,dave lattin,bob christian,darnell hillman, leroy ellis,jeff ruland, willis reed,dave cowens,wes unseld, tom payne,elmore smith, tom barker,bob pettit,russell, etc.Wilt and kareem did not play against a bunch of 5 foot tall white guys!?

manny lopresto jr 4 years ago

I could rattle off the names of huge guys who played before most of you were born because i watched them all play and im not looking them up i remember them!Walt bellamy,jim ard,tito horford,nate thurmond,cliff ray, etc.How many centers of today could even guard chamberlain or jabbar well for a half? Only shaq frankly.I remember a 23 year old kareem tossing in 30 points a night for the bucks.Most of you remember a 42 year old guy tossing up an airball or two.If you are a young fan and have passion for the game thats great!You can watch the oldtimers on youtube.But dont come on these sights and tell us that guys like oscar robertson or jerry west could not hang with jordan or lebron james.Try to post with alittle intelligence!

manny lopresto jr 4 years ago

Reggie harding,roger brown the center,brett vroman,bill walton,dan issel,luther rackley, cyril baptiste, dorrie murray,walt wesley these were all giants and afew of them had game. No 5 foot white guys here?Do yoy guys really think jordans bulls would match up against those great 60s or 70s celtic teams? Would they beat that laker teamwith west,chamberlain, and goodrich no.No one from those teams would really be afraid of will purdue,horace grant, and bill cartright.

manny in ny 4 years ago

How can i forget bob macadoo, billy paultz,elvin hayes,and jim mcdaniels?

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Y2G 4 years ago

Jordan's Bulls would murder the 60's Celtics teams. You're forgetting about the fact that Jordan would literally impossible to guard as they would have never seen an athlete like him before. Him and Pippen could defend any wings or guards the Celtics had. They are two of the five best perimeter defenders of All Time. Plus they wouldn't even need to worry about Bill Russell. He couldn't win a game by himself scoring wise, because he wasn't a dominant scorer. If you put Rodman on him, the boards would be about even and Russell would be neutralized. The only thing he'd be able to do is contest Jordan's shots when he blew by every other Celtic defender.

manny lopresto jr 4 years ago

First of all one 60s celtic team had 8 hall of famers who would beat them?Rodman would never in a million years outrebound russell.Havlicek who made the all defensive team all the time and scored over 26 000 points would guard jordan and it would be a great battle.Jordan might win those battles but not by much.Havlicek had mad skills too and he ran all day and never got tired.If you think pippen and kerr and paxson and cartright could outplay all those great celtic teams loaded with hall of famers or those 70s teams with dave cowens,jojo white,charlie scott,paul wesphal,paul silas and don nelson and company your dreaming.Who do you think are the 5 greatest perimeter defenders ever,run that by us please?Jordan pippen and who?

manny lopresto jr 4 years ago

John havlicek,jerry west,pete maravich,rick barry,larry bird,and kevin machale are 6 white guys who were as good or better than just about any black player ever.While blacks have dominated the nba since the mid 60s,and hats off to them,great job, these 6 guys were as good or better than anyone.They werent some little white guys shooting two handed set shots.These guys were big strong guys with mad skills and there is no way havlicek would be intimidated by jordan.He would and does have a healthy respect for jordan,but the war would be on and he would make jordan work on both ends of the floor.Pippen was not in the same league as any of these guys,lets be clear on this.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Ill make one more random point here.Why would mr.gomez start a thread like this,a good one and interesting,but without including abdul jabbar in the mix?And no one really tossed him in enough?You guys are gonna debate who the best player ever was and abdul jabbar barely gets a mention?He played 20 years and hes the alltime leading scorer in the nba!The only season he struggled in was his last.Talk about consistancy and longevity!Why is everyone omitting him from this discussion?

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Y2G 4 years ago

If you actually think the 60's Celtics would be the 90's Bulls then I don't have time to respond to you and you don't know basketball. That's like saying the 2007 Patriots couldn't be the 1972 Dolphins, absolute blasphemy. Athletes are bigger, faster and stronger then they have ever been, you need to remember that. Go ask Bill Simmons who is Boston biased and he would laugh at you for suggesting a 60's team could compete with any decent team from the 90's.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Athletes work out in the offseason more but they arent taller or heavier now unless they use steroids.How many guys today are bigger than wilt or kareem? Do you think iverson is faster than nate archibald was? Do you think pippen is bigger or stronger than bob pettit? Im glad you mentioneD simmons go read his book i did,how many of his top 60 players played in the 60s and 70s? Alot of them did.And i was watching the nba way before simmons was.I watched the guys he writes about,he just read about them or saw them on film.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Simmons wrote a nice book but red auerbach has a ton more crediblity then simmons,or anyone frankly.And here was reds alltime 17 best players ever in no particular order.Micheal jordan,magic johnson,larry bird,kareem abdul jabbar,wilt chamberlain,john havlicek,jerry west,oscar robertson,bob pettit,dolph schayes,bob cousy,kobe bryant,kevin mchale,karl malone,julius erving,elgin baylor,and bill russell.How many of these guys do you consider modern players?

manny in ny 4 years ago

Todays players dont like to play defense so most of them dont.They cant shoot mid range jump shots as well as past players,because all they care about is perfecting useless dunks.The game is sloppier these days with less ball movement and the fundamentals of the game have been eroded,thats why spain and puerto rico beat us in the olympics.Are you kidding spain and puerto rico beating us? Thankfully a real player like kobe bryant went to play in olympics last time! There are too many teams in the nba, weaker teams,and too much expansion.

Steve 4 years ago

Y2G, this "Manny Lopresto Jr" character is just as preposterous as his buddies Mr. Lickteig and Mr. Munther Jr. are! It's a waste of time to debate with people like this who have such low basketball I.Q's. You're right that Manny doesn't know anything about basketball and the fact that he accused me of that very thing not only made me laugh but it raises a question for me as well...

Manny, did you STOP watching basketball in 1990? I'd also like to know why you think you know more than NBA players, coaches and sports casters. I've never heard anyone put John Havlichek in their top ten all time list, let alone have a debate that he rivals Jordan. You're in a world by yourself there buddy! Yes, he won 8 championship rings but with how many hall of famers on his team along including a dominant center? Could you imagine if Air Jordan had those guys on his team? It's not even an argument here and to say that he could guard Jordan one on one is a joke! No two or three guys could guard him while he was playing but a slower, less athletic white boy could handle him all by himself? Put the crack pipe down and quit bringing up Havlichek's name! It's totally absurd to lump him in with M.J. and it's not even something to disguss. However, Wilt chamberlain is a more reasonable argument.

Red Auerbach was once asked after Jordan's retirement who he would take if he was starting a team today, M.J. or Russell? His answer was that the intelligent choice would be M.J. because he was fantastic all the way until the end. Then he went on to give Jordan even more praises. This was the 1960's Celtics coach! What do you have to say about that? Larry Bird once called M.J. "God disguised as Michael Jordan". Then he told Magic Johnson to shut up and said "we were, he is" end of story! That was Larry Bird, a basketball legend. What do you have to say about that? Phil Jackson played against guys like Rick Barry, John Havlichek, Wilt chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, etc. He also coached guys like Shaq and Kobe and said that M.J. was the greatest player ever. He said that he had never seen a guy who could perform at that level night after night. This is a coach who has 13 championship rings overall. What do you have to say about that? Pat Riley who coached those show time Lakers said that Jordan was the greatest of all time and in a class of his own. He also played in the old days. What do you have to say about that? Magic Johnson said that Michael Jordan might be the greatest who played in ANY sport! He also called M.J. incredible and that he wishes he could do some of the things that Jordan could do. What do you have to say about that? Bill Russell once said that M.J. is the only player that he would actually pay to watch! What do you have to say about that? Players like kobe, LeBron, Wade, Barkley, Iverson, Miller, Shaq, Pippen, etc. have all called Michael Jordan the greatest of all time. What do you have to say about that? Sports analyzers like Skip Bayless, Steven A. Smith and many others have M.J. at the very front of their top ten lists. None of them Have John Havlicheck on those lists and most of them have Wilt Chamberlain towards the bottom! I can keep going on and on with NBA figures who came before Jordan, were around during his time and are affiliated with the league now who all agree that he was simply the best. How can you know more than all of these people Mr. Basketball genius? I'm sorry but you and your two buddies are highly delusional. Don't get me wrong, the 60's and 70's had some great players who helped revolutionize the league but they're in Michael's class? I hardly think so. I have broken this argument down several different ways up until this point. I brought stats into the picture, tangibles, intangibles, team accomplishments, personal accolades, etc. If you didn't learn anything out of that, it's your problem! I'm done with this debate. At least when it concerns you and your two old timer buddies!

manny in ny 4 years ago

First of all simmmons ranked havlicek no 12 alltime or 14 or something like that.He would be in any intelligent fans top 12 players alltime i think.Secondly if i had to pick a greatest player ever i might take jordan probably would, but we all can make a strong case for abdul jabbar or chamberlain or even larry bird.Its not so cut abd dried as a choice.Havlicek was not some slow unathletic guy,he played like a black man and ran circles around everyone,perpetual motion.I did not say he was better than jordan but he certainly was on his level.Jordan shoved around guys like craig ehlo and jeff hornacek,he would not shove havlicek around so easy.I not only played basketball i was a sportscaster and what qualifies me to comment on all these players is that ive watched hundreds of games from 1970 until today,when did you start watching? How many of the nbas top 50 players did you ever watch play pal? Barkley thinks all the players of his era were best.Do you think larry bird was intimidated by jordan?There were things jordan did better and things bird did better.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Now you made some decent points i could debate steve, but then you said something really stupid? You called havlicek a slow unathletic white guy.Try to telling anyone who watched or played against havlicek,west,maravich,bird,barry,cowens, mchale,nash billy cunningham,or that kid in dallas that these guys are or were slow white guys.

Steve 4 years ago

I shouldn't even allow myself to get drawn into this but I will respond.

First of all, I never said that Havlichek was a slow and unathletic white guy. What I actually said was that he was slower and less athletic than the guys who were guarding Jordan during his career. Gary Payton guarded Jordan, Kobe Bryant guarded Jordan, Clyde Drexler Guarded Jordan, Joe Dumars guarded Jordan, Kevin Johnson guarded Jordan, Mitch Richmond guarded Jordan, Reggie Miller guarded Jordan, etc., etc. Don't try to tell me that John Havlichek was faster and more athletic than those guys were. He was known for his endurance much over his speed and athleticism. Secondly, I never mentioned a thing about the other white players you brought up but I guarantee you this... no one ever accused Bird as being fast and none of those guys had 4.3 40 speed or had anywhere near a 40 plus inch verticle leap! So before you go calling my comment stupid, you might want to take a closer look at what I actually said.

And last but not least, I don't care what you say your credentials are, they don't put you anywhere where near the caliber of people that I mentioned in my last comment who put M.J. first and don't have John Havlichek in their top ten list which is a clear indication that they aren't in the same class. That's just the simple facts. Take your credentials to those guys and argue with them, I dare you to! Just for the record, I basically have a basketball library at home that ranges from the George Mikan days until now, I've watched hundreds of games as well, I've seen just about everything available on Youtube and I'm 43 years old so you're not talking to a kid here. I seem to know enough to agree with all of the names I mentioned earlier so I'll just be happy with that and wont let myself care what you think! I'm also not going to allow myself to get drawn into this again with you. Good luck!

manny in ny 4 years ago

Well even if havlicek did not run the 40 yard dash as fast as those guys he was just as quick id say and more skilled than all those jordan rivals you mentioned in his all around game except probably kobe bryant.If your saying that guys like richmond and kevin johnson are superior athletically people could buy into that maybe, but id rather have havlicek, west,walt frazier, or oscar on my team if im going in a long series against jordan.Like auerbach said,if you play a guy like jordan or jerry west in a 7 game series you put your best all around player on him like havlicek who would make him work on both ends of the floor.Then if west or jordan still threw in 50 points you would still win because you worry more about shutting down the rest of the team.If west scored 50 thats ok,because havlicek might toss 30 and the celtics make sure the rest of the guys like pat riley,flynn robinson, or keith erickson dont beat you.He would try to do the same with jordan,if jordan tosses in 45 a night in 7 games,but havlicek tosses in say 30 ?,then you make guys like steve kerr,bill cartright,or john paxson beat you.Sounds like great logic to me!Even if i agreed that jordan was the best all around player ever, id still rather have havlicek guard him in 7 games than most of those guys you mentioned,because havlicek would make him work hard when chicago does not have the ball.I dont mean to sound disrespectful to the other fans and you, but im sick of hearing about todays guys who frankly in most cases arent so good at fundamentals.Im not lumping jordan or shack or kobe in this bunch though!Lebron james has so much physical skill but he isnt quite up there with kobe,jordan,havlicek,or west yet partly because he came out of school way too early.If you talk about sheer talent who would top pistol pete,but yet he never acomplished much.Pure talent only gets you so far on this level and james has more work to do on his game still.Like abdul jabbar said we will never really know who the best ever was unless you take the top 60 players ever put them magically at age 28 and let them play each other,and that will never happen.My points were and ill stick by them is that even if jordan was the best ever,its not so cut and dried.And before i lavish tons of praise on him i would love to see him drive the lane against the other top players in history,not kevin johnson.My suspicion is he would have problems against alot of the past players on some nights as would bird and magic.And on other nights jordan would drive baylor,havlicek,and earl monroe crazy too.

manny in ny 4 years ago

I grew up a buffalo braves and knicks fan but havlicek used to come into buffalo and rip randy smith,billy kight,adrian dantley,and bob macadoo apart all the time.Then he would face the knicks and destroy walt frazier,earl monroe,bill bradley and phil jackson.At first i hated it but i grew to respect him alot,and he was clobbering good teams and good players when he was well into his thirties.He was way too quick for the forwards and too strong for the guards.By the way for all you young fans who like defensive players and talk about perimeter defenders, the best defensive guard to ever play,i stress guard was jerry sloan.No one played defense like him!

S.M. 4 years ago

Yeah, that logic sounds great except for Steve Kerr AND John Paxson have both hit pivotal game winning shots in the finals to beat the opposing teams and if Jordan is scoring 50 and Havlichek is scoring 30 then guess who wins? I think you're completely underestimating the rest of the Chicago Bulls. You have to remember, they went to school against some of the best teams of all times in the 80's going against the Celtics, Lakers and Pistons. Then they had to get past those New York Nicks in the eastern conference finals as well. The Bulls overcame all of those teams and that's exactly why they were so dominant in the 90's. It wasn't just one guy who accomplished that either even though he was the greatest of all time!

S.M. 4 years ago

One more thing to consider... Havlicheck would need help guarding Jordan which means double and tripple teams that would leave guys like Kerr and Paxson wide open.

S.M. 4 years ago

And Jerry Sloan was the greatest defending guard of all time over Michael Cooper, Gary Payton and Michael Jordan who all won defensive player of the year awards? He was better than John Stockton who is the all time steals leader?

manny in ny 4 years ago

You do realise that steals were not recorded prior to 1973? Too bad because guys like walt frazier and jerry west would have recorded alot more than stockton.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Its great that those guys won defensive player of the year,of course the award was never issued prior to what 1982? Thats why bill russell,john havlicek,jerry west,nate thurmond,norm van lier,jerry sloan,walt frazier,or don chaney never won any such award!Come to think of it havlicek had alot of steals too?How about 3 point shots?Guys like pete maravich,lloyd free, rick barry,jerry west,fred brown,and john williamson would have hit a ton of them if the nba had them back in the old days!

manny in ny 4 years ago

Ill give you guys a list of guys from the 60s and 70s most of you likely have never heard of and all these guys were very underrated players and all would do well in the nba today trust me.Guys like bob dandridge,lou hudson,bernard king,marques johnson,butch beard,bob weiss,dick snyder,bingo smith,john lucas, don nelson,jack marin,gus williams,jojo white,chet walker,bob love, and randy smith.Very solid players and some got into coaching.Its off topic but there were alot of very tough underrated players over the years!

manny in ny 4 years ago

Maybe i am underestimating those bulls championship rosters?,i certainly remember that kerr,pippen, and paxson could play?Toni how do you spell his last name,he was ok too? The celtic championship teams of the 70s had no bill russell? Hmm.Well from 1972 to 1974 havlicek may have been the best player alive except for kareem?Cowens,nelson,white,wesphal,silas,bing,chaney,scott some great players there,but sort of small teams up front? The bulls of jordans years against even the 70s celtics would have been interesting.Cowens was so rugged he guarded wilt and jabbar at 6foot 9 and gave them fits at times?It might be fun to turn the clock back and see that?

S.M. 4 years ago

Apparently in your world, the clock has not only turned back, it's seems to have stopped years ago! You have to remember that Kareem also played during Jordan's time. Then add Moses Malone, Artis Gilmore, Robert Parish, Bill Walton, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Shaq, David Robinson, Dikembe Mutombo, Bill Lambier and Alonzo Mourning. These are guys who played in Jordan's time and that's just in the center position! Other big men who played in the power forward position included Kevin McHale, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Charles Oakley, Dennis Rodman, etc. Then add James worthy, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, John Stockton, Isaiah Thomas, Penny Hardaway, Dominique wilkins, Reggie Miller, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Mitch Richmond, Grant Hill, Steve Nash, Tim Hardaway, etc. who all played at some point during Jordan's reign. That is a lot of Hall of fame and All-star players. In fact, it's more than double the amount of guys that you mentioned and some of those guys weren't even close to that caliber! I have the utmost respect for the players who brought the league along during the 60's and 70's but come on, man! Be real here. It's no contest to try and compare talents from that era to Jordan's time.

As for records not being kept until a certain period, you can only speculate what those players might or might not have accomplished. To say that John Havlichek would have definitely had more steals than John stockton is ridiculous. Have you personally added up his steals throughout his career? You can't accurately guess at the amount of 3 pointers certain guys would have gotten either. Finally, in a much smaller league, in a faster paced game and with less gifted players, those numbers back then would have been scewed anyway. Example: Both Wilt and Russell averaged over 22.5 rebounds a game throughout their careers and one would be fooled into thinking that they were the greatest rebounders ever but did you know that Elgin Baylor also averaged 22 RPG in one of his seasons? A small forward? A shooting guard/point guard by the name of Oscar Robertson averaged over 10 rebounds per game over a 5 year period in his prime as well. Was he more athletic, bigger and stronger than LeBron James? Why would he have more rebounds? It just goes to show that very few guys in the league were talented off the boards so if you had any skill in that department what so over, you would own the stat books! Plus, the game was at a faster pace which created a lot more rebounding opportunities. Again, scewed numbers and that's just in one category. It would take forever to debate the rest!

manny in ny 4 years ago

Of course i did not add the steals up but as i said i watched all these guys play after 1968 and im telling you west and frazier had more career steals than stockton,i did not just read about these players? If you guys are gonna throw stats into the mix,then lets be clear on which ones were kept and for how long.Three pointers are a a great example of usesless stats because many of the best ever played before the 3 point stripe was in existance.Lets talk about the stars of the 60s 70s and 80s not just underrated guys i like? Elvin hayes,wes unseld,david thompson,walter davis,george gervin darry dawkins,paul wesphal,doug collins,bob pettit,havlicek,west,gail goodrich,hal greer,chet walker,jeff mullins,luke jackson,dave debusschere,willis reed,bill bradley,dan issel,artis gilmore,alvin adams,tom chambers,randy smith,arvidas sabonis.archie clark,kevin porter,phil chenier,barry,julius erving,george mcginnis,mo cheeks,andrew toney, lloyd free,bobby jones,spencer haywood,maravich,jon mcglocklin,bob lanier,calvin murphey,jimmy walker,monroe,bob cousy,joe caldwell,etc i could name a ton more of great players who would be big stars today? To say there was less talent back then is absurd? Teams were alot deeper pre expansion for one thing.I dont know why robertson had so many boards in a 5 year period but to say that they had no great rebounders back then is not true also.Jabbar,chamberlain,and russell are probably the 3 best rebounders ever, and you had bob pettit,bill bridges walt bellamy,wes unseld,nate thurmond,kevin willis although he played about 20 years too,cowens,paul silas,happy hairston, mo lucas,jeff ruland,darryl dawkins,moses malone,etc. You think these guys cant battle your guys on the boards? The players of the past were very athletic they just played under control,ran plays,did not care about dunks,or alley oops? You think james is a better athlete than randy smith was? Do you think todays guys were better athletes than david thompson or walter davis or marques johnson.Better in what way? Is steve nash a better athelete than calvin murphy was? Could your rebound studs of today push tom boerwinkle or bob lanier off the boards,they would shove some of todays guys into the stands.You clainm to have watched all the games in most of the eras at least on film,then you should recognise what im saying?All the guys you mentined were great players too,but they arent better than the players of the past at all.I loved to watch reggie miller,great player but do yo think he could outplay gail goodrich or geoff petrie?

manny in ny 4 years ago

Now that i think about it the bucks had a really great team put together in the 80s ,didnt win any titles though but terry cummings and sidney moncrief who were great players and superb athletes!Rickey sobers, rickey pierce ,there were alot of sold players all around that dont get mentioned much.Michael ray richardson,roy tarply,and john drew were great players before drugs took over.Id love to see some of todays guys try to guard michael ray richardson before he got hooked on drugs?

manny in ny 4 years ago

Lets see when jordan entered the league he played against a kareem from age 37 to age 42? Try going to youtube and watch those nba playoff and championship series between the bucks and celtics in the very early 70s and watch a very young kareem or lew alcinder i should say, drop in 30 points every night.Your right alot of the guys you mentioned felt that jordan was the best ever,maybe he was,but then kareem and afew others did not and kareem played 20 years.Its all subjective is it not? We know jordan was a guard and bird was a forward,but aside from defense what did jordan do well that bird could not do?

manny in ny 4 years ago

We all know majic johnson was a superb athlete who even played center in an emergency, the knock on him was his outside shot at times.We all know bob cousy would hit guys with tons of easy buckets,great ballhandler.The knock on him was that he could not jump and was alittle mechanical at times.But with all due respect to steve nash and pistol pete these are the 2 best guys ever at running an offense amd getting easy buckets for teamates.And i have a startling revelation for you guys!Majic would be a star in the 50s and 60s and cousy would be a star today.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Cousy was a one handed player so he might struggle alittle in todays nba,and although he was smart with great peripheal vision he was not a great athlete.But guys like west,havlicek,barry,erving,and elgin baylor would be big studs in todays nba too,trust me!

manny in ny 4 years ago

If a guy was born say in 1968 how many of the nbas top 50 players ever did he actually see play?If a person is born in 1973 how many did he see play?Are the young guys annointing jordan the best ever because hes all they saw or are they saying what they think they should say?Because thats what they have read others say? If a young hockey fan says wayne gretsky is the best ever,ok? But what about bobby orr? When you younger guys say todays athletes are alittle stronger because they work out in the offseason ill buy that.But being a touch stronger or able to run alittle faster does not make you a better basketball player,alot of old timers were lightening quick.Walt frazier had lightening quick hands,and got a ton of steals that way.Connie hawkins was as athletically gifted as anyone who ever stepped on an nba floor.Too bad guys like robert parrish do not weigh in more often on these topics he played 20 seasons.I remember when he was a rookie,they said he had attitude problems and wouldnt make it.I dont recall off hand when he was a rookie year wise, without googling it, but i sure remember it.Ask him how good rick barry was or jamaal wilkes.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Why do you keeep saying the game was at a faster pace in the past,explain this please?I remember changes in the shot clocks ftom 30 secongs to 24 and the adding of them initially but im not sure what your point is?

S.M. 4 years ago

I'm going to shorten this debate with just a few quick pointers and them I'm done with this because you sir are an idiot! First of all, most of the greatest players that you had on your list also played at some point during Jordan's time and how can you possibly use Kareem's age as a way to demean Jordan's accomplishments when that's right when he was winning most of his championships? Also, most of the rest of those guys you mentioned aren't even in the NBA's top 50 so knock it off you it old fart! Secondly, you're using the 80's as part of your example? You mean when Michael Jordan was literally dismantling and embarrassing the league all by himself despite of those great teams and superstars who were playing then? Just take a reference back to the late Chuck daily about that and many, many others who have said the same thing. Finally, just because you're so quick to admit how old you are doesn't mean that younger students of the game aren't equally knowledgeable or even more so. Not only that, but PROFESSIONALS who are actually part of the NBA and are much older than you have agreed that the talent, size and athleticism of the modern era is superior to what we saw when the league was taking off with just a couple of exceptions. So maybe your age isn't a super weapon after all. Maybe it's actually causing you to suffer from Alzheimer's disease! No wonder why the others who proceeded me decided to move on. People like you aren't worth debating with. Bye bye now.

manny in ny 4 years ago

No you are an idiot who never saw 75 percent of the nbas top 50 players ever play,but people tell you what to say so you parrot everyone else?

manny in ny 4 years ago

I know most of the guys i listed are not in the top 50,i dont need the list in front of me to list tons of great players or see who is on it like you do?You like john paxson so much too bad you were too young to see jim paxson play he was better?

Mike 4 years ago

Hmmmm, What did Michael Jordan do better than Larry Bird? Let's see... he was a better overall scorer for one, he was a better lock down defender (and yes, defense counts!), he was a better dunker, he possessed much better athleticism, his shot selection and creativity was far superior, he had a one handed arsenal that Bird didn't, he had better footwork, he was a better ball handler, his lightening quick first step off the dribble wasn't even a contest, he was better in the transitional game, he was even more clutch than Larry bird was, he was a more dominant performer in the post season as well as in the finals and he had 6 championship rings to 3! Need I say more? Larry Bird was such a terrific player that the funny thing is, this is all I could come up with! If I were comparing Michael Jordan to anyone else who ever played the game the list would be longer! To turn the tables, Larry Bird was a better rebounder, a slightly better passer, better at the line and a better pure shooter than Michael Jordan was but I'd take M.J.'s additional qualities over Bird's.

Mike 4 years ago

Oops! How could I forget? Michael Jordan was also a much better ball thief than Larry Bird was!

manny in ny 4 years ago

Bird was a much better passer than jordan,as far as clutchshots go we could give jordan a small edge.Jordan havlicek and west were the best clutch shooters ive ever seen,but bird and reggie miller were right up there with them.I said jordan was better on defense did i not? Was jordan a better shooter inside or out,no,infact bird gets the 3 point shot edge right?We will say shooting was a tie. The word athleticism is pretty much meaningless in basketball.Dunks are a waste of time and energy,great players dont ever really need to dunk the ball do they? Footwork is part of defense so thats redundant.Both played with both hands well,perhaps bird has an edge there though.Jordan was a better ballhandler.lets hope so he was guard bird was a forward.Jordan scored more points but then if add havliceks playoff points to his regular season totals he was over 30 000 and jabbar with playoff points was around what 45000 total.Jordan scored more points ok,how important is that? Bird was pretty damn creative too with two fingers passes and spectacular ball movement.Of course jordan was not expected to outrebound larry.You used alot of superlatives and adjectives to describe how you saw jordan,thats great, but in the end larry bird was nearly as effective id say in some areas and better in some areas.It was damn close.Titles yeah bird had less but then havlicek had 8 and russell had 11?

Mike 4 years ago

#1. Larry Bird was not a "much better" passer than Michael Jordan. In fact, Michael Jordan's passing was very underrated. He did pin point accurate bullet passes, no look passes, shuffle passes, behind the back passes, bounce passes, etc. but the best ones were when he was in the air and made last minute decisions. What did Larry Bird do that was so much better than that?

#2. I said that Larry Bird was the better pure shooter so what are you arguing about? I also said that Micheal Jordan was the better all around scorer. Just look at his offensive arsenal versus Bird's. He was capable of so much more.

#3. Dunks are a waste of time? What planet are you from? What do you think the object of the game is? Isn't it to get the highest percentage shot possible? What shot can you get from anywhere on the floor that is more guaranteeing than a dunk?

#4. Footwork is just a defensive tactic? You can't use it against a defender to get open for a shot?

#5. When I said "one handed", I wasn't referring to the left hand. I was simply pointing out Michael Jordan's extra large hands and all of the things he could do with that advantage.

#6. Both Havlichek and Jabbar played in the league much longer than Jordan did and neither of them had Jordan's career PPG and especially not his post season PPG so I don't know where you're getting that they were anywhere near as good in scoring.

#7. I used FACTS, not adjectives or "superlatives" to describe Michael Jordan's superiority.

#8. Havlichek had 8 championships. In how many of them was he the team leader over Russell? How many times would he have been the finals MVP if they had such an award? Didn't he lose in the finals against Wilt Chamberlain's 76ers in 1967? When did Michael Jordan ever lose in the finals?

#9. Bill Russell also lost in the finals and had a total of 8 hall of famers on his team throughout his career. Did Michael Jordan have that luxury? How many finals MVP's would he have won? All 11 like Michael Jordan won all 6 of his?

#10. Have you ever watched basketball?

manny in ny 4 years ago

So how do we determine who the best player was?Longevity well abdul jabbar and havlicek and moses malone would be considered there.Athleticism jordan or majic would be the top guys here probably.Records,well wilt owns nearly all of them? Titles russell had 11 and havlicek 8 so they are tops here.Everyone it seems has a different list of requirements to determine the best ever?If i could pick say 12 guys to go play against a team from mars i know who id pick!Jabbar chamberlain and russell would be on the team without hesitation.Jordan,bird,and magic would be 6 guys.Havlicek,west,and oscar robertson would give me 9.and rick barry,kobe bryant and pete maravich would give me my 12 guys.If i could sneak a 13th guy on the ship to mars it might be shaq?But then id be leaving so many great players off the team,its tough picking out the best of the best because there were so many great players over the years!

manny in ny 4 years ago

Yeah i watched hundreds of games since 1969.Have you? Now ill educate you alittle sonny.First off dunks are a waste of time and energy as i said.A deadly 12 foot jump shooter is much more valuable than a guy who dunks all the time like hawthorne wingo did.Havlicek played 16 years and had 8 titles.Not bad,a title in half the seasons he played,did jordan do that? Two titles without russell.The general consensus is that the celtics would have won it all in 73 too,but havlicek had a shoulder injury and missed the finals.One of russells celtic teams 1962 had 8 hall of famers,it was cousys last year and havliceks rookie season,russell did not play with 8 hall of famers every season!Jabbars point per game totals only dropped as he aged,he played 20 years.When he was in his early 20s he had a ppg game average up with jordans numbers.How many seasons did jordan play he was around almost as long as havlicek was.And like havlicek, jordan played at a high level pretty much the whole time except maybe his last season,ill give him props for that.Your right foot speed can get you some shots and a clear path to the hoop and jordan had a ton more than bird,but bird got his game and shot off so athleticism is overrated.Chris mullin was not very athletic but he had game too.Jordan was a superlative player and he did not have the supporting cast russell havlicek or even bird had,so ill give him props for that too!But he played at a time where there was way too much expansion and far too many teams and against alot of guys who would not have played in the nba with less teams like we had in the 60s and 70s and thats reality jack!The talent is and was watered down because there are not enough good players to fill out 29 or 30 rosters as mrs lickteig noted way up in the thread.

manny in ny 4 years ago

You sound like an intelligent guy mike and you seem to know the game but dont insult me and ask me if i ever watched basketball because i dont agree with all of your bird vs jordan comparisons.Or you opinion on dunks?Jordan was a great player and his game had no weak spots,but he never played against all the best players,no one has?Jordan never played against oscar robertson,jerry west, pistol pete,havlicek,or walt frazier and these guys were damn good and although to a man they all respect jordan alot none would be intimidated by playing against him.My suspicion is that he would struggle on some nights against these guys and on other nights he would get his game off big.Lets hope you dont think he would waltz in and destroy jerry west like he did isiah thomas or criag ehlo?

manny in ny 4 years ago

Lets talk about atleticism for a second,sure some not all of todays kids are alittle better athletically but that does not equate to sucess in basketball does it?How about the olympics afew years back when the us sent lebron james,jason kidd,chris bosh, and allen iverson over there and all the other gifted athletes over there with their fancy dunks and guess what? , acouple very drastically athletically inferior puerto rico and spain teams beat them? Why,because the u s team could dunk the ball real flashy but they shot the rock poorly and there was zero ball movement from that team,they were lacking in fundamentals.Do you guys think for a half a second that if we sent a team with kareem,wilt rusell,west,havlicek,oscar,dr j, jerry lucas,and company over there that they would evet lose?Not a chance jack.When the really complete pros went there like kobe,mullins,bird,jordan,majic etc things were different.That clown steve tried to tell me that jordan was great because he outplayed penny hardaway and kevin johnson!Well guess what we could start an alltime all over rated team and those 2 guys could be the stars of that team right there with vince carter and isiah thomas and chris bosh.Do you guys think for 2 seconds chris bosh could play against bob lanier or dave cowens?

manny in ny 4 years ago

You wont hear me knock jordan because he was great,might have been the best ever?, and his game was a combination of hard work,skill and atleticism.But dont tell me he brought this super atleticism to the nba that no one had ever seen before because all the things he did were done years before by guys like julius erving, pete maravich,george gervin,david thompson,connie hawkins,or spencer haywood.Jordan did some things better than these guys,some things not.If you say he might have been the best by combining everything he brought to the table i might not debate that.But when you say no one ever saw anything like him before he got here!Then ill just laugh,because he did not drop down to play from another planet as many of you believe he did apparently?

M.J. 4 years ago

Mr. Manny boy, According to you Robert Horry is one of the greatest players who ever lived right along with John Havlichek and Bill Russell because he also has 8 rings!

Mike 4 years ago

First of all Manny, do not talk down to me by calling me "Sonny" and saying that "you're going to educate me" and I won't ask you if you've ever watched basketball. Deal? Secondly, I never said that ALL you have to be able to do is dunk. I said that it was the highest percentage shot on the floor. You just went ahead and assumed that I meant you didn't have to have an all around game to go with it. I'm at work now so I'll respond to your other crap later!

manny in ny 4 years ago

I never said having the most rings means your the best ever but other posters here apparently do Mr. m j boy?So i mentioned the celtics. I look forward to hearing you respond to my other crap mike and i think my points were valid.The dunks are the higest percentage shots i guess your right, unless your john hummer of the buffalo braves and you missed them on a regular basis for years.If a guy like jordan wants to incorporate dunks into his offensive arsenol well they waste alot of energy and everyone else on his team tends just stand around to watch. A good head coach could prohibit dunks from ever happening by banning his team from using them and still win a title.Flashy dunks should be a small part of a guys arsenol,but too many young players are bent on perfecting dunks and neglecting short range jumpers,defense, and other important things.Again im not lumping jordan in this class because frankly his game had no weak points.If he wants to dunk its ok because he perfected the real important aspects of the game years ago.

Mike 4 years ago

Where dunking is significant is when your shot is flat and you're missing. Coaches also like to see you take it to the hole to "be sure" when all else is failing. Ever heard of that? This was one of the beautiful things about Michael Jordan. If he was off with his jumpers he would just change his game and dominate with his athleticism.

manny in ny- 4 years ago

Ok but if larry birds jumper was off he would pass the ball more and pass it quite well.If you think jordan was the best ever and someone else thinks chamberlain was thats fine.As i said abdul jabbar played 20 seasons on a very very high level he might have been the best ever.He did not face rusell,mikan, or shaq but he played against every other historically important big man and his sky hook was almost impossible to block.It was perhaps the single greatest weapon in nba history? Everyone has an opinion on best ever but unless they play each other we will never know for certain.Who is boxings best heavyweight ali,frazier,joe louis,marciano,jack foreman,tyson,we could debate this for days too because we all have opinions.Alot of young guys think tyson could beat ali,i dont.I think marciano had a better chin and punched harder that tyson,but unless they all fight each other at age 28 we will never know?

manny in ny 4 years ago

If chamberlain was having trouble scoring he would revert to defense and rebounding.All the great players had more than one way to beat you.Jordan was not the only guy who could beat you in more than one way.Havliceks last game ever is being shown on youtube now, it was against my buffalo braves,in the first half his shot was off and but he still dealt out some nice assists,then in the secong half his jumper was on.In all of his over 26 ooo points and around 5 or 6 thousand playoff points i can only remember him dunking the ball just once.He could dunk it but he just did not feel that dunks were so important,and i agree.I guess they dunks, maybe fire a crowd up?

Dan Rivet 4 years ago

They changed the rules to stop Wilt, Then changed the rules to enable Jordan.Enough said !

Mike 4 years ago

They changed the rules to enable Jordan? You mean the "Jordan rules" where the whole team would focus on attacking him? The New York Knicks practiced the same philosophy too so it wasn't just the Pistons. I don't know what you're talking about there buddy but I've heard people utter this kind of nonsense before. Bias people who don't know basketball or ever bothered to watch Jordan play. They claim that the 3 point line was shortened for Jordan as well. What? If anything, that would have benefited shooters like Larry Bird and Reggie Miller and then later on, Kobe Bryant and Ray Allen. Guys who shoot 3's. The 3 point shot was very little of Jordan's game. I've also heard that the league was soft on Jordan and he got a lot of calls going his way. That's funny too because the last I checked, ALL superstars in the league got that benefit, not just Jordan. Barkley constantly got away with butt bumping you all the way to the rim which is an offensive foul. Magic got away with leading with his knee out in front of him, Karl Malone got away with elbows, Larry Bird got away with holding onto your jersey to free himself up, Shaq got away with literally running people over in the paint and Dennis Rodman got away with too many things to count! How is this a benefit to Jordan? I'm sick of hearing from you anti-Jordan fans who come up with anything it takes to discredit him from what he was. The G.O.A.T.!!! Get your facts straight.

B. Valdez 4 years ago

Havlicek sucks! This a debate about which is greater out of two of the most dominant NBA players of all time. Maybe you should get on another blog or start your own where you can debate Havlicek against guys like Steve Kerr, Jeff Hornicek or Mark Price!

Elvis 4 years ago

This guy on here thinks that John Havlicek is on the same level as Michael Jordan and that's so stupid, I won't even bother to debate it! He also thinks that Rocky Marciano had a better punch AND chin than Mike Tyson did and yet Marciano got knocked down by a 38 year old Jersey Joe Walcott and then again by a God knows how old Archie Moore who was actually a light heavyweight! How well could he have dealt with a Holyfield or Lewis punch and who did he ever knock out of any significance? MORON!!!

manny in ny 4 years ago

First of all who says jordan and wilt are the best two players ever only guys who never saw a young abdul jabbar play yhats who? And anyone who ranks havlicek with hornacek,kerr, and price has no idea how great havlicek, was dont even mention them in the same breath as havlicek please! What facts are we missing when we say alot of guys on the all time top 50 team are or were on jordans level pal? Give us some great jordan facts that we missed? Im not anti jordan, im telling it like it is.He would never get off on oscar robertson,rick barry,julius erving, jerry west or havlicek like he did some of those dopes who guarded him.Hey elvis you dipshit,I had a better chin than tyson ever did.Tyson got knocked out by buster douglas.You probably think tyson could beat ali? Not on his best night jack.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Tyson got knocked out by anyone who hit him back,and he always got weaker as each round went on.Ali was never ever knocked unconcious,and neither was marciano who also got stronger and stronger as each round came on.Tysons only chance to beat those two guys would be a knockout in the first 4 rounds.Once the fight goes past the first few rounds,iron mike was more like jello mike.Marciano hit acouple guys so hard in the arms that their arms actually got broken in the ring.How long has a moron like evis watched boxing ,probably as long as he has watched basketball,15 tears maybe?Oh boy?

manny in ny 4 years ago

Mike mentioned that all superstars or stars in the nba often get calls going their way.I can certainly buy that,its a valid point.Havlicek certainly got alot of calls his way against my buffalo braves when he gave bob macadoo and jim macmillian headaches in the playoffs all the time.Dr j got alot of calls going his way too,and so did oscar.

manny in ny 4 years ago

I just dug out and reread some of bill simmons book on whos the best nba players ever and where are they ranked.Funny he ranked chamberlain only at number 6 alltime?I agree with you guys wilt should at least be in the top 3 or 4 right? Simmons must be a moron right? He ranked havlicek 14th greatest alltime id rank him at least 12 but we are close there, cool. Its strange that kerr, hornacek, and price were not in his the top 50.Hmm?He ranked tim duncan over jerry west,oscar robertson,john havlicek,and kobe bryant? Come on! Duncan was a nice player but thats alittle off base id say? Its all subjective,thats for sure,or it should be.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Like i said when you compare the best ever in any sport its never clearly obvious.There are lots of intangibles and various points to consider.Was hasek a better goaltender than ken dryden?Was gretsky better than gordie howe or bobby orr? We could debate this for weeks too,and there would be many opinions.If i had to pick a greatest nba player ever id prabably pick jordan?But any knowledgable fan coulg make a case for abdul jabbar or russell or chamberlain or even larry bird,and if you do are you a moron? Shutup with that moron crap.Its easy to talk macho and stupid behind a keyboard?I could make a great case that havlicek was a top ten player alltime.Thats because i saw him play and he was the real deal.I did not start watching basketball when lebron james came out.Was jordan better than kobe,in most ways probably,but if you tell me kobe was not in jordans league on on his level you dont have any crediblity with me.

manny in ny 4 years ago

You could say that russell was the greatest winner ever.Chamberlain the most dominant ever,abdul jabbar the most consistantly solid over a long period 20 superb seasons,jordan the most gifted athlete who certainly used those gifts,did not waste them.did it all.Bird or jerry west might have been the best ckutch guys,so many intangibles?Then how about havlicek?Was jordan a better athlete,yes you say? Ok,but havlicek was a superb athlete in spectacular condition too, who was in the final cuts of the cleveland browns at wide receiver one year,played on a scary high level for 16 seasons,and was a great clutch guy.You gotta rank him very high too?Russell had what 11 rings?,havlicek 8.On a statistical level no one compares with wilt?No one is even close! Are stats overrated?

manny in ny 4 years ago

Its hard to compare guys who did not play the same position? Moses malone was a spectacular player.As a center id say he was just a notch below wlit,kareem,and russell.But hes got to be in anyones top 25 players ever somewhere?

Elvis 4 years ago

Poor little Manny. Someone must have pissed under his skirt and ruffled up his little feathers! Let's see how quiclky I can come up with at least 20 NBA players that were better than your inferior John Havlicek.

1. Michael Jordan

2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

3. Magic Johnson

4. Bill Russell

5. Kobe Bryant

6. Jerry West

7. Larry Bird

8. Shaq

9. Hakeem Olajuwon

10. Oscar Robertson

11. Elgin Baylor

12. Wilt Chamberlain

13. Rick barry

14. Julius Erving

15. Earl Monroe

16. Isaiah Thomas

17. George Gervin

18. Tim Duncan

19. Allen Iverson

20. Charles Barkley

That's just off the top of my head! It's not necessarily in order but if you can put John Havlicek over 8 of those guys and place him at #12 you truly are an idiot!

Next, Mike Tyson NEVER had a weak chin and that's why no one could knock him out in the early rounds. His conditioning was his weakness and he would become exhausted after 4 or 5 rounds. That's when his opponent could take advantage and put him down. Learn the sport, then argue. Also, I never said that he could be Ali you moron!

Elvis 4 years ago

Beat Ali is what I meant to say.

Elvis 4 years ago

Then one would have to question if John Havlicek was as god as these guys...

1. Karl Malone

2. Walt Frazier

3. Dominique Wilkins

4. Scottie Pippen

5. James Worthy

6. Kevin McHale

7. Moses Malone

8. Clyde Drexler

9. Dennis Rodman

10. Paul Pierce

11. David Thompson

12. Kevin Garnett

13. John Stockton

14. Bob Cousey

15. Pistol Pete

I can keep going on. Go ahead and push these guys aside too and put your buddy Havlicek in the front of the line Mr. doesn't know Basketball!

Also, Did you ever even watch Michael Jordan play? If so, then you would know that he was guarded by guys like Michael Cooper, Dennis Johnson, Mad Max, Gerald Wilkins, Joe Dumars, Clyde Drexler, Bryon Russell, Gary Payton etc. All very good to excellent defenders. Plus Jordan was always being double and tripple teamed dumbass!

sensei manny 4 years ago

Hey elvis you are one of those smartasses who never saw anything prior to 1984 except your crib and mr rogers playhouse but your good at talking and thats all.I saw all of those guys play including jordan, but you did not or you are blind.How can you even mention stockton,garnett,rodman,pierce, and barkley in the same breath as havlicek?You are a smart mouth little punk who would cry if you were in the same room with me and i was mad at you.And tyson had one of the softest chins in boxing history pal,of course you know nothing about that either.

sensei manny 4 years ago

I loved watching those great knicks championship teams with frazier,monroe,bradley, debusschere,jackson,barnett and reed and company.And the one player who always gave them massive troubles was havlicek.None of those guys could guard him very well for a whole game.Isiah thomas could never guard havlicek for very long neither could iverson,and im an iverson fan.

Elvis 4 years ago

Sensei? Lol!!!!! You moron. What do you teach? I'm really curious because you obviously can't learn anything so I can't imagine you'd have anything in that hollow brain of yours to teach. God, I do wish we were in the same room together, I'd wipe the floor with your old washed up ass! I also wish Tyson's weak chin was in the room with us so I could watch him squash the remains of what was left over. As I said before, Havlicek sucks and if he didn't have a million hall of famers on his team, a top center and one of the greatest coaches who ever lived which had to do with most of the championship rings that he got, we would have never heard of him. To say that Barkley, Stockton, Garnett, Rodman and Pierce aren't in the same league as this idiot makes you even more of an idiot! Go crawl under a rock somewhere.

Elvis 4 years ago

One final thing... I said that Isaiah Thomas and Allen Iverson were better than John Havlicek. That doesn't mean that a 6ft 1 point guard or a 6 ft point/shooting guard could defend against a 6 ft 5 small forward but let's turn the tables. How good would this white wonderdog do chasing Iverson around or stopping Thomas? It would be such a mismatch they would have to sit his sorry butt on the bench and you'd be crying!

Sam 4 years ago

John Havlicek, a true dinosaur!

sensei manny 4 years ago

Your just a punk elvie,trust me i know the fight game.Now for your free basketball lesson!Havlicek did not just play small forward he was a swingman which means he played guard too.There are or were certain white guys who played like black guys and they were as good or better than nearly everyone.Some of them were john havlicek,jerry west,kevin mchale,larry bird,pete maravich,larry bird,dave cowens,bill walton,billy cunningham etc.Of course when i watched those guys play,you were watching and playing with your rattle and pacifier.You can watch them on youtube though.If you think those guys would not be superstars today you really are a dumbass.

sensei manny 4 years ago

but ill educate elvie on boxing really quick too.Tyson is definately in the top 10 hardest puncers of any weight class of alltime.But he had a glass jaw and as even you noted poor stamina.Guys like marciano,joe frazier,george foreman,and jack dempsey would all knock him out in their primes.

Elvis 4 years ago

There are two Larry Birds? Wow, thanks for that basketball lesson. Also, it's ELVIS not elvie. Thanks for the spelling lesson too. If you knew the fight game then you would know the difference between poor conditioning and a poor chin which is something you're old ass is obviously oblivious to. Finally, I guess there's John Havlicek and then there's the rest of them. I didn't realize that he was such a marvel of modern science but thanks to you, I've been enlightened.

sensei manny 4 years ago

Glad i could enlighten you!I know the difference between poor conditioning and a poor chin,tyson had both.The guy could punch with the best of them though as i said,cant take that away from him.Im glad im old because i was able to watch guys in all sports live or on tv and not just on film.My point is simply this havlicek ,dr j,jerry west,rick barry,elgin baylor,pete maravich,walt frazier,oscar robertson etc,these guys were as good as it gets.I never said they were better than jordan,but they were better than 90 percent of the guys he faced.Jordan was great,the man,but he never played against all the games elite players,which of course is not his fault.So before i praise him so highly as many of you do,i felt it was necessary remind you all of this.

Elvis 4 years ago

As for Basketball, all of those white players that you mentioned are among the all time greats stat wise but what you also need to remember is that John Havlicek DID get cut from Cleveland because he couldn't make it as a wide receiver even back in the 60's. That's why he went to the NBA where he actually excelled. What should that tell you? What it tells me is that the best athletes back in those days went to other sports. Now a days, they can play in multiple sports. Take LeBron James or Michael Jordan for instance. Those guys could have played in the NFL and prospered just as easily. Your boy got cut, plain and simple. The athletes in today's game are way more physically gifted and a lot of that is a tribute to how popular the sport has become and how much money they can make. That draws in the best athletes. Being a sensei and everything, you should know that!

As for boxing, give it up already. Out of the guys you mentioned, only George Foreman would have had a chance of knocking Tyson out in his prime. Marciano was only 184 pounds in his prime, he was slow and had no defense. A prime Tyson would have knocked him out in the first round. Jack Dempsey was about the same size and would have came storming right at Tyson which would have been his demise. Joe Frazier had a style that was tailor made for Tyson and since he obviously couldn't handle Foreman's punch, what makes you think he could handle Tyson's?

So there are your two lessons of the day.

Elvis 4 years ago

Let's compare lists and see if you're anywhere near accurate with your comments. I'm going to paste and copy the guys you mentioned that Jordan didn't play against versus a list of top players that he DID play against. I'll just stick to forwards and guards since that's what you did. These guys will either be top 50 players and/or future Hall Of Famers whether you like them or not!

Your list...

1. John Havlicek

2. Dr. J

3. Elgin Baylor

4. Jerry West

5. Oscar Robertson

6. Pistol Pete

7. Rick Barry

8. Walt Frazier

My list...

1. Magic Johnson

2. Karl Malone

3. Larry Bird

4. Isaiah Thomas

5. Clyde Drexler

6. Reggie Miller

7. Kobe Bryant

8. Kevin McHale

9. Dominique Wilkins

10. John Stockton

11. Paul Pierce

12. Tim Duncan

13. Allen Iverson

14. Charles Barkley

15. Kevin Garnett

16. James Worthy

Your players were better than 90% of these guys and Jordan never played against the elite? What's wrong with you? My list is twice the size of yours and I'm sure I left some out! This is not to mention that during Jordan's career, the influx of talent in the center position was at it's peak as well. His game was to drive inside in a very physical era and when there was no 3 second rule. Here are the guys who were waiting for him at the rim...

1. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

2. Moses Malone

3. Bill Laimbeer

4. Robert Parish

5. Bill Walton

6. Hakeem Olajuwon

7. David Robinson

8. Shaq

9. Dikembe Mutombo

10. Patrick Ewing

11. Alonzo Mourning

I don't want to hear that Jordan didn't have to face elite talent. He went up against some of the best in NBA history. Case rested!

sensei manny 4 years ago

I will address these points by you elvis tonight,and some are actually decent points ill admit?

ELVIS 4 years ago

Okay, thanks for acknowledging that.

sensei manny 4 years ago

First off i dont have the top 50 player list in front of me that was compiled afew years ago, but ive read it over acouple times and generally agree with most of it,and even if you add 10 modern guys of your choice to that list the guys i mentioned played against more top 50 players than your guys did.Secondly all those players you mentioned were good or great but i could easily name 80 or 100 great players from the 60s and 70s or early 80s who were great and could play today no problem.The 50s were alittle different as there were not enough black players in the league yet and the players were not nearly as skilled as the 60s 70s and 80s guys.As i said i could make my list really long, i left off dozens of big stars i just mentioned afew guys.Look at my above posts for big stars of the past that i mentioned and i never mentioned the underrated terry cummings in all those old posts.You mentioned centers? Some of the centers that havlicek played against or with in 16 years were kareem abdul jabbar,wilt chamberlain,nate thurmond,dave cowens, walt bellamy,wes unseld,bill walton,moses malone,mel daniels,zelmo beatty,willis reed,bob lanier,bill russell,artis gilmore,caldwell jones,darryl dawkins, leroy ellis,bob macadoo, and bob rule to name just afew. As for being physically gifted,well basketball is a great example of how fundamentals are sometimes more important than physical gifts.Thats why the physically inferior teams like spain and puerto rico beat us in the olympics recently ,because they were more fundamentally sound.The nba was loaded with great physical specimens who never did much at this level in the past 40 years.Guys like travis grant,pearl washington,austin carr, benoit bejamin,steve downing,johnny nuemann,rick mount, howard porter and dozens of others who never did much in the pros because physical skill is not all you need.Lets eliminate havlicek for a second because he was a great athlete.How about bob petitt he was clumsy not very athletic but he would be tough for alot of these great specimens of today to handle for afew reasons.Lets turn to boxing for a second.Great boxers or martial artists arent just in great physical shape thay have to be in great mental condition to fight 12 or 15 rounds.Guys like marciano,duran,ali,frazier and sugar ray robinson could fight for 15 rounds and not even breath hard as where tyson could not.Why? Tyson was a great physical specimen in great physical shape in his prime,but he was not relaxed enough in the ring,he was pysically trained well,but his handlers did not train his mind very well.His mind was always cluttered.Examples of mentally trained fighters were ali,frazier,and duran,mickey ward,carmen basileo,dick tiger,joey giardello,and jake lamotta.As for taking a punch,thats not learned with training like being more relaxed in the ring and learning how to breath deeper and slower.You can either take vicious shots like ali,lamotta,and marciano could or you cant and tyson could not.

sensei manny 4 years ago

One more point about jordan and james they are or were great athletes but you cant assume they would have or could have made it in pro football.Lets talk about james for a second hes as great an athlete as the nba has ever seen.Not better than all but as good as any as an athlete goes,but his game still needs alittle work in my opinion.I think id rather have kobe bryant,havlicek,rick barry or several other guys on my team than james.At least right now,but he has the talent and time to get alittle better if he works hard enough.For one thing james has to work on his outside shot alittle.

sensei manny 4 years ago

Who said james was better than jordan and bird and everyone else? Was it pippen? Not quite scottie.James could learn a ton from a guy like pete maravich.

sensei manny 4 years ago

I used havlicek as my example of a great oldtimer who played against some great centers,i could have substituted 20 guys for him but he played 16 years which is higher than normal, so i used him as an example.Some of the guys he faced played a long time and played with the more modern guys like robert parrish and kevin willis.The one superstar who has been on record as saying that jordan probably was not the best ever was abdul jabbar and he played 20 years.Hes been on record as saying in his mind oscar robertson was the beat player ever?Is kareem a moron,does he not know the game?He seems like an intelligent guy to me?As i said its quite subjective really.

sensei manny 4 years ago

Me personally id rather have jordan on my team than oscar but thats his opinion.Todays athletes train all year instead of just during the season.Weight training extends careers and is more accepted today for afew reasons.Can you imagine a 240 pound guy like dick butkus who had superb sideline to sideline lateral quickness on steroids and lifting? He was a maniac and dirt mean without steroids,he would have killed someone with them in his system.Give some of these oldtimers the same training regimen as today and look out!

ELVIS 4 years ago

No one ever said that Kareem Abdul Jabbar is a moron just because he has an opinion. In fact, I respect him enough to put him 2nd on my all time list right behind Michael Jordan. His NBA resume is very similar to M.J.'s and the only reason why I have him at #2 instead of #1 is because what took him 20 years to accomplish in the NBA, Jordan did in just 14 full seasons. You also have to consider that Michael Jordan was out for 3 years either close to or in his prime (86, 94 & 95) and then he retired early. That's just remarkable and I can't imagine what his stat line would have been like if he played during those years. He probably would have added 2 more championships as well! Kareem also had a much better supporting cast with the Lakers. I do feel a need to balance out the scale when you have players like Kobe, LeBron, Shaq, Magic, Isaiah, Bird, Miller, Barkley, etc. who all say that Jordan was the greatest of all time. Then you have sports casters and analyzers like Bob Costas, Marv Albert, Steven A. Smith, Skip Bayless, etc. that all claim the same thing. Then you have current and former NBA coaches like Phil Jackson, Lenny Wilkins, George Karl, Red Aurbach, Pat Riley, etc. who concur as well. There are many more names I can add to that list too. As great of a player as Jabbar was, I think he had a minority opinion and I'd take these other guy's word over his!

My point of the 80's and 90's is simply this...

The old timers claim that the players of the 60's and 70's were more fundamentally sound and that their basketball I.Q. was superior to today's athletes. The young kids today say that the NBA is much more athletic now and the players are more talented than they were back then. I have to agree with both sides and that's exactly why I think that Jordan not only played against some of the best players but the best teams the NBA has ever seen as well. That was a crossroads period where everything came together. When you combine the fundamentals and the basketball smarts of yesteryear with the talent and athleticism of today, you've got what you saw in the 80's and 90's. That era had it all!

ELVIS 4 years ago

As for boxing, I'm going to firmly stand by what I said earlier. There is a big difference between having a good chin and being well conditioned but they also go hand in hand. What I mean by that is, it wouldn't matter how well you trained if you had a weak chin. You still wouldn't be able to take a punch. On the other hand, you can have a superb chin but step into the ring without adequate training and get knocked out! Take George Foreman for instance...

Anyone who says that he didn't have an elite chin is just plain stupid and isn't even worth arguing with! Yet, he got knocked out by Muhammad Ali. Why? Because he was exhausted by the 5th round and his conditioning failed him from that point on. Everyone knows that Ali did not have a heavy punch and if George's chin couldn't stand up to what was considered to be mediocre power, I think we know that there is only one explanation for that and I already explained it!

Another example is involves one of my favorite fighters of all time at 154 when he was in his prime. His Hay day was short lived because of his problems outside of the ring and his name was Terrible Terry Norris. He had tremendous talent but his chin became suspect when he got knocked out cold by Julian Jackson. Then several fights later, he got battered around and knocked down by Simon Brown. He was hurt by almost every punch that Brown connected with. I couldn't believe it! That was a very disappointing fight for me but he regrouped, came back in terrific shape and literally embarrassed Simon Brown in the next fight! Suddenly, he was able to take everything Brown could throw at him. Punches that were devastating to him in the previous fight. Did he grow a new chin at his training camp in the meantime? I don't think so! Once again, conditioning proved to be the difference.

Those are examples of two guys who had trouble standing up to the punches in their respective fights. One had a great chin but with poor conditioning and the other had a suspect chin with poor conditioning. The results were the same. Then you have guys like Marvin Hagler who were rock solid all the way throughout their careers because they not only had a great chin but they were never out of condition either.

My final comment on this is a repeat of what I said earlier. Mike Tyson was never even knocked down in his prime let alone, knocked out. By the the time he started getting knocked out, it was towards the twilight of his career and even then, no one was able to get him out of there in the early rounds. It was always after he became exhausted and his conditioning failed him. Guys with weak chins get knocked out by one punch which Tyson never did and they also get knocked out in the early rounds when they're fresh which Tyson never did. He had an iron chin but poor conditioning. That's all there is to it! If he was well trained like Joe Frazier to go 15 rounds, no one ever would have knocked him down. I'm done with the boxing debate because this is a blog about basketball!

Don 4 years ago

Magic Johnson

sensei manny 4 years ago

Some good points elvis.Your actually pretty intelligent.But i dont know if i can equate a tough chin with conditioning though.A well conditioned body can absorb body shots better of course,but how a man handles a shot or shots to his face has little to do with physical conditioning.Sure foreman was shot in that ali fight,totally exausted.His total exaustion led to him get sloppy and although ali was not a crushing puncher he hit hard enough to hurt you if you got sloppy against him.As for tyson i think he was still young and in his prime when buster douglas a journeyman club fighter destroyed him,i cant remember his age during all his losses,but he clearly never threw any combinations in the lennox lewis fight,which would indicate poor prefight training in that one.Of course as you noted tyson was older then.Your right elvis, auerbach and the others said that they felt jordan was the best ever,and auerbach was a basketball genious.No doubt.He was the man.Heres what else red said.He said he would take bill russell,wilt chamberlain,kareem abdul jabbar,julius erving,elgin baylor,oscar robertson,jerry west,john havlicek,bob cousy,bob pettit,dolph schayes,michael jordan,magic johnson,and larry bird.He said those 14 guys would beat any other team or teams or allstar teams from any nba era,any combination of stars of all eras,or any country,or team from mars if he coached them.Then he said hed even give the opposing team bird,johnson,and jordan and still beat anyone with the first 11 i listed.Was he a moron? Was he living in the past? He was involved with the celtics and nba up until his death.Watched hundreds of games up until his death,or so he claimed.He was the greatest coach slash gm ever in my opinion.Those 11 guys were all old timers? Then the broadcaster asked him who he would add to those 14 guys if he was going to add three more guys to build an alltime great 17 man roster.He picked karl malone,kobe bryant,and kevin mchale.Interesting? Yes it was quite amazing that jordan left the game and still had lots of game when he returned.And yes abdul jabbar played on the higest level the longest so one could vote for either of those guys as best ever.And yes jordan certainly played against some of the best teams and players ever,but he missed alot of the best teams and players who would have been huge stars in any era too.Incidently i do remember terry norris and saw him fight once or twice but i dont remember alot about him,did he fight roberto duran? Don mentioned magic johnson and alot of people could certainly make a case for him as best ever,great player, ,but he often shot the ball poorly.I think jordan and bird were better shooters which made them more dangerious.

sensei manny 4 years ago

Lets assume for a moment that those 17 guys auerbach mentioned are the best ever.Who would rank as 18 19 and 20 alltime? We would get dozens of different opinions?Certainly shaqs name would come up as would pistol petes.How about a guy like rick barry?Spectacular player,he was larry bird before there was larry bird.Moses malone,akeem, there were so many great players over the years.I always liked patrick ewing he was underrated,too bad he never got that title.I did not see dolph schayes play or pettit, and rusell except on film,but i watched all the other guys play on tv and in person that red picked.Schayes used to coach my buffalo braves and he retired a long time ago,but auerbach ranked him up real high on the alltime list?I remember watching cousy play afew games for the sacremento kings because he was coaching them and he was upset by how they were playing so he activated himself for afew games in the 1970s,lol, but at that point he was too old and out of shape to play.

ELVIS 4 years ago

Point #1. George Foreman got knocked out because of poor conditioning, not because of a poor chin. That nullifies your point that those two assets don't go hand in hand unless you can prove that he got knocked out for any other reason.

Point #2. Not only was Buster Douglas not a "journeyman fighter" but he was a very skilled heavyweight who just happened to be in top condition for that fight against Tyson. His problem was always maintaining his weight and conditioning, not his skill. As for Mike Tyson's age at that time, that's irrelevant. Different fighters reach their prime at different ages and Mike Tyson's prime was in his early 20's.

Point #3. Red Auerbach DID say that Michael Jordan was the greatest player ever and that he would have chosen him over Bill Russell. However, since I'm not educated on the remarks that you said he made, I can't dispute them. However, go ahead and give him those 11 players and then give Phil Jackson... Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kobe Bryant, Isaiah Thomas, Shaq, Allen Iverson, James Worthy, Dominique Wilkins and Kevin McHale and we'll see who wins!

Point #4. Out of all of those people I mentioned who are in Jordan's favor over Kareem's statement, "red" was the only comeback you had and that wasn't a solid argument! He still thought M.J. was the best!

Point #5. Terry Norris never fought Roberto Duran. Sugar Ray Leonard did. Terry Norris beat Leonard, John Mugabi, Meldrick Taylor, Donald Curry and Simon Brown. He had ridiculous talent and unmatched hand speed at that weight and he would have been one of the all time greatest if he could have maintained his focus.

Point #5. As for your last comment, I think that a list of the greatest players of all time should be gauged on these things...

A. Their personal accomplishments.

B. Their team accomplishments.

C. Their tangibles.

D. Their intangibles.

E. Their competition and how they would survive in any era.

Add all of these things things together and that's simply why I have Michael Jordan 1st of all time and Kareem Abdul Jabbar 2nd. The rest of the list is up for debate!

sensi manny 4 years ago

Tyson was what 24 when he got clobbered by douglas,thats a man in his prime or at least he should be in his prime at 24 or 25 until 30 or so? Douglas fought 46 fights,i looked it up against mostly nobodys,id call him a journyman.If you think he was more than that,ok,but he was really a nobody before the fight,and his win over tyson was all he really ever did in boxing.In the ali foreman fight,foreman punched himself out and indeed exaustion led to his knockout,but thats not indicative of most knockouts.Alot of guys get knocked out in a round or two or three and they often arent tired yet,just outclassed in the ring.Concerning norris i remember john mugabi,he hit really hard,so he,norris, did fight some top guys as was leonard of course.Now basketball time.Yes all those guys you mentioned felt that jordan was the best ever,but if we dig real hard im sure alot of former players and coaches would choose other people as best ever, and many others would chose jordan too ill readily admit.Just for fun ill bite,lets match up your top 11 guys with reds,mind you red probably would cut thre of his 11 and add bird,johnson,and jordan if he was picking a top 11.He elimanated them to make a point as he was asked to compare players of different eras.Jabbar, chamberlain, and russell would totally destroy shaq and oljuwon.And thats not to knock them because they were both great.Bird ,bryant,mchale,worthy,and wilkens would i imagine outplay erving,pettit,schayes,and baylor.That brings us to guard jordan,johnson,iverson,and thomas would go up against havlicek a swingman,west,robertson and cousy? Those 4 guys you mentioned are darn good,but would they outplay reds 4 guards,maybe, but im not too sure?It would be an interesting 7 game series!You would probably have to cut a forward and add another center to your eleven maybe,but it would be real tough to beat reds three big men.Ill agree that jordan was probably the best ever,but abdul jabbar would be number two in my book also, and one could make a case for him as best ever certainly.And chamberlain or rusell as best player ever too,it depends on your criteria.As i said in one of above posts,besides play superior defense jordan did not do anything better than larry bird did.Obviously gurds and forwards have different ballhandling and rebounding skills,but bird did everything very well just like jordan did.So if someone made a case for bird as best ever,i would not scoff at the idea like some of you guys might.

sensei manny 4 years ago

Getting tired forgot to correct some typing errors.Im sure many of you will get upset when i maintain that there was really very little difference in production between jordan and bird.If we all say jordan is the man that would get picked first or ranked higher or the best ok,but really larry bird was right up there with him.Jordan was a better athlete,but so what,that means very little as i noted earlier.

ELVIS 4 years ago

#1. Tyson was NOT in his prime. Most fighters reach their prime between the ages of 28-32 which is when their mind and body come together at their peak. Tyson was different. His prime was much earlier because his mind was already deteriorated by the age of 24. He was having problems with Robbin Gibbons, his management team, Don King, etc. and his personal life was in shambles. This is why he lost focus and his interest in boxing went to the waste side. When a guy doesn't train properly and his mind is not into the fight, he has a good chance of getting knocked out by someone who has some skill and determination. That was not Tyson in his prime.

#2. Buster Douglas was also not a club fighter. He was a skilled heavyweight and as I said before, he always had a problem maintaining his weight and conditioning. That's why he was never a big name until he beat Tyson. Also, this did not take place in the 1940's when Joe Lewis took on "Two ton" Tony Galento who was an actual club fighter. In the early 90's fighters like that would never have made it anywhere close to becoming a #1 contender. You have to give Douglas more credit than that for getting there.

#3. If you understand that Foreman was exhausted and basically knocked himself out, then how come you can't see the similarities in Tyson's fights? You're right, most fighters do get knocked out early but that was never the case with Tyson. He was always in the same condition that Foreman was when he would get pummeled and then Ko'd.

#4. You're right, that would be a fantastic 7 games series but I totally disagree that Shaq and Olajuwon would get destroyed against those guys. Shaq was one of the most dominant big men ever and I don't see even Wilt keeping him away from the rim. Also, Olajuwon DID play against Jabbar several times during the 80's and outplayed him. Granted, Kareem was out of his prime but he was still playing at a high level and no one can say that he would have ever dominated that match up even if he was at his best. Olajuwon was the most skilled center ever. He's in the top ten in every single major category including #8 all time in steals along with only guards who are on that list and #1 in blocked shots. He was a force to be reckoned with both offensively and defensively. I realize that they didn't keep some of those records in the 60's but I can just imagine him playing back then and those guys trying to stop him! Also, I'll take Dominique off the list and add Moses Malone. Now, we have a better center match up!

#5. I never argued the greatness of Larry Bird. In fact, I think that he's the greatest small forward ever! People keep ranting and raving about LeBron James who by the way doesn't even have one ring, but what they forget is how great Bird was in his prime. LeBron averages around 28 point a game, about 7 1/2 rebounds and 7 1/2 assists and those are his strengths. Because of this, some people have the nerve to call him the greatest baller ever! Meanwhile, Oscar Robertson averaged 30 plus points per game, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for 5 solid years! All except for one year when he actually did average a triple double, he was only one rebound or one assist off from doing it every year in his prime. How is LeBron better than that? Then what people don't know about Larry Bird is that he had three consecutive years in his prime where he averaged 28 points a game, 10 rebounds and seven assists which are also better than LeBron's numbers. Then add 3 championship rings and 3 consecutive MVP's to the equation! Bird was great and there were some things he did even better than Jordan like rebounding, passing, pure shooting and his percentage at the foul line. However, Jordan could still do all of those things that Bird could do but not quite as well. Then add his athleticism, his creativity, his ability to drive to the hole better than anyone else, his incredible use of one hand because of how large they were, his tenacity and his defense. This is why I would take Jordan over Bird.

ELVIS 4 years ago

How can I forget, Jordan also had the best fade away jumper of all time which was almost as indefensible as Kareem's sky hook! One final thing I want to point out is that Jordan not only had twice the rings that Bird did but he did it with half the talent on his team! Not only that, but with the exception of Scottie Pippen, he did it with two entirely different teams. He's also the only one who led a dynasty team to multiple championships without a dominant center. This just shows how incredible he was and how much he willed his teams to victory. The guy was nothing short of amazing! This is taking nothing away from Bird but Jordan was a one of a kind.

sensei manny 4 years ago

Some points well made elvis but ill have to disagree on what you intimated in that you feel that boxers of the 90s compare favorably to fighters of the 40s.In my opinion the fighters of the 40s, 50s,60s,70s and earlier were well superior to todays fighters and ones in the 90s for afew reasons.Fighters at the turn of the century up to the 1970s fought alot more often for alot less money,as where modern fighters get rich quicker and most never fight 90 or 100 fights like many of the guys of the past did.Todays guys are alittle bigger,but bigger does not mean better by any means.As far as your basketball points i cant disagree much with what you said.Your three centers were all terrific,shaq,hakeem and malone,but the three red likes were 3 of the best 5 or 6 players ever.I remember watching abdul jabbar when his name was lew alcindor and he always scored 30 points,or so it seemed every game when he played for the bucks.Those bucks teams were fun to watch they had a weak bench but with oscar,kareem,lucius allen,bob boozer,bob dandridge,and jon mcglocklin who was a steve kerr type of shooter they were tough to beat.They had problems with boston because cowens always played kareem tough,and bob dandridge who was a tough underrated player always had trouble trying to guard havlicek.But the bucks seemed to beat up on everyone else.Abdul Jabbar at age 22 and 23 was scary good and i remember it.Frankly, as great as abdul jabbar was im surprised he did not win more titles.Lebron james? Nice player,talented,good kid but id take alot of guys over him.The scary thing is that hes getting better,and hes right in the top 2 or 3 players still active but there are alot of better guys than him in the games history.Who is more dangerious with the ball and facing the basket james or rick barry? Who shot the rock better james or pistol pete?Barry is the forgotten man everyone hated,but he had mad skills.James should watch some highlight reels of dr. j too.

ELVIS 4 years ago

I never said that I favored the 90's fighters over all of those other generations, especially the heavyweight division in the 60's and 70's which was the "golden era" in boxing. What I said was, no fat and out of shape club fighter like Tony Galento could have made to the #1 spot as a contender in 1990. Not when you had fighters like Tyson, Bowe, Holyfield, Lewis and then Foreman making a come back. Can you honestly see Galento taking those guys out to fight for a championship bout? I don't think so! In the 40's when Joe Lewis was champion, they had what was called the "bum of the month club". This was referring to his weak opponents and they weren't saying that for no reason! That was not a good era in the heavyweight division despite of their work ethic in those days. The divisions to watch at that time were at middleweight and welterweight. Robinson, Gavilan, Bell, LaMotta, Zivic, Graziano, Zale, Olson, Fulmer, Basilio, Turpin, etc. Now that was talent! I do agree with you that today's fighters suck but the 90's actually did have a decent heavyweight division.

I don't think that LeBron James will ever be mentioned in the same breath with those guys that you listed, especially Dr.J. Julius Irving is my second favorite small forward of all time and it's sad how forgotten he is and that no one even has him near their top 10 list. I think the reason is because he gets penalized for playing in the ABA but if you add his stats from those days with what he accomplished in the NBA, he has over 30,000 points, had 3 championship rings and was the Godfather of the slam dunk competition! Not only that but if it wasn't for him and his creative vision, guys like Byant, Rose, Wade, James, etc. wouldn't even exist today. At least not in the exciting way that we're seeing them. Dr.J revolutionized the league and carried it for quite some time as its ambassador. He was so loved during his time that even though fans would route for their teams, they would also route for Dr. J when he came to town! I thought he was a great, great player. As for LeBron James, sure he can score, rebound, pass and play defense but the deficiencies in his game are stronger than his strengths are. Phil Jackson once said "You're only as good as your weakest link". If that's the case LeBron is in trouble! He has no clutch gene to speak of which is really keeping him from success. He doesn't show up during pivotal times of the game like late in the 4th quarter, he's a regular season dynamo but he falls apart in the finals when it really counts, he has very little to no low post game, his mid-ranged jump shot is suspect and he's not very good at the foul line with around 74% for his career. These are huge holes in his game and he has a lot of things to work on if he ever wants to be a champion or assume the title of the greatest player in the game!

ELVIS 4 years ago

By the way, I'm really enjoying this debate now that it's civil!

sensei manny 4 years ago

I cant argue with these points elvis so i wont,some points well made.Alot pf people dont realise what a great defense player he,dr. j was and a smart passer.He and bobby jones made a nice duo in philly,great d and intelligent offensive play.As his knees deteriorated his game changed but he was still very effective.I watched a game once where erving guarded an aging john havlicek all dy in the late 70s,they traded baskets and made huge plays on each other all day fun to watch!In the end havlicek scored 7 points in the last few minutes and boston won so they interviewed him post game.He was asked how he seemed to guard erving with some sucess while no one else could,and his reply was something ill never forget.He said when a man of ervings ability gets the ball in his hands no one on earth can guard him,so the trick is to make it real difficult for erving to get the ball in his hands!Ill talk to you more later.You are smart i just wasnt sure after your very first posts or two way back,you have a good understanding of sports.Its a pleasure conversing with you now.

ELVIS 4 years ago

Well, I felt the same thing about you at first but I've changed my mind as well. It's been good talking to you too. Also, just as much as you get annoyed with your typos, I not only get annoyed with that myself but it really irritates me being in a hurry and misspelling things! It's "Erving" and not "Irving" and it's also "root" and not "route". Lol! I hate communicating this way sometimes. I do much better in person. As you've given me credit with certain points, I will give you credit as well. The more I have studied up on Havlichek, the more I agree that he has to be in the top 15! Thanks to you, I got motivated to educate myself more on this man. He was a great player! I'm going to check out for now but I'll be keeping up on the debates that continue and will probably resurface at some time when I see something that's too irresistible not to dispute!

ELVIS 4 years ago

Oh, and I forgot one more misspelled era... it's "Joe Louis", not "Joe Lewis"! I either need spell check or an editor!

ELVIS 4 years ago

Jesus, it's "error" and not "era"! I better quit now. Take care!

sensei manny 4 years ago

Hi elvis nice chatting with you too.Concening havlicek,im a fan obviously even though he throttled my teams often. I dont know what nba teams you grew up with but i grew up watching the buffalo braves and knicks.I started watching both teams in 1970 and from 1970 until 1978 havlicek ripped my two teams apart!He used to run randy smith ragged and into about 30 picks a game then turn around and hit that 12 foot jumper over and over again or dish it off .The braves tried smith,adrian dantley,jim macmillan,gar heard,jack marin,billy knight,john shumate,and even bob macadoo on him.None could hang with him for long.The knicks tried bill bradley,phil jackson,earl monroe,dave debusschere,walt frazier, dick barnett,and cazzie russell on him and they never could handle him either.He was a clutch,consistant big play guy for so many years.And he was destroying those guys when he was in his thirties.He never won an mvp i dont think,but he was probably the best player alive in the very early 70s except for abdul jabbar.He was alittle younger than robertson and west and in those 2 or 3 years from say 1972 to 1974 he was the best non center in the game.Ive come across afew polls and sites that have tried to compare ginobli and pippen to him.It makes me cringe,as those two guys could certainly play and play very well,but neither is or was even remotely close to what havlicek was.He used to really rip the great elvin hayes apart during those east coast rivalry games too with the bullets.Poor walt frazier always got outplayed by him,he had clydes number i guess?I hated those celtics teams but i grew to respect the hell out of them over the years.I dont think he was quite as good all around as bird but very close.I respect pierce,allen,and garnett alot but frankly none of todays celtics have the all around game as good as havlicek had.Ill talk to you soon my friend.

Eric 4 years ago

No one here, not even this writer, would choose Wilt over Jordan, or any other player, for that matter, if his life dependend on a last second heroic. So let us all drop the pretenses. Michael is not only the greatest basketball player ever, he is the greatest athlete ever.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Is jordan the best athlete in any sport,what about jim brown or muhammed ali? The best athlete the nba has ever seen? I dont know maybe?Is he the best clutch shooter or player,well maybe but then larry bird,reggie miller,jerry wast,and john havlicek hit a ton of clutch shots and made a ton of clutch plays at the end of games too.They even called west mr. clutch.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Charles barkley was a top 50 player alltime but he should not be a broadcaster.Whenever he talks about the greatest players ever i cringe.Hes a nitwit.

manny in ny 4 years ago

So its gonna be the heat and thunder in the finals.King james is red hot now,and guess what? There will be plenty of knuckleheads who will proclaim him the best ever now?Its ridiculous.

paul 4 years ago

in wilt time no other big man have equal him. because he is to tall that time. but if he face shaq, hakeem, david robinson, or dwight howard and other good center that i did not mention i dont think he can score high. thats my oppinion only. maybe wrong or right. but if jordan played now, he can score like wat he done before.

manny in ny 4 years ago

Yes but wilt did play against alot of big guys 610 or taller like kareem abdul jabbar,bob lanier,artis gilmore,nate thurmond,walt bellamy,elmore smith,geoff cromton,brett vroman,dave lattin, willis reed,nate bowman,otto moore,bob rule,tito horford ,cyril baptiste.zelmo beatty,jim mcdaniels,jim davis, jim ard,luther rackley,walt wesley,mel counts,jim fox,hank finkel,etc ,and afew studs who were shorter like wes unseld,elvin hayes, and dave cowens,bill russell, mel daniels ,and bob pettit.

manny in ny 4 years ago

The most impressive thing jordan did was win it all after he initially retired.That really impressed me!Its like when havlicek led boston to 2 titles without russell.Would have been three but he seperated his shoilder in 73 in think.Jordan was tenacious but there were better shooters and ball handlers than he and havlicek,yet these guye were intense played defense too and never took a night off.

manny 4 years ago

Here we go all the guys under 30 are now proclaiming that lebrun james is better than jordan or bryant, or abdul jabbar and chamberlain,its a joke frankly!James is a very fine player but hes no better than alot of great players.What can james do better than rick barry did?Not much.

manny 4 years ago

All the great players obviously had their strongest points.Who in history could shoot long long range bombs and handle the ball better than pete maravich?If there were three point shots in his day he would have shattered a ton of records.Yet he never won a title.Jordan was a better defender,winner,and jumper than maravich.But on the offensuve side of the ball wsa jordan better?Frankly no.

manny 4 years ago

Imagine how good pete maravich would do in todays game with watered down teams due to a ton of expansion,no hand checking,the three point line,and seemingly allowing everyone to travel these days.He would score 40 points a game.

manny 3 years ago

The guy who played at the highest level longer than any player in nba history was kareem abdul jabbar.Its funny how he gets overlooked,its because people forget that he was a huge star when he was named lew alcindor with the bucks.And he won his first nba title when majic was in grade school.I watched all 20 of abdul jabbars seasons on tv and in person,he was one bad moody dude!

MANNY 3 years ago

Its hard to compare guys who played differnt positions,Lets just say russell,wilt,and kareem and shaq were the best centers ever.Jordan,big o,jerry wast,magic,cousy,and pistol pete the best guards.And bird,baylor,havlicek,barry,pettit, dr j,mchale,k malone the best forewards.

raizhel profile image

raizhel 2 years ago

Magic, Wilt and Michael are all good basketball players during their own generation.

manny 2 years ago

Sure its hard to compare players at different positions as well.I do know that todays game is alot sloppier.

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