Isaac asked in SportsBasketball · 7 years ago

Michael Jordan vs Wilt Chamberlain?

For so long, I have been the casual NBA fan. I always have believed that Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T, and Kobe is top 5 of all time. I have been doing some research, which leads me to believe differently. Have I been brainwashed by the media? Probably.

Michael Jordan is one of the best basketball players in NBA history. He had many great traits that I do not need to expound on. With that said, he is NOT the greatest player of all time. Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest player of all time, bar none.

My method for determining the greatness of a player requires speculation, but not unfounded speculation. Speculation based on presented facts.Championships are not the determining factor, because they require coaching smarts, front office genius, luck with injuries, and a break or two. I look at how complete a player is at his position, and how he can blend his talents with his teammates. If 11 player names and a coach name are randomly drawn out of a hat, how well will player X work with the team? That is my criteria. With that said, let us compare the raw statistics of the two, and the abilities to carry a team.

Michael Jordan career averages:

30.12ppg, 6.2rpg, 5.3apg, 49.7%FG, 32.7%3PT, 83.5%FT.

Wilt Chamberlain career averages:

30.06ppg, 22.9rpg, 4.4apg, 54.0%FG, 51.1%FT

Best years:

Michael Jordan(1987):

37.1ppg, 5.2rpg, 4.6apg, 48.2%FG, 18.2%3PT, 85.7%FT,

Wilt Chamberlain(1962)

50.4ppg, 25.7rpg, 2.4apg, 50.4%FG, 61.3%FT

Player top 6 prime years averages:

Michael Jordan(1986-1987 season to 1991-1992 season)

33.3ppg, 6.3rpg, 6.1apg, 52.2%FG, 29.6%3PT, 84.7%FT

Wilt Chamberlain(1959-1960 season to 1964-1965 season)

40.6ppg, 24.9rpg, 3.1apg, 50.7%FG, 55.3%FT

Analysis: Wilt is by far a better scorer. He is a better rebounder. A better defender at the position.

Passing: this one is a push. Wilt averages 4.3apg while Jordan averages 5.3. This is paltry after considering two things. One, Jordan had the ball in his hands more. Two, we have to look at how assists were awarded in Wilt's time. Back then, a player only received an assist if he passes the ball and the receiver catches and makes WITHOUT dribbling. In Jordan's time, a player receives an assist if he passes, and the receiver catches and makes a direct line to the basket and makes. Chet Walker always would cost Wilt assists for dribbling before shooting. On top of that, Wilt led the league in assists one year, averaging 8.6apg. Jordan never led the league in apg.

Wilt has 56 NBA single-season records to Jordan's 4. Wilt nearly QUADRUPLED the number of 50 point games Jordan had in his career. Wilt led the league in assists, fg%, minutes and rebounds 29 times to Jordan's Zero. He owns 6 of the 9 70+ point games in history - Jordan has zero. He topped Jordan's best scoring season three times and Wilt's best scoring season is 13 ppg higher than Jordan's. Imagine Jordan leading the league in scoring at 33 ppg and the runner up having 20 ppg. Simply put, Wilt was in a class ahead of Jordan.

Now, I already picture what you Jordan homers are thinking in your head. "Jordan was the real winner. 6 rings to 2 rings!"

This is the plea of a Jordan fanatic after he realizes his goose is cooked. If you believe this, you believe that means stats mean very little and the much stronger emphasis is on championships. When one man so strongly overwhelms another in the area of statistical accomplishments, to say he is not better means stats are irrelevant. We are not talking about Kobe Bryant vs. Tracy McGrady or Charles Barkley vs. Karl Malone - guys with similar numbers. We are talking about a mismatch that rivals Shaq versus Greg Kite.

Therefore, to say Jordan is better is Wilt means stats and scoring are irrelevant. Since championships are the overwhelming factor, then we have to look at the man who prevented Wilt from winning more championships - Bill Russell. He has 11 championships to Jordan's 6. He has nearly TWICE the number of championships. Therefore, Bill Russell simply has to be better than Jordan. Let me repeat that - as impressive as Jordan's six titles are, it simply pales in comparison to Russell. A Jordan fan cannot now turn around and say that that Jordan was a better individual player than Russell. If you do, your duplicity is now exposed. You discount Wilt's statistical dominance and praise Jordan's winning abilities, but when it comes to Russell, you discount his winning abilities for Jordan's individual statistics.

Please read and respond, but please be educated, and avoid saying stuff like "Wilt played in a weak era.", "Wilt played back when centers were 6'6." I do not have enough room in this comment to expound on that, so for all of you people that are subject to chronological snobbery, check this article out:

Thank you!



It is fallacious logic to believe that Wilt would not dominate today because of the "evolution" of basketball. For one, you imply that if Wilt was sent into a time machine to 2012, he would have the same training routines, sports medicine, basketball shoes, etc.

If Wilt could not play in Jordan's era(Which is approximately 20yrs after Wilt's), then we have to conclude that Jordan would not be able to play in today's era(approximately 20yrs after Jordan's)

Domination of your own era is an indication of greatness, regardless of the time.

Update 2:

Many doubt Chamberlain and his winning abilites. But was Jordan really so much a better winner than Wilt? Did Jordan will his team to victory? No, and No. Every team that Wilt was drafted to or traded to got better on the spot. Wilt turned the 1962 warriors(not a great team) to the 7th game of the conference finals against the Bill Russell Celtics(the greatest sports dynasty of all time) and lost by two points because of a controversial call. After Wilt retired, his impact was shown because the Lakers lost 13 more games in the regular season than they did the previous year. How about Michael Jordan? He was drafted in '84 and he played for a losing team 3 years in a row. His first winning season was after Pippen was drafted to the Bulls. From '91 to '93, the chicago bulls go on to win 3 straight championships, while media sings Jordan praises, and Jordan is widely credited for 'carrying the team.' Does this hold merit? Lets look at how the team was affected after he

Update 3:

^retired for the first time. In the 1993-1994 season, the Scottie Pippen led Bulls went 55-27 in the regular season. The year before with Jordan, they went 57-25. Why was Jordan's impact so minimal? To this day, no one has been able to offer me an answer to this. I challenge you to offer me one.

20 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Chamberlain might have some amazing stats, but coming from when he played there was no one to match up on him at his size. He was not a great free throw shooter which means he is not a great around scorer. So just scoring down low a lot does not mean you are the best ever. If you are the best ever you have to do more in a lot of areas. Making close shots on a smaller defensive player makes it a lot easier to score. Now you might say Chamberlain was good at getting assists, well it doesn't work like that, for how big he was compared to other players he would force lots of double teams or even triple teams which lead to open shots. Also consider that Chamberlain played the whole game almost every game. And yes it was a week era for Wilt Chamberlain. If you have seen how much basketball has improved in the World, you would see that the NBA had to start at that level at one point in time. And since those were the first 20 years or so they would not be as hard as today's intense and physical game. While Jordan played in one of the Stronger era's with Magic and Bird (Even at their older ages), David Robinson, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen and tons of other great players.

    While Wilt's era was Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Bob Pettit, Bob Cusey. Not a lot of players that were great at that time. If you think he was so great then why did he not receive more then 2 rings? One with being with Jerry West and the Lakers. For a guy to average 50 and 25 a game then why did he not win lots of Championships? Like Bill Russell. He had a good team but for someone to average twice as good numbers as Bill Russell should be able to get more then 2 rings. Which leads me to believe that Jordan is the best NBA player ever because of his consistency to be able to make the Finals and win every time.

    Source(s): Gilchrist-Kidd
    • Bruce4 years agoReport

      Wilt had to battle against other 7 footers at his time, he wasn't the biggest

  • 3 years ago

    Michael Jordan Vs Wilt Chamberlain

  • 3 years ago

    Wilt Chamberlain Vs Michael Jordan

  • Eric
    Lv 4
    7 years ago

    Dont get me wrong Wilt was a GREAT player. Probably the best Center ever. But they come from different eras. MJ was with a lot of talent in his position and Wilt was physically way ahead of everyone even though he had some competition. He was more dominant but Jordan was a small guard and could get his shot off against anyone, could obviously play defense, and pass pretty well. He could score in every which way. When deciding a great player you gotta go far beyond stats. MJ is a legend and will not and can not be surpassed in my opinion.

    Also it is very debateable to say Jordan had the ball more. Part of the reason wilt had that 50 ppg year was because his teamates just let him ISO in the post every time down the floor. Jordan was a good play maker. I think Jordan was a great perimeter defender, but Wilt was obviously better in the paint.

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  • 5 years ago

    Jordan is by far the greater player than Wilt when you look at the ENTIRE picture - regular season performance, playoff performance, finals performance, clutch factor, etc.

    People seem to be too dumb to understand that you judge a player's greatness on the convergence of ALL the factors during their career, not just 1.

    That's why it's profoundly irrational to parade Wilt's stats as proof he's the best, and then Russell's 11 rings as the proof that he's the best. You're only looking at 1 category in each case. If you actually did an intelligent analysis, you'd see that Jordan is by far the greatest because sort of bridged the gap between Wilt's amazing individual dominance and Russell's team success - he was the best of both worlds. He had Wilt - like statistical dominance, was the greatest playoff performer all time (by far - this one isn't even close), and was probably the greatest finals performer of all time too. There's just no question he's the greatest.

  • Devan
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    Listen I know Wilt had these unbelievable stats,but the reason why is because that is all he cared about. If he didn't get the stat he thought he deserved he would scream at his teammates sometimes hit them.(not missing a shot for wilt to get a rebound,or missing a shot for wilt not to get an assist.) but if it was in a 1on1 of course wilt would win because of how physically dominate he was. screw MJ's fadeaway's,wilt would block at sh!t. He blocked kareem's skyhook twice in a game. Another thing is that Wilt is a C and MJ is a SG,it wouldn't really make sense to compare them. Of course MJ had the ball more he was a SG, A backcourt player. Wilt a frontcourt player. I know I am rambling on about things but it is just to hard to compare the 2. Alot of people saw MJ play but not a lot watched Wilt.

  • MM
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    Wilt played in a weak era. Wilts era was probably the worst era of basketball. I'm tired of hearing about wilts stats, put wilt in the 80's 90's or heck even the 00's he would NOT, I repeat, NOT, be nearly as dominate. I mean the guy was 4 to 7 inches taller than everyone else!

    Don't get me wrong, he's a great player, but if you put him in the last three decades he'd average maybe 18 points and 14 rebounds. Which is still great, but not 100.

    Fact: the year that wilt scored 100 guess who won MVP? Bill Russell. Even the people who witnessed it LIVE even thought it was a hoax. Lol.

  • Lori
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    Most likely it's Wilt Chamberlain, then.

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    5 years ago

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