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William Russell vs Wilton Chamberlain

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Ilmago, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Ilmago

    Ilmago Guest

    I don't want the other thread to go off topic, so I decided to start this topic. Who in your opinion was the better player? Take everything in consideration, not just stats, not just winning rings. I'm talking about the total package.

  2. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    If I take Bill Russell, do I get the amazing talent he played with at every single level of his career?

    If not, gimme Wilt.
  3. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    I wasn't alive to see either of them play so I can't comment.
  4. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I'll give Simmons credit. Notwithstanding his obvious bias, in his book he made a compelling case for Russell that went far beyond the usual arguments.

    I'll still take Wilt. But it's no longer the "don't insult my intelligence" question it once was.
  5. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    Wilt - 20,000

    really, I don't know because I don't follow basketball.
  6. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    I've been a Celtics fan since I was a kid watching NBA games with Chris Schenkel doing the PBP on ABC, and that's largely because of I loved me some Bill Russell.


    If I was drafting and I had to pick one over the other, I'd take Wilt. Keep this in mind. The one time when Wilt had better talent around him in Philly than Russell had in Boston was in 1967, when the Sixers had Wilt, Hal Greer and Billy Cunningham as their big three, and that was the year they finally beat the Celtics in the playoffs and won the NBA title.
  7. Wilt and Russell were one of my first sports memories, starting around 1966. It seemed like ABC had the Celtics-76ers on every Sunday. The 1969 Finals, Russell's last, was a classic. It was magnificent to watch. I'd give a slight edge to Wilt, but the real winners were those who saw them battle each other. Just great, great stuff.
  8. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    But you see, that's not entirely true. In 1965 Philly had Greer, Lucious Jackson, Chet Walker and Larry Costello (25+ All-Star teams between them) and were arguably equal to the Celtics in talent.

    Over the next three seasons (1966-67 (BillyC comes aboard)-68), Philly finished with a better regular-season record than Boston each of those seasons but found a way to lose to them in the playoffs. In 1968 Philly was 8 games better than Boston and led them 3-1 in the playoffs. Still lost.

    Then, in 1969, Wilt teams with West and Baylor in L.A. and loses again to the Celtics. All 3 were past their prime, but still . . . they lost to a Celtics team that finished FOURTH in the East that year.

    Just something to ponder.
  9. Wilt. Got to respect a fellow pimp.
  10. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    I grew up a Celtics fan in New Jersey -- why, I don't know -- and reveled in the fact that Russ' Celts always beat Wilt's teams. Russ was a great leader, a great defensive presence, a great rebounder, a winner in every sense of the word but an average at best offensive player.

    But, honestly, Wilt Chamberlain is the best basketball player I ever saw -- and that includes Michael Jordan -- and one of the greatest athletes who ever lived.
    Could have been an Olympic class high jumper, was a Big 8 400 meter champ, was a legendary (just for fun) volleyball player.
  11. Ilmago

    Ilmago Guest

    For me it's Wilt

    Head-to-head numbers:

    Wilt and Russell played against each other 142 times in 10 years. Russell's team won 88, Wilt's teams won 74. (14 game difference)

    In those games Wilt averaged 28.7 ppg and 28.7 rpg, Russell averaged 14.5ppg and 23.7rpg

    Wilt's high game vs. Russell was 62, and he had six other 50+ point games against Russell . Russell's high game against Wilt was 37, and he had only two other 30+ point games against Wilt.

    Wilt's record 55 rebound game was against Russell, and he had six other 40+ rebound games vs. Bill. Russell only had one 40+ rebound night against Wilt.

    Wilt's teams lost all 4 seventh games against Russell's Celtics... (Russell's Celtics were 10-0 in game 7s during his career).

    The total margin of defeat in those four 7th games was nine points

    You can make an argument about Wilt not being a good teammate, but other than that Wilt was the better player.

    Russell was limited offensively, playing the same role on the boards (i.e. primary rebounder except Wilt was also primary offense and Russell wasnt which means he should have been available for more o-boards to no avail) Chamberlain more or leass swept him on rebounding titles, Russel's intangibles were great (sure he'd make a good player-coach) but he had lots of hall of fame bound team-mates on a dynasty team run by the best coach/gm of his era running a system he fit into perfectly.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I used to work with an old school NBA writer who would get into a near screaming match with anyone who implied that Russell wasn't the best of all-time. That included Jordan, that included Wilt.

    I'll say this, the guy made a pretty good argument to support Russell. What was it, 11 titles in 13 years? Granted, this was when the NBA had like 10 teams, but still.
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