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Michael Jordan Vs. Wilt Chamberlain

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In most people’s mind, Michael Jordan is easily the greatest player in NBA history. Jordan was an outstanding scorer, fantastic defender, and won 6 NBA Championships. Michael Jordan was a fantastic player, but there are a few basketball fanatics, including myself, that believe Wilt Chamberlain could be the greatest player in NBA History. First, if you believe that Wilt Chamberlain was much taller than his competition, or that Bill Russell limited him then click here to have your myth busted.

There are different views on what makes an NBA player great. Some believe NBA Championships make players great, others believe stats define a player, and some people believe it is a combination of both Championships and statistics. Whoever believes that Championships are more important than stats should see Bill Russell as the greatest player of All-Time because he won 11 NBA Championships. But to most people, like myself, Championships are not as important as statistics because Championships are a team accomplishment. So keeping this in mind lets compare Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.

Accomplishments:

Michael Jordan: 6x NBA Champion, 6x NBA Finals MVP, 5x NBA MVP, 14x NBA All-Star, 3x NBA All-Star Game MVP.

Wilt Chamberlain: 2x NBA Champion, 1x NBA Finals MVP (Finals MVP was not handed out until after his first Championship), 4x NBA MVP, 13x NBA All-Star, NBA All-Star Game MVP.

Edge: Michael Jordan

Scoring:

Both Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain averaged 30.1 PPG over their careers. Michael Jordan’s highest PPG average in a season is 37.1 PPG while Wilt Chamberlain’s highest PPG average in a season was an amazing 50.4 PPG.

Edge: Wilt Chamberlain

Rebounding:

Wilt Chamberlain is the All-Time leader in rebounds with 23,924 total rebounds while Michael Jordan only has 6,672 total rebounds. Wilt Chamberlain averaged 22.9 RPG over his career while Jordan averaged 6.2 RPG over his career. Chamberlain’s highest RPG average in a season is 27.2 RPG while Jordan’s highest average RPG in a season is 8.0 RPG.

Edge: Wilt Chamberlain

Passing:

Michael Jordan has almost 1,000 more career assists than Wilt Chamberlain. But Wilt Chamberlain lead the league in APG one season and averaged the highest APG average for any center in NBA history. Michael Jordan’s APG average for his career is 5.3 APG while Chamberlain’s is 4.4 APG. Michael’s highest APG average in a season is 8.0 APG while Chamberlain’s highest average APG in a season is 8.6 APG.

Edge: Tie

Blocking:

Blocks were not recorded until the 1973-74 season which is the season after Chamberlain retired. But a news archive, and game films reveal blocked shot data from 112 of Wilt’s 1305 NBA games. In his 112 games where blocked shot data was recorded Wilt Chamberlain averaged 8.8 BPG (The most official recorded BPG in a season is 5.56 BPG by Mark Eaton). The highest BPG Michael Jordan recorded in a season was a measly 1.5 BPG.

Edge: Wilt Chamberlain

Michael Jordan was far more successful than Wilt Chamberlain. But Wilt Chamberlain was a far better statistical player. Chamberlain was a better scorer, rebounder, shot blocker, and just as good of a passer. Michael Jordan won Championships, while Wilt Chamberlain recorded unbelievable stats. If you believe Championships are what makes a player great, then you would consider Bill Russell or Michael Jordan as the greatest player in NBA history. But if you consider stats to be the most important factor in a player’s legacy then Wilt Chamberlain should be considered the greatest player of All-Time.

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