Hoopfan asked in SportsBasketball · 1 decade ago

Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain? Who was better and WHY?


WOW! KING.....I'm impressed!!

Update 2:


You make some very interesting points regarding Wilt. Yes, he could be difficult to work with , but keep in mind, he dominated Russell in head-to-head competition, and usually by quite alot.

I'm a big Bill Russell fan as well , and you give me something else to think about.

I'm tired of everyone saying that Russell was better because of the 11 titles. I've always said, if you put Wilt on that team, then he would be the one with all the titles.

But what would Russell do w/San Fran, Philly, or LA?

Update 3:

My Kill

You make some interesting points regarding Wilt. Yes, he could be a pain to deal with sometimes, and he was pretty full of himself (which probably stems from the fact that everybody always told him how great he was since he was a child) , but do you really believe Russell had more individual talent?

I'm a big Bill Russell fan also, but Wilt almost always dominated him in head-to-head competition, and sometimes by alot.

I've said in the past that if you put Wilt on those Celtic teams that Wilt would be the one with the rings.

How do you think Russell would have done w/San Fran, Philly or LA?

15 Answers

  • MyKill
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Bill Russell: 5MVP's,11 rings

    Wilt Chamberlain: 4MVP's, 2 rings (and only one against Russell, during Russell's rookie year as playercoach)

    Russ is better than Wilt.

    First, in 1972, when Wilt submerged himself into a Russell-like role - low scoring, outlet rebounding and defensively focused game - in the Lakers, under the guidance of Bill Sharman, Russell's former Celtic teammate, his team went on a 33 game winning streak with a 69-12 season record, enroute to the championship. In retrospect, Russell's unflashy style of play is more effective in bringing in the hardware than Wilt's.

    Second, despite of Wilt's impressive talents, the man is a PAIN to work with. These explains why his former teams like the Warriors and 76ers was willing to trade him for LESSER talents, just to get rid of him. Russ has a much better attitude and despite of his aloof manner in public and private life, he exudes a sense of camarederie whenever he steps into the court or inside the locker room.

    Some of Wilt negative attributes which could be traced to his primadonna personality includes:

    - disrespecting and criticizing his coaches publicly (eg. Neil Johnston, Alex Hannum, Dolph Schayes, and of course Bill Van Breda Kolff all had bad memories working with Wilt.)

    - demanding a high salary (eg. One third of the Warriors gate receipts goes to Wilt's salary but Wilt doesnt even want to do publicity gigs to boost ticket sales)

    - complains like a baby to the media (eg. threatening to quit but not carrying it out)

    - rarely practice and travels with his teammates (eg. Wilt had had feuds with Baylor and Hal Greer).

    If i was a coach in real life, i would dread the idea of bringing Wilt Chamberlain on my team. Hell, Alex Hannum had to challenge Wilt in a fight just to get his respect. Ask yourself what kind of a basketball player would push his coach to such lengths just to earn the player's respect. Its not worth it having him on the team unless his talents are programmed in an android devoid of his personality.


    The problem with Wilt is that he played with TALENTED teammates, he just doesnt gel well with his teams w/c is why their performance are not commensurate of their talents.

    If Russ was with Paul Azirin, Tom Gola and Guy Rodgers in Wilt's Philly Warriors, they would be Final contenders if not champions. Azirin is a sharpshooting genius like Sharman and Rodgers while not as flashy as Cousy, is sorely underrated as a passer and is a very fast ballhandler. Gola is a more offensively talented version of Celtic defensive specialist Satch Sanders.

    If Russ was with the Frisco Warriors, he and Nate Thurmond would form a two headed monster that would be the scourge of everybody else in the League. Although for the first couple of years,i dont think they would win the hardware but once Rick Barry comes on board the team would be unbeatable.

    If Russ was with Wilt's LA Lakers and Syracuse Nationals/ Philadelphia 76ers team, no question, they would WIN rings, lotsa rings. These teams are LOADED with talents.

    West and Baylor's LA are capable of pushing the Celtics to 7 games, while Greer and Walker's Nationals/76ers could beat Wilt and the Warriors on their own, even w/o HoF Billy Cunningham. Putting in Russ (and theoretically, Wilt) on those teams would be overkill.

    On the flipside, if Wilt with his gargantuan ego intact was playing in the Celtics, he would have quarreled right off the bat with that confrontational, authoritarian ba$tard Red Auerbach. Red would trade him the first chance he got. Assuming that Wilt did stick around, the dynasty Celtics live and die with the fastbreak. Red's gameplan is unchangeable. They are not going to wait for Wilt to come down the floor and score. They just just need him to get them the ball like Russell. The Wilt Chamberlain as we know it today - the guy who once averaged 50pts and has seven scoring titles - would not exist. He would get his rings alright but he would be pigeonholed playing Russell's game in the Celtics

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Not only was Bill Russell one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) rebounders/defensive players to ever play, but it's estimated he averaged 10 blocks a game in a time when blocks wasn't even counted as a statistical category. Also, while Wilt was definitely the better offensive player, Bill Russell was on a Celtics team that was heavily loaded with talent at that time, and was not called upon to carry the offensive load.

    Defense wins [lots of] championships, baby!

  • wdx2bb
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Wilt was unstoppable, an incredible athlete and a freak of nature. His records sitll amaze.

    Bill was the greatest winner in the history of American team sports. Eleven rings? Whew. The man never lost a seventh game.

    Chamberlain probably was the better pure player. As Russell once said, Wilt wanted records and he wanted championships. Both men got what they wanted.

  • daty
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Wilt Chamberlain. This is an age historic debate query. To Lord Tyrone Esq., sure, we should not get stuck up in counting jewelry. But on this case, it is legitimate to rely Bill Russell's jewelry when you consider that they obviously coincide together with his gambling profession. He obviously was once the change maker. Having stated that, I nonetheless consider Wilt was once a greater participant. I consider Wilt was once form of a "tender tremendous" who lacked the tenacity of Bill Russell, however Wilt was once surely a greater participant. It kind of like while I (a man) was once combating my sister once we have been youngsters. I knew I surely would beat her up, so I was once conserving again. But my sister constantly fought with complete tenacity, so she constantly gained the fights. I am no longer pronouncing that Wilt was once conserving again purposely, however I consider Wilt was once no longer as tenacious as Bill Russell when you consider that he knew he was once such a lot greater than everybody else. Let me use a collection of teammates to make my factor clearer. Who is greater, Lebron or Wade? People wondered Lebron's take hold of gene earlier than he gained the championship, however nobody was once pronouncing Wade was once a greater participant than Lebron even then. Yes, Wade gained a hoop, and Wade was once the change maker in that championship. But we nonetheless knew that Lebron is a greater participant. Wade is obviously a extra tenacious participant. So, in end, I consider Wilt was once a greater participant for sure.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    if your talking about skill wise and individually abilities then Wilt was the better player. Russell was known for his great rebounding and defense. Wilt was known to be able to do everything score, rebound, and even pass.

  • 1 decade ago

    I believe this a close one but Wilt Chamblerlin sneaks out with it. He has a huge inside presence and can do it all. He can easily score, does pretty good at passing and can run the court. He also holds the record for rebounds. And mostly for the reason he scored 100 points in a game. If you think about it, most teams now barely score a hundered, he did it him self.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wilt Chamberlain:

    he had better indivdual physical stats (points, rebounds, & assist). Russell may had better honor stats (titles & awards), but that comes with a good supporting cast (except MVPs). Russell's supporting cast was better then Wilt's.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Bill Russell - Eleven Championship Rings!

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    4 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    oh man thats a tough one

    yeh wilt had his 100 point night but i bet hed trade that night to get as many rings as russell

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