One of the most polarizing and encapsulating figures of all time, former C Wilt Chamberlain was a lover, a fighter, a scorer, rebounder, passer, and winner.
Ever since Wilt Chamberlain walked onto campus in Lawrence, Kansas at the University of Kansas, Wilt Chamberlain dominated the conversation. Lawrence was a segregated city, with harsh troubles for African-Americans who fought this. Wilt walked into any restaurant he wanted, used the restroom at his will, and drank whichever water he pleased.
The massive personality that Wilt brought to the table was only overshadowed by his towering height and skyward game. This was an era of hard thumping, defensive centers. Boston Celtics C Bill Russell headlined the blue collar mentality of the big men of the times, leaving the scoring to the little guys.
Too many folks out there look at rings and banners to evaluate the worth of an athlete. Former F Robert Horry has won seven rings, but does that make him better than F Michael Jordan?
The number one most common validation to M.J.’s status as the greatest ever are his rings. Michael Jordan could shoot, defend, rebound, and flat out fly. Even with the outrageous statistics and the leadership to bring his Chicago Bulls onto one of the most dynamic and legendary planes of basketball lore, Michael Jordan could not and will never be a better player than Wilt Chamberlain.
M.J. was a team player on the floor, which is a bit of a stretch to say about the late Chamberlain. However, when Wilt wanted something he got it. One season, he averaged more than 48 minutes a game. He never missed minutes he could play hard in, and played in overtime enough to drive his average that high. Nobody can forget the 100 point game Wilt had. Only Los Angeles Lakers SG Kobe Bryant got close, and he was down 19 points. In the top ten single game scoring performances, Wilt holds six of the top ten slots, with Jordan eleventh with that legendary 69 point game.
One year, Wilt averaged 50 points plus a game. His career scoring average is above thirty, while he exceeds 22 rebounds a game for his career. Wilt was a seven time scoring champion and an eleven time rebounding champion.
Who says big men cannot pass? One preseason, Wilt decided he wanted to lead the NBA in assists. He went out and did it.
Wilt tortured his opponents at will. He got what he wanted, when he wanted. The only facet of his legacy as big as his persona was his game, and it showed night in and night out. Statistically, there has never been a better basketball player.
Eric Schmidt is the owner/editor of thepigskinreport.com. You can follow Eric on Twitter @bucco40 and make sure to visit the pigskinreport FB page. Make sure to visit our other sites- hardballchat.com, roundballchat.com and centericechat.com for all of your sports needs.