NBA

Michael Jordan vs. Wilt Chamberlain

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In a lot of NBA fans’ minds, Michael Jordan is easily the greatest player in NBA history. Jordan was an outstanding scorer, fantastic defender, and won six NBA Championships. Michael Jordan was a fantastic player, but there are a few basketball fanatics that believe Wilt Chamberlain could be the greatest player in NBA History.

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. Whoever believes championships are more important than stats should see Bill Russell as the greatest player of all-time because he won 11 titles. But to most people, championships are not as important as statistics because championships are a team accomplishment. That being said, let’s 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, 4x NBA MVP, 13x NBA All-Star, 1x 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 while Wilt Chamberlain’s was 50.4.

Edge: Wilt Chamberlain

Rebounding

Wilt Chamberlain is the all-time leader in rebounds with 23,924 while Michael Jordan only has 6,672. Wilt Chamberlain averaged 22.9 career RPG 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 nearly 1,000 more career assists than Wilt Chamberlain. But Wilt Chamberlain led 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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About Emanuel Godina

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