Originally Posted by Psileas
Unless Jordan is your (or anyone's) clear-cut #1 (which he isn't to many, since, even if they have him at #1, they admit it's arguable), he's subject to the same rule. Which means that a few others have a case to be above him. Now, rank all other GOAT candidates above Jordan and you'll get billed a hater.
Some hold Wilt in the same esteem as most fans do Jordan, so for them, having Wilt at #6 (or, even worse, not calling him a GOAT candidate) is a disgrace. And, honestly, I can't say I blame them.
In their 143 career H2H games, Chamberlain DOUBLED Russell in scoring, outrebounded him by FIVE per game, and outshot him by somewhere along the margin of .500 to .400 (in league's that shot about .430 on average in those ten seasons.) Furthermore, while Russell's TEAM's went 7-1 in H2H playoff series, Wilt, outgunned in HOF teammates EVERY season, and some by margins of 5-1, 6-2, 7-2, 7-1, and even 8-0, came within NINE points, in FOUR game seven's (by margins of 2, 1, 4, and 2 points) in beating him 5-3 in those eight playoff series.
Find another center, who ever took a 40-40 team, and up against a 62-18 team, to a game seven, one point loss...and in a series in which he outscored his opposing center by a 30.1 ppg to 15.6 ppg margin; outrebounded him by a 31.4 rpg to 25.2 rpg margin; outshot him from the field by a .555 to .447 margin; and even outshot him from the line by a .583 to .472 margin (and outscored him from the line by a 49-18 margin), ...and be considered a "choking" "loser."
Find another center who outscored another HOF center in 133 of their 143 H2H battles, and a considerably number of those by 30+ points, who had 24 games of 40+, five of 50+, and even a 62-23 beatdown in one of them; and who would be ranked FOUR slots lower in some kind of ranking system.
A Wilt who outrebounded Russell by a 93-42-8 margin in those 143 H2H games, and many by HUGE margins. How many other all-time great players ever outrebounded the next best rebounding player of their era by a 55-19 marginin a single game? Or held a 7-1 H2H margin in 40+ rebound games? Or held a 23-4 margin in H2H 35+ rebound games? Or outrebounded that player in a playoff series by a margin of 32.0 rpg to 23.4 rpg? In fact, outrebounded him in ALL eight H2H playoff series (as well as outscoring him in all eight of them, and HEAVILY outshooting him?)
A Wilt, who in those 143 H2H games against Russell, nearly averaged a 30-30 .500 game EVERY time he stepped on the floor against him!
A Chamberlain who outshot Russell in EVERY H2H post-season series, and in the vast majority by staggering margins (like .517 to .386, .534 to .396, .555 to .447, and even .556 to .358.)
When Chamberlain finally has an equal supporting cast, and his TEAM annihilates Russell's, well, Russell was coaching. But, let's ignore the fact that Wilt routinely had lazy and incompetent coachs. He was told to do everything himself, and when he did, and his TEAM lost, well, obviously it was Wilt's fault. When he has a coach who tells Wilt to NOT shoot, and to let an a well past his prime Baylor shotjack his way to one of the worst post-seasons ever by an all-time great, well, how could Wilt let that happen (even though he outscored, outrebounded, and badly outshot Russell.)
As for Kareem, he played FOUR seasons IN the Chamberlain-era. Where were his 45 and 50 ppg seasons? Or his 26 and 27 rpg seasons? Or his .649, .683, and .727 FG% shooting seasons? Or his 7.8 and 8.6 apg seasons? Or his QUAD doubles? Or his 20+ blocks games? Or his 73 40-30 games? Or his 32 50-30 games? Or his 28 60-20 games? Or his 8 60-30 games? Or his 8 40-40 games? Or his 5 50-40 games?
Kareem faced MANY of the SAME centers that Wilt faced, and yet, how come Kareem couldn't average 40 ppg in nine H2H meetings in a season against Reed, including margins of 41-9, 52-23, and even 58-28?
Kareem faced a declining (but starting) Bellamy in some 25 H2H games, and his three highest games against him were games of 40, 39, and 35. Chamberlain had TWENTY STRAIGHT games against Bellamy in which he averaged 48 ppg, including FOUR of 60+, and a HIGH of 73.
A prime Kareem faced Thurmond in 43 career H2H starts. He had a TOTAL of SEVEN 30+ games against Thurmond, with a high of 34. A PRIME "scoring" Chamberlain battled Thurmond in 11 straight games from the end of '65, thru the first game of '67, and recorded SIX 30+ games (30, 33, 33, 34, 38, and 45 point games), and in those Chamberlain just clocked Nate by margins of 33-17, 33-10, 38-15, and even 45-13. Kareem also faced Thurmond in three straight playoff series, and shot .486, .428, and even .405 (in a series in which Nate outscored and outshot Kareem.) Wilt faced a Thurmond in three playoff series, and outshot him by margins of .500 to .392; .550 to .398; and .560 to .343 (in Nate's greatest season BTW.)
Chamberlain pounded Connie Dierking with a 60 point game in Wilt's 68-69 season. And, in his next season, 69-70, Wilt poured in a 43 point game against Dierking. Kareem came into the league that same season, and his career high game against Dierking was 41 points. (And to be honest, I suspect that a prime Chamberlain probably had multiple 50+ games against Dierking, as well.)
In that 68-69 season, Chamberlain abused Jim Fox with a 66 point game (on 29-35 shooting.) Kareem would face Fox in well over 30 career games, and his high game against him was 41 points.
And, where was Kareem's 100 point game against Imhoff (or even his 56 point game, which is what Wilt doused Imhoff with in the very next game...and Imhoff received a standing ovation for it)?
And while a prime Chamberlain had to battle the Celtic Dynasty all ten seasons of the 60's, routing them once, and narrowly being defeated in four game seven's...as well as going to three Finals in that span....a prime Kareem went to two Finals, and won one ring, in the weakest decade of NBA champions in NBA history. Kareem couldn't even get team's with the best record to the Finals, and lost in the first round with a 60-22 team. Meanwhile, players like Barry and Unseld were winning rings with 48-34 and 44-38 teams.
Bird is considered heroic in a Finals, in which his 62-20 Celtics struggle to beat a 40-42 Rockets team, and in a series in which Bird averages 15 ppg, 15 rpg, and shoots .419 (and is not even Boston's best player.) Meanwhile Chamberlain takes a 40-40 team to game seven, one point loss, against a 62-18 Celtic team, and in a series in which he puts up 30 ppg, 31 rpg, and shoots .555 ...and Wilt is labeled a "choker" by some posters here.
Bird wins ONE more ring, playing with HOF-laden rosters his ENTIRE career, than Chamberlain, who is not only saddled with clowns for nearly half of his, he also is battling the greatest dynasty in professional sports history at the same time.
Bird loses SEVEN times with HCA, and is AWFUL in a few of them. Wilt loses with HCA in a series in which he averaged 37 ppg and 23 rpg. How many playoff series did Chamberlain shoot as low as .351? And how many Finals did Bird shoot as high as .517, .525, .534, .560, .600, and .625?
Bird's supporting casts are so good that he can shoot .419 in a Finals (in a series in which he scored 15 ppg and got 15 rpg, and still win. Chamberlain's are so bad that his team loses in a seven game series in which Wilt shoots .625 (and scores 23.2 ppg with 24.1 rpg.)
Bird shoots 6-18 in his lone game seven of the Finals, but here again, his teammates are so good, they win that game. Wilt shoots 17-24 in his two game seven's in the Finals, and holds his opposing centers to 4-12 shooting in those two games (while outrebounding them, 51-24), but his teammates are so bad, that his team loses those two games.
Wilt does everything better than Bird in the post-season (and just blows him away in the regular season), and yet Bird is considered "clutch", and Wilt is a "stats-padding" "choker."
Yep. It all makes perfect sense...