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Wilt Chamberlain Regular AND Post-Season GOAT


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#1 JTF

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Posted September 28, 2013 - 04:20 PM

Even serial fabricators like Bill Simmons have acknowledged that Wilt Chamberlain is the GOAT in the regular reason, but basketball scribes of his ilk have attempted to minimize Wilt's greatness by claiming that the Big Dipper shrunk in the playoffs. Most of the arguments lack context and ignore several important facts.

 

1) Wilt has the highest T.O.P. in post-season history. The T.O.P. is Total Offensive Production and combines points, rebounds, and assists. Wilt's T.O.P. (e.g., 22.5 points, 24.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists) in the post-season is 51.2 which is the highest in NBA history. Wilt is the ONLY player in NBA history with a T.O.P. of 50 or more.

 

2) Wilt led the league in scoring in his first 7 seasons and led his team to the playoffs in 6 of those 7 seasons. In 6 post-season appearances, Wilt averaged 32.8 points, 26.6 rebounds, and shot .505 from the field in a league that shot .426 in that time span. No player in NBA history had a post-season averaging 32 points and 26 rebounds, yet Wilt averaged that over the course of 6 post-seasons.

 

3) Wilt won his 1st NBA title in his 8th season. In 7 post-season appearances, Wilt averaged 30.4 points, 27.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and shot .515 from the field. No NBA player ever had a post-season averaging 30 points, 27 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, yet Wilt averaged that over the course of 7 post-seasons.

 

4) Wilt is ranked 5th all-time with 9 triple-doubles in the post-season. Wilt has more triple-doubles in the post-season than any center in history.

 

5) Wilt outscored and outrebounded Bill Russell in 8 post-season series.

 

6) Wilt outplayed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 7 of 11 post-season games. In the 1971 Western Conference Finals, Wilt averaged 22.0 points and 18.8 rebounds, and held Kareem to a FG % of .481. In the last 4 games (e.g., games 3-6) of the 1972 Western Conference Finals, Wilt blocked 33 shots and held Kareem to a FG % of .414.

 

7) Wilt averaged 24.4 points, 26.6 rebounds, and shot .626 from the field in 9 Game Sevens.

 

8) Wilt averaged 27.0 points and 26.1 rebounds in 35 "must-win" or clinching games, while opposing centers averaged 14.5 points. In those 35 games, Wilt's teams were 24-11.

 

9) Wilt faced Hall of Fame centers in 105 of 160 post-season games and he was never outrebounded in 29 post-season series.

 

10) Wilt is the only player to have a 20/20/.600 stat line in the NBA Finals. In the 1970 NBA Finals, Wilt averaged 23.2 points, 24.1 rebounds, and shot .625 from the field.



#2 JTF

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Posted October 05, 2013 - 03:52 PM

The following is an interesting points comparison between Wilt and fellow HOF centers in their rookie seasons.  

 

Wilt Chamberlain VS Willis Reed  12 meetings in Reed's rookie season

 

Chamberlain 38.5 points   Reed 22.6 points  

 

Wilt Chamberlain VS Walt Bellamy  9 meetings in Bellamy's rookie season  

 

Chamberlain 44.5 points   Bellamy 29.0 points

 

Wilt Chamberlain VS Wes Unseld  6 meetings in Unseld's rookie season

 

Chamberlain  21.5 points  Unseld  11.0 points  

 

Wilt Chamberlain VS Bob Lanier  5 meetings in Lanier's rookie season  

 

Chamberlain 19.8 points  Lanier 11.6 points

 

Wilt Chamberlain VS Kareem Abdul-Jabbar  1 meeting in Abdul-Jabbar's rookie season

 

Chamberlain 25 points  Abdul-Jabbar 23 points  

 

In addition, Wilt Chamberlain played a total of 452 games against his top 7 piers. They include Bill Russell (142 games), Walt Bellamy (108 games), Willis Reed (74 games), Nate Thurmond (64 games), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (28 games), Wes Unseld (20 games), and Bob Lanier (16 games).



#3 JTF

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Posted October 08, 2013 - 04:09 PM

One could make the argument that the greatest post-season performance in NBA history was provided by Wilt Chamberlain in the 1967 playoffs. The following statistics are even more impressive when you consider what Wilt did to Bill Russell and Nate Thurmond in back to back series.

 

1967 Eastern Conference Divisional Playoffs   76ers VS Royals  

 

Game 1   41 points  22 rebounds    5 assists   9 blocks

Game 2   37 points  27 rebounds  11 assists   6 blocks

Game 3   16 points  30 rebounds  19 assists  14 blocks 

Game 4   18 points  27 rebounds    9 assists  12 blocks

 

Series Average   28.0 points  26.5 rebounds  11.0 assists  10.2 blocks

 

1967 Eastern Conference Finals:  76ers VS Celtics

 

Game 1   24 points  32 rebounds  13 assists  12 blocks

Game 2   15 points  29 rebounds    5 assists    5 blocks

Game 3   20 points  41 rebounds    9 assists    5 blocks

Game 4   20 points  22 rebounds  10 assists    8 blocks

Game 5   29 points  36 rebounds  13 assists    7 blocks

 

Series Average   21.6 points  32.0 rebounds  10.0 assists  7.4 blocks

 

1967 NBA Finals   76ers VS Warriors  

 

Game 1   16 points  33 rebounds  10 assists   9 blocks

Game 2   10 points  38 rebounds  10 assists  10 blocks

Game 3   26 points  26 rebounds    5 assists    8 blocks

Game 4   10 points  27 rebounds    8 assists   15 blocks

Game 5   20 points  24 rebounds    4 assists   13 blocks

Game 6   24 points  23 rebounds    4 assists     6 blocks

 

Series Average   17.6 points  28.5 rebounds  6.8 assists  10.1 blocks

 

It's clear that if the award existed in 1967, Wilt would have been named the Finals MVP

 

Wilt's 1967 Playoff Stat Line   21.7 points  29.1 rebounds  9.0 assists  9.2 blocks



#4 androsays

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Posted October 08, 2013 - 04:22 PM

holy [expletive]ing moly, that's amazing.

 

i always had that doubt in my mind that the reason Wilt put unreal rebounding numbers was because he was playing with a bunch of un-athletic nobodies... but to average 32 boards against Bill Russell... that's insane



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#5 JTF

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Posted October 08, 2013 - 06:05 PM

ANDRO: I think you could make the case that from 1959-1963, Wilt's rebounding numbers were helped by the fact that he didn't have a fellow enforcer in the paint. When rookie Nate Thurmond joined Wilt in San Francisco, Wilt finally had a power forward to help him with the dirty work. The 6'11" Thurmond played out of position in his rookie year, but he helped Wilt on defense and on the boards. A year later, Wilt was traded to the 76ers, and 6'9" 260 pound Luke Jackson became one of the first modern day power forwards in the NBA. When Wilt went to the Lakers, he was assisted by another terrific power forward, Happy Hairston. During the Lakers magical 1971-1972 season, Hairston became the first teammate of Wilt's to grab over 1,000 rebounds. In the 1972 playoffs, Wilt averaged 21 rebounds a game.



#6 kball

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Posted October 08, 2013 - 07:02 PM

Mancrush on Wilt there JTF?  :wave:

 

I used to collect bball cards as a kid with that stale stick of gum that cracked when you put it in your mouth. One day i opened a pack and there was Wilt's card. The first one in the pack. I remember being so happy! 70-71 i think


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#7 JTF

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Posted October 08, 2013 - 10:36 PM

KBALL: I'm too old for mancrushes, but I do think that MANY basketball scribes have distorted and minimized Wilt's career accomplishments. Bill Simmons is not alone in presenting myths, assumptions, half-truths, and falsehoods about the most dominant player in NBA history. The number of inaccuracies that I've found in magazines and books about Chamberlain's playing days is staggering.

 

I would argue that these scribes have mancrushes on their own nominees for the GOAT. Boston writers go on double-dates with Russell and Bird. Chicago writers have pictures of Jordan on their walls. Magic Johnson and Kareem receive their share of cheerleading from L.A. talking heads. I realize that Philly writers have supported Wilt for the GOAT, but their respect for Bill Russell is far greater than the Boston contingents respect for Chamberlain.

 

For example, Wilt has received zero respect from Boston writers for carrying the 1962 Warriors (e.g., 49 wins) and 1965 Sixers (e.g., 40 wins) to the 7th game of the Eastern Conference Finals against vastly superior Celtics squads. The 1962 Warriors lost Game 7 of that series by two points and the 1965 76ers did the same by one point. Russell was the greatest winner ever, but Chamberlain was the better basketball player.  

 

1962  Eastern Conference Finals

 

Game 1   33 points  31 rebounds

Game 2   42 points  37 rebounds  5 assists

Game 3   35 points  29 rebounds  6 assists

Game 4   41 points  34 rebounds

Game 5   30 points  14 rebounds  

Game 6   32 points  21 rebounds

Game 7   22 points  21 rebounds

 

Series Average   33.6 points  26.8 rebounds

 

1965 Eastern Conference Finals

 

Game 1   33 points  31 rebounds  11 blocks

Game 2   30 points  39 rebounds   8 assists  8 blocks

Game 3   24 points  37 rebounds 

Game 4   34 points  34 rebounds

Game 5   30 points  21 rebounds   9 blocks

Game 6   30 points  26 rebounds   9 blocks  

Game 7   30 points  32 rebounds

 

Series Average   30.1 points  31.4 rebounds

 

There are certainly many candidates for the GOAT, and surprisingly, I would choose Jordan as the GOAT due to Wilt's horrific free throw shooting. Having said that, anyone who doesn't have Chamberlain in their top 3 knows nothing about basketball or accepts the propaganda of those who diminish his greatness in order to puff up the resume of their GOAT.  

 

Historical accuracy is a serious undertaking and should not be handed over to lazy con men like Bill Simmons. When evaluating a career, one must stick to totality and consistency. For example, when you argue that the 8 point difference in Wilt's regular/post-season points per game average demonstrates that he shrunk in the playoffs, a credible historian would place that statistic in its proper context. Unfortunately, that has rarely occurred, so someone needs to stand up and point out the following facts.

 

- Wilt won scoring titles in his 1st 7 seasons in the league

 

- Wilt played in 52 post-season games in those 7 seasons

 

- Wilt played a total of 160 playoff games in his 14 year career

 

So, Wilt played a majority of his playoff games when his primary roles were as a rebounder and defender, yet that is rarely mentioned by the journalistic vultures who have been attempting to pick away at Wilt's legacy. They flat-out ignore the FACTS contained in my initial post on this thread. They are entitled to their ignorance, but that doesn't mean that people who care about history are going to allow them to sleep on the job.


Edited by JTF, October 08, 2013 - 10:41 PM.


#8 kball

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Posted October 09, 2013 - 05:04 AM

I'll leave the historical stats to others, but he's always made my my top 3, along w KAJ and Jordan. Kobe in 4th.

I can remember going to the forum to watch the lakers when Wilt finished building his dream house in the hills.

They were selling this great book of the house with all these amazing pictures. Book was called THE POSSIBLE DREAM.

Had an indoor outdoor pool. A waterbed room made up of a giant round waterbed surrounded by cushions (pretty sure i get the reason for that room), a master bedroom with a roof that retracted, and master bath w giant jaccuzzi tub you could turn on from the bed, Giant glass windows that overlooked an incredible view, and if i recall, not one right angle in the entire home. The dining room was like a long  conference table with 16 or so chairs i think. And he had some dobermans. Flipped through those pages so many nights.

 

It also had a great shot of Wilt outside the Forum leaning on one of the walls...this was when the forum was a rust color before they repainted it Blue (WTF I remember thinking when i saw it blue!), and way before it was renamed THE GREAT WESTERN FORUM. Which was a Savings & Loan (or bank) long gone now and one of the first basketball arenas with a naming deal. I think it was $1,000,000/yr for 20 years or thereabouts.

 

That book (more like a giant magazine) was as good as any laker game to me and i kept it for years.

Also talked my parents into getting me a waterbed after that. They were very popular at the time. This was maybe 72 or 73.

 

A bit off topic sorry, but these are very good memories and helped cement my early love for this team that continues 40 years later and so many good memories.


Edited by kball, October 09, 2013 - 05:10 AM.

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#9 JTF

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Posted October 09, 2013 - 11:30 AM

KBALL: Great stuff. It is sad that Wilt died alone in that same house. There are certain athletes who transcend eras and Wilt was in that select company which includes Willie Mays, Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali, and Deacon Jones. If Wilt entered the 2013 NBA draft, he would quickly supplant King James as the best player in the league. During his rookie season, one article asked whether Wilt's dominance would ruin the league, while another article called him the greatest basketball player who ever lived.



#10 kball

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Posted October 09, 2013 - 12:18 PM

Ali and babe ruth come to mind as a wilt equivalent in their respective sports.


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#11 JTF

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Posted October 09, 2013 - 03:48 PM

KBALL: I agree. Ruth and Wilt put up numbers that no player of their respective eras came close to matching. Both men also changed the way the game was played and significantly increased attendance figures for their respective sports. Ali was the first heavyweight who was big AND fast. Wilt was the first athletic 7-footer to play in the NBA and to this day, no 7-footer has run faster or jumped higher than a prime Chamberlain.     



#12 JTF

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Posted October 17, 2013 - 06:07 PM

As I stated in a prior post, Wilt was 24-11 in "must-win" or series clinching post-season games. Here are the stat lines from some of those games.

1960 Eastern Conference Divisional Playoffs

Game 3 Warriors 132 Nationals 112 Chamberlain 53 points, 24-42 from the field, and 22 rebounds

1960 Eastern Conference Finals

Game 5 Warriors 128 Celtics 107 Chamberlain 50 points, 22-42 from the field, and 35 rebounds

1964 Western Conference Finals

Game 7 Warriors 105 Hawks 95 Chamberlain 39 points, 19-29 from the field, 26 rebounds, and 12 blocks

1965 Eastern Conference Divisional Playoffs

Game 4 76ers 119 Royals 112 Chamberlain 38 points, 14-22 from the field, 26 rebounds, 5 assists, and

10 blocks

1965 Eastern Conference Finals

Game 6 76ers 112 Celtics 106 Chamberlain 30 points, 13-22 from the field, 26 rebounds, and 9 blocks

1965 Eastern Conference Finals

Game 7 Celtics 110 76ers 109 Chamberlain 30 points, 12-15 from the field, and 32 rebounds

1966 Eastern Conference Finals

Game 5 Celtics 120 76ers 112 Chamberlain 46 points, 19-34 from the field, and 34 rebounds

1967 Eastern Conference Finals

Game 5 76ers 140 Celtics 116 Chamberlain 29 points, 10-16 from the field, 36 rebounds, 13 assists,

and 7 blocks

1967 NBA Finals

Game 6 76ers 125 Warriors 122 Chamberlain 24 points, 8-13 from the field, 23 rebounds, and 6 blocks

1968 Eastern Conference Finals

Game 6 76ers 113 Knicks 97 Chamberlain 25 points, 10-19 from the field, 27 rebounds, and 10 blocks

1970 Western Conference Divisional Playoffs

Game 7 Lakers 129 Suns 94 Chamberlain 30 points, 11-18 from the field, 27 rebounds, 6 assists, and

11 blocks

1971 Western Conference Divisional Playoffs

Game 7 Lakers 109 Bulls 98 Chamberlain 25 points, 7-12 from the field, 19 rebounds, 9 assists, and

7 blocks

1972 Western Conference Finals

Game 6 Lakers 104 Bucks 100 Chamberlain 20 points, 8-12 from the field, 24 rebounds, and 9 blocks

1972 NBA Finals

Game 5 Lakers 114 Knicks 100 Chamberlain 24 points, 10-14 from the field, 29 rebounds, and 9 blocks

1973 Western Conference Divisional Playoffs

Game 7 Lakers 95 Bulls 92 Chamberlain 21 points, 10-17 from the field, 28 rebounds, and 8 blocks

1973 NBA Finals

Game 5 Knicks 102 Lakers 93 Chamberlain 23 points, 9-16 from the field, and 21 rebounds




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