Monday, August 5th, 2013 at 1:08 pm  |  12 responses

Wilt Chamberlain Battles Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (VIDEO)

A new vid shows the two legends going head to head.

Anytime basketball fans discuss the best centers of all-time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain are always mentioned. There’s very little footage of the two of them going head to head—they were only in the L together for four years, and Wilt was hurt for one of them/wearing down for three—but in this new video that’s been floating around the Internet via the Wilt Chamberlain Archive YouTube channel, NBA fans get several minutes of the two legends battling each other on the hardwood. It’s an absolute must-watch for any and all hoops fans.

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    Here is a list of their career match ups and who out performed who.



  • aj1111

    People like to ignore the fact that Wilt Chamberlain played predominantly against 6’8-6’9 inch centers, few of whom compiled hall of fame credentials. They also look at stats like rebound average while ignoring the changes in field goal pct, pace of play, and the far greater attention to team defense which developed by 1980′s. Kareem on the other hand played against a dozen Hall of Famers and was dominant for 16-17 years. No other center and arguably no other player was as accomplished for as long. Chamberlain was a great, great player but one who was dominant before accomplished big men were common. Kareem dominated during the best era of center play in NBA history. Moreover when you add Kareem’s absolute domination at the collegiate level I would argue he is the worthiest GOAT.

  • dantheman9758

    None of the criticisms you layed out against Wilt are true. Go ahead and praise Kareem all you want if he’s your favorite of the two than fine, but don’t be one of those ridiculous people who hasn’t got a clue about Wilt but likes to throw him under a bus full of erroneous criticisms and myths about his competition. An example of his competition is right here in front of your eyes and Wilt held him to the 2nd lowest fg% out of any center he faced throughout his entire career h2h. Another example would be Nate Thurmond, who held Kareem to his absolute lowest fg% and scoring volumes out of any center he faced through his entire career. The 60′s and early 70′s was the most densely packed era of HOF centers in NBA history. At the time of the 50 greatest player cerimony, Wilt had actually played against more HOF centers than any center in NBA history. Your accusations that he played against poor competition is not only untrue, it is the antithesis of the truth.

  • aj1111

    You couldn’t be more wrong. ’60s – Russell, Chamberlain,Thurmond, Bellamy, Hayes and Unseld – only from 1968. ’70′s-80′s : Jabbar, Lanier, Hayes, Unseld, Cowens, Malone, McAdoo, Walton, Parrish, Gilmore, mid-80′s -Ewing, Olajuwon. ‘Believe what you wish but facts are inconvenient things which speak for themselves. When you say held him to lowest this or that I assume you’re talking about a particular game or series.Hardly representative of an entire career. Wilt was at his best when center play was weakest – he was no longer as dominant when new centers flooded in. Secondly because of his poor free throw pct he often had to be avoided near the end of tight games. I suspect you aren’t old enough to have actually seen Wilt play most of these games and thus are reduced to naively accepting stats at face value without the ability to place them in context – a key fallacy.

  • dantheman9758

    Out of Kareem’s entire basketball career, not a “particular series” Wilt held Kareem cumulatively to 46%, which is the 2nd lowest h2h out of any center he faced. The guy who held him to the lowest fg% was again, Nate Thurmond. If your interested, the guy who held him to the 3rd lowest was Hakeem Olajuwon (who also managed to hold him just below 50%… but Kareem was in his late 30′s at this point) and nobody else Kareem faced was even close to holding him under .50% after those 3. When Wilt held Kareem to 46% Kareem was averaging 55% on the rest of the league at the time.
    Wilt also played for 4 seasons into the 1970′s advancing through the playoffs every time and reaching the Finals three times anchoring his teams as the leagues most dominant rebounder and still setting records in scoring (this time accuracy rather than volume) so while not in his prime he played through and retired still very much a dominant force against many “70′s” HOF’ers which you’d wish to make it seem like weren’t a part of Wilt’s competition but actually were Wilt’s competition. Just like Kareem was. You also left out quite a few HOFers from the 60s that Wilt faced.
    This discussion is over from my end. Fans like you disgust me, because basketball isn’t a game about bums and hero’s and that is precisely the angle you are taking with this subject. Wilt wasn’t a bum and Kareem wasn’t a hero, no matter how much you’d like to manipulate history to resemble that. Both were awesome, both overlapped their careers and faced centers who also overlapped through both of their careers seemlessly and both battled each other directly. They both accomplished incredible things as individuals and team players. Neither deserve to be disgraced by your erroneous assertions and 1-sided information. And this coming from the guy who made the video and runs that Youtube channel – which is dedicated to preserving NBA history – not slandering it.
    Btw, thank you Slamonline for posting it.

  • aj1111

    There was nothing one sided about my info. It just doesn’t fit your preconceived notions. I notice you didn’t name those 60′s Hall of fame centers. Wilt was certainly not the dominant force in the 70′s averaging 13 points a game he was in the 60′s. Was he still a great player, perhaps, but he was no longer 1st team all NBA. Kareem owned that. Wilt’s last MVP came in ’67. Wilt is one of the all time greats but his incredible numbers were compiled during a period when the competition was weaker, What you want to do is the equivalent of comparing 1900-1920′s baseball to the present and claiming today’s players are inferior because they no longer hit ,400. Statistics are only meaningful in context, without that they’re misinformation.

  • Interdico Scriptor

    I’ll say it again, J West is overrated…

  • Ugh

    Here’s Wilt “wearing down” in his last four seasons:
    42, 44, 42, 43mpg.

    56%, 54%, 65%, 72% FG.

    18, 82, 82, 82 games played.
    18,18,19,18 rpg.

    Wish I could have ‘worn down’ like that.

  • Ugh

    Here’s a list of heights of centres listed in the NBA in 1962, Wilt’s peak statistical year, grouped by team:

    Bill Russell, 6’10″
    Walt Bellamy, 6’11″
    Bevo Nordmann, 6’10″, Hub Reed, 6’9″, Wayne Embry, 6’8″.
    Walter Dukes, 7’0″, Bob Ferry, 6’8″.
    Ray Felix, 6’11″, Jim Krebs, 6’8″, Wayne Yates, 6’8″
    Darral Imhoff, 6’10″, Phil Jodon, 6’10″
    Clyde Lovelette, 6’9″ ; Archie Dees, 6’8″
    Swede Halbrook, 7’3″, Red Kerr, 6’9″.

    In this sample year, he isn’t playing predominantly against 6’8″-6’9″ centres. He’s playing predominantly against 6’10″ centres, who are the bulk of the starters at that position in the league. Russell, Bellamy and Lovelette are Hall of Famers, making 3/8 starting centres in the league that year HoF centres who played opposite Wilt.



  • ChrisN_SD

    HOF Centers Wilt played against during his career: Bill Russell at 6’10″, Clyde Lovellette at 6′-9″ or 6’10″, Bob Petit at 6′-9″, Walt Bellamy at 6′-11″, Nate Thurmond at 6′-11″, Willis Reed at 6′-9.5″, Jerry Lucas at 6′-8″, Wes Unseld at 6′-7″, Elvin Hayes at 6′-9.5″, also Dave Cowens at 6′-9″, Bob Lanier at 6-11″, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at 7′-2″, Bob McAdoo at 6-9″. That is 13 HOF centers. Wilt also faced plenty of All-Stars, like Walter Dukes at 7′-0″, Ray Felix at 6-11″, Wayne Embry at 6′-8″, Red Kerr at 6′-9″, Larry Foust at 6′-9″, Zelmo Beaty at 6′-9″ and Darrall Imhoff at 6′-10″. Listen, Kareem is an awesome and outstanding example of a center, but to be fair, he did not face Wilt in his prime, and never faced Bill Russell. Kareem’s rookie year was 1969-1970, the year after Russell retired. Jabbar won one championship in 1971, against these types of centers I just mentioned. Also, in the early and mid-1970′s, Kareem only had to face an aging Chamberlain, Reed, Bellamy, Lucas and Thurmond. By then, Elvin Hayes played PF too. You also have to remember, the NBA in the early sixties was only 8 or 9 teams, expanding to 14 teams in 1970′s. So the concentration of HOF players was something significant, considering that todays’ league is 30 teams. I am not taking anything away from Kareem’s accomplishments. He faced Moses Malone, Artis Gilmore, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Robert Parrish in the 1980′s, and has 6 MVPs and 6 championship rings. I think Kareem, Wilt and Russell should be in anyone’s list of top 3 or 4 centers.