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Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 at 4:39 pm  |  226 responses

Kareem Writes Heartfelt Letter To Pippen

by Eldon Khorshidi / @eldonadam

And it don’t stop. Scottie Pippen’s “LeBron may be the greatest ever” comments have boiled over ten-fold, with numerous NBA voices and opinions lashing out either in support, disbelief, or disgust. NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar expressed his thoughts Tuesday, with a heartfelt ‘open letter’ reminding Pippen to think before making claims, whether about LeBron James or Michael Jordan. Abdul-Jabbar has a friendly yet angry tone throughout, and perhaps caps off his argument with a subtle message. Obtained by the LA Times:

How Soon They Forget: An Open Letter to Scottie Pippen

Dear Scottie,

I have nothing but respect for you my friend as an athlete and knowledgeable basketball mind. But you are way off in your assessment of who is the greatest player of all time and the greatest scorer of all time. Your comments are off because of your limited perspective. You obviously never saw Wilt Chamberlain play who undoubtedly was the greatest scorer this game has ever known. When did MJ ever average 50.4 points per game plus 25.7 rebounds? (Wilt in the 1962 season when blocked shot statistics were not kept). We will never accurately know how many shots Wilt blocked. Oh, by the way in 1967 and 68, Wilt was a league leader in assists. Did MJ ever score 100 points in a game? How many times did MJ score more than 60 points in a game? MJ led the league in scoring in consecutive seasons for 10 years but he did this in an NBA that eventually expanded into 30 teams vs. when Wilt played and there were only 8 teams.

Every team had the opportunity to amass a solid nucleus. Only the cream of the basketball world got to play then. So MJ has to be appraised in perspective. His incredible athletic ability, charisma and leadership on the court helped to make basketball popular around the world — no question about that. But in terms of greatness, MJ has to take a backseat to The Stilt.

In terms of winning, Michael excelled as both an emotional and scoring leader but Bill Russell’s Celtics won eight consecutive NBA Championships. Bill’s rebounding average per game is over 22.5 lifetime, MJs best rebounding years was eight per game (1989). But we will never know exactly how many shots Bill Russell blocked because again, they never kept that statistic while he played. However, if you ask anybody that played against Russell, they will just roll their eyes and say he blocked all the shots he wanted to block in the crucial moments of a game.

Bill played on a total of 11 championship teams and as you very well know, Scottie, the ring is the thing, and everything else is just statistics. So I would advise you to do a little homework before crowning Michael or LeBron with the title of best ever. As dominant as he is, LeBron has yet to win a championship. I must say that it looks like Miami has finally put the team together that will change that circumstance. Its my hope that today’s players get a better perspective on exactly what has been done in this league in the days of yore.

Affectionately, 
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer

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  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/05/slam-2011-finals-picks/3/ swag gangster

    Kareem with the huge block

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    I can’t wait to be part of the discussion that explodes from this. I’ve already put on my headband and am doing stretches. I’m prewriting my responses. This will be great!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    He’s right to a degree. He’s also a bitter old man, whose upset about a few different things. Like never getting a crack at coaching, and being largely left out of best scorer of all time, and best center of all time conversations….oh and the statue thing

  • Chris Skighwalker

    Haha, awesome.

  • JustMyopinion

    All i know is that u put Bill and Wilt in the same Era as a MJ or LeBron their numbers wouldnt be that impressive,and if an MJ or LeBron played in wilts or russell’s time their numbers would double or triple…Plain and simple U just cant compare bot era’s ……calm down Kareem ur statue is coming….

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    Just…wow.

  • KoBynum716

    I like how he ends it with “NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer”. But Kareem is laregely discriminated against, I gotta say that much. Not saying he’s the best ever, but dude is overlooked more often than not.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    They shootin’!

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    MJ don’t have to take a backseat to nobody. F that.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Someone needs to let Kareem know that there is 30 teams in the NBA now because basketball is extremely more popular then it was in the 60′s and 70′s. The assertion that just because there were 8 teams that means the league was more competitive is ridiculous. You can just look at the skill level of a player in 1960 (look at shooting form/%/ballhandling skills) and know that the game has completely evolved. As much as the older generation criticizes us for forgetting the past, we should pass the same criticism down for them acting like they were some kind of super humans who played basketball in as developed as a period. Most Basketball players didn’t even lift weights and do actual athletic training until the 80′s, which is also quickly forgotten, especially by those that played prior to that generation.

  • axel

    I don’t agree with Pippen, Grant hill and Penny hardaway in their prime were better all around players than LBJ

  • doyouwantmore

    MJ’s greatness came partly out of providence. It was his circumstances and the stories around his championships that make him the greatest. He was great because he rose to the occasion at will. The flu game. The clutch shots. Crying on the floor after his Dad was gone and he’d won yet another championship. It’s not how well they play that makes them great. Its how well they play in moments of greatness. Lebron is a star athlete with more talent than self-awareness. MJ is a born champion defined by his struggles, not by his victories.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    ^^ ok now that is crazy

  • W.Mack

    Man…I love Kareem. He’s saying to Scottie, how dare you try to come off more bitter than me. I respect the Captain though. And I co-sign him 100%

  • Hugo

    in terms of “greatness” i guess you gotta go with bill russel or wilt or watever. as far as talent and natural gifts go, im actualy with lebron on this one. mj didnt win as much as russel and lebron probably has a broader skill repertoire… everyone knows (only)lebron still has the potential to be the GOAT. if he gets 6 there shouldnt even be a debate.

    also, i think this heat team can be better than any bull team. the difference in talent between lebron james and scottie pippen is larger than mj and dwade. yes wade is closer to being as good as mj than scottie the hall of famer is to lebron. bosh is an allstar. nuff said

  • JTaylor21

    Yes, the true GOAT has spoken. Thanks KAJ for finally putting the truth out there and for looking past the commercials and shoe sales. It seems like all the argument I’ve made against MJ being the GOAT has finally being validated.

  • nick

    couldn’t have said it any better doyouwantmore, well done.

    lol @ w.mack as well. ha

  • http://www.twitter.com/nflem41 Nicolas Fleming

    Kareem was funny in Airplane.

  • irondan21

    Good letter. Wilt was a best regardless of the era.

  • Hugo

    reinforcements on the way next season…

  • TP

    Kareem needs to calm down. Here’s the facts:

    Players can only compete against what’s given to them. It’s not Wilt’s fault he played in the 1960′s NBA. That being said, there is no way (in any reasonable person’s mind) that Wilt would have dropped 100 points on any defense in the 1990′s NBA. Or averaged 50 points a game. Or averaged 25 rebounds per. He was just over 7 foot tall and weighed under 280 pounds. We’re talking Nowitzki-like build. Wilt absolutely dominated the NBA in the 1960s. All respect to him. He was amazing. But don’t say he was a better scorer than Jordan. You put a 25-year old Jordan in the 1962 NBA, he would have had 100 by halftime – every other game.

    Also, there is no way that Bill Russell’s Celtics would have won 8 straight titles in the 1990′s (Mike got 6 in the 1990′s – and may have had a legit shot at 8 straight if it hadn’t been for him retiring in 1993).

    Whenever a game really mattered, Jordan was at his absolute best. This is what separates him from all of the players today. And it’s what separates him from all of the players before him.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    “Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group. It enhances everybody.” — if winning is the thing, and michael did it more then Wilt, and sacrificed his own stats to win (adopting the triangle offense) but Wilt only really sacraficed his stats to prove he was a good passer, rather then trying to win, isn’t Michael Greater then Wilt, by Kareem’s own explanation of what great is?

  • http://slamonline.com Saviour

    Wilt!? You f**kin’ serious? The guy who played against a league of players who wouldn’t be HALF as fit as the monsters Jordan and Kobe faced…I find it absolutely insane he’s even put into the hat of ‘best player’ argument.

  • Zak_Knutson13

    Why did he have to wait for Scottie’s Lebron comment before writing a letter basically arguing Wilt and Russell over Jordan?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    that was a Kareem Abdul Jabbar quote if you can’t figure that out.

  • JTaylor21

    Come on son, stop it. So just because MJ supposedly won when the game really mattered, that is what separates him from other greats? Kareem won just as many titles as MJ, so he obviously was at his absolute best whenever the games mattered, same can be said for Russell, who won 11 chips in 13 attempts. So let’s stop with the MJ was the only guy to win big games talk.

  • TheNightWatch*8*

    Gottem

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Jtaylors comments have no merit since be wasnt alive to see ANY of these guys play. Wilt couldnt hold Mikes d&ck. I said it. And Kareem couldnt take Bruce Lee in “Game of Death” so he should figure that sh$t out first. No one asked you, Kareem. And you wonder why you cant get a statue made?

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Kareem is crazy…
    Wilt’s numbers are insane, but damn dude played in probably the weakest of all the NBA eras.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    I was just thinking – wow nobody else in the HOF is going to say anything? While I don’t think Kareem really addresses the differences between leagues with 30 teams compared to 8, he has a point. Wilt’s stats, and Russell’s rings speak volumes. History is true, MJ is GOAT to me, Kareem’s scoring record won’t be broken, Bill Russell is the man, Wilt was Shaq before Shaq, but supreme athlete? That would be Lebron. Would Lebron be here without the aforementioned players paving the way (including Magic and the big O)? Of course not. But even if you’re from the depths of Cleveland and you despise Lebron James, or if you’re Chicago born and bred and no one could talk you out of MJ being GOAT – there cannot be a single doubt in your mind that Lebron on the fast break could cram a basketball down Wilt or Russell’s throats. That means you too, Scoring leader. With that being said, I want “Affectionately,
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer” on a T-shirt.

  • JTaylor21

    So according to MJ fans, all those playoffs losses during his first 6 yrs in the L don’t count. If the guy was as great as people claim, why did it take the bulls until Pip became a great player for them to advance to the finals? I mean if he was head and shoulders above other greats, wouldn’t the man have at least won one playoff game vs those 80s celtics teams? Those early playoff failure points to him being one of the greats instead of the GOAT as everyone claims.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    And even in the weakest NBA era — one with no parity whatsoever — he only managed to win 2 titles. GOAT? GTFOH.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    JTaylor, so what’s Wilt’s excuse then?

  • JTaylor21

    So, I’m guessing your a** was alive to see Wilt, Russell and KAJ play? All right then, old man.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    JTaylor still under the impression that the GOAT must be the GOAT their whole career. No best player improves, they are the best from day 1. DUH

  • 6marjons

    i dont think he needs to calm down, its not like he sounded very irate he’s merely saying that people should check the facts.
    there are holes in his argument, the fact that there are 30 teams now in many respects could make it a lot harder do accomplish the kind of feats MJ achieved.
    In the 60′s and 70′s there were 8 teams of 12 players totalling 96 players in the league. That adds up to about 117 people who knew what a basketball was. Someone had to be the best.
    But in essence I agree with his points. I think the idea that MJ and LeBron are battling it out for 1 and 2 is a bit much at the moment. I don’t think their careers can be properly judged until both have come to a close.

  • JTaylor21

    Wilt’s excuse was going up against the greatest dynasty in the history of sports and the most stacked team in the Boston Celtics.
    BC, so what’s MJ’s excuse for failing to make it to the finals until Pip came to his rescue?

  • Sean Bankston

    Maybe I am in the minority, but who really cares about what a guy did in a league with only 8 teams? I hate to say it, but I almost discredit what took place in the NBA from 1948-1970. What were there like 8 teams in the league? What was the average size of the starting centers that Chamberlain and Russell faced?

    Those guys were probably great then, but do you really think Wilt would have averaged 50-25, if he had to battle Shaq, Olajuwon, Ewing, Robinson, Mutombo, etc 20-25 times a season? Hell no he would not have.

    If Michael Jordan had been around in the 1960′s, he probably averages 75 points a game. Those slow unathletic players back then would have not been able to do anything with him.

  • http://youtube.com/jyizzle24 Jason

    lmfao at the end “NBA’s all time leading scorer” lmfao so unesscessary

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I know Eboy saw Kareem play. Hell, even I saw Kareem play. Those dudes were just fortunate to play in an era where they dominated individually in a team success driven league.

  • http://Nba.com GP23

    Im sorry Kareem, but you must be out of your mind. MJ is, and will always be the greatest to ever grace the hardwood. I don’t care if Lebron wins 8 rings, jordan will still be the GOAT. Mike was truly unstoppable. He was the best athlete in all professional sports. He elevated the game to new heights. Come on man, jordan is king.

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    I thought Scottie clarified his comments to say that Lebron could be the greatest of all time EVENTUALLY. That sounds reasonable– “could be” being the operative phrase. However, if Scottie meant Lebron ALREADY is the greatest, then he’s out of his mind. And some of Kareem’s arguments are on point – everyone ranks the GOAT based on whatever era they happened to witness first hand. Stats are often overruled by our emotional investment in the players. Hell, I’m sure there’s fans in their 80′s who think George Mikan is the greatest of all time because they watched him as a kid.

  • JTaylor21

    Oh well. MJ fanboys are still under the impression that MJ went 179-0 in the playoffs and won those 6 chips by himself. Undisputed GOAT my a**!

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Until Pip came to his rescue? So Pip carried the Bulls to those titles? Word?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I have to agree with Kareem on this–Wilt Chamberlain is the best basketball player of all time. Most people just think MJ because they’ve seen him play and were introduced to basketball because of his career.

  • Sean Bankston

    JTaylor you are a moron. Find another guy in the history of the league that won multiple NBA Championships without some post presence. Whether it be a low-post offensive nightmare, or a shot blocking defensive anchor, every NBA Champ before MJ had a solid big man. He blew the hinges off of that door, and has created a culture where other great perimeter players believed they could do the same. Only they couldn’t. You’re an idiot.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Taylor what makes Wilt better then MJ? His scoring average? He couldn’t win a title with Elgin Baylor and Jerry West playing next to him, against what 11 other teams? Wasn’t he the biggest guy in the league, in height and girth? And he was a gold medal winning olympic high jumper right? What excuse is their for that? we had a guy 3 inches shorter, 60LB’s lighter who just absolutely dominated him. The only player in a conversation as a greater player then Jordan is Russel, Chamberlain is a stats treasure chest that couldn’t win.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Why are people talking about players being less athletic and fit in the ’60s and ’70s? If Wilt played in today’s league, he’d have all the benefits of better training, equipment, technology etc too…
    Not to mention Wilt was an athletic BEAST regardless.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Wilt Chamberlain still won 2 titles. That’s nothing to sneer at.

  • JTaylor21

    Yes, Pip came to his rescue or maybe you think that MJ would have won those 6 chips without Pip there by his side.
    Stop it slime. MJ was good but he’s not that good. No one is good enough to win chips by himself.

  • Yawn

    Wilt wouldn’t survive in today’s game. He was a physical specimen for his time and he took advantage of that. The game was totally different back then.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Kareem is right that Scottie is way off base, and that players forget to quickly about the past. He is also one to forget the past, romanticizing era’s in the NBA where the average skill level is about that of a college freshman today. Those guys could hoop, but they didn’t even have a majority of the drills that are used everyday in practice by children 40 years ago. If you put Bob Cousy from one of those title teams in a competitive basketball format today he wouldn’t get off the bench at the UC Santa Barbara.

  • ripslam

    For me, it’s MJ and Russell 1-2. Then probably Wilt and Kareem shortly after.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    I agree with Kareem. Now pass that ish!

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    @JTaylor21 Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman, Kevin McHale, Larry Bird…To be fair it’s not like MJ was losing to nobodies. And I think you mean Pip and Phil Jackson came to his rescue.

  • JTaylor21

    NBK, I’m not even arguing for wilt anymore because I stated to BC that Wilt’s teams were going up against the greatest dynasty in pro sports. How can you say that only Russell can challenge MJ’s GOAT status? What about Kareem? What about Magic? Hell, what about Bird? All those guys have a resume that matches and in KAJ’s case surpasses MJ’s and look at the kind of teams they were going up against in the playoffs compared to the Bulls’ opponents. Those guys have as much right as MJ to be mentioned in the GOAT convo.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    I agree it’s silly to think that Michael Jordan is the undisputed GOAT. I think there are arguments to be made.
    But Wilt probably isn’t one of them. Could he OBLITERATE today’s league? Oh yeah. Could he win? Eh, not if he had to sacrifice his points and such.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevinwilson16 Kevin Wilson

    I just want to get under a blanket and say, “LEAVE SCOTTIE ALONE…”

  • http://Nba.com GP23

    As Magic Johnson once famously said,: “….There’s Michael Jordan, and then there’s the rest of us”

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    Wilt went 7’1′, 270 pounds in an era where there were only two other 7 footers in the entire L.
    Just saying.

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Considering I actually saw the MJ era from beginning to end, “rescue” is such an inaccurate and patently FALSE statement. Pip started pulling his own weight is more like it. And MJ still did the heavy lifting.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    NBK: Oh the other hand, there are a bajillion drills back then that simply aren’t used in today’s game.
    Kareem developed his unbelievable skyhook by using the George Mikan drill.
    I’ll betcha no college bigman does that today.
    I doubt Bob Cousy makes an all-star team, but saying he couldn’t get off the bench in the NCAA is a bit much.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    Rico: Yet whenever Chamberlain went against these seven footers, the results weren’t pretty.
    Ask Jabbar and Gilmore their thoughts playing against a Chamberlain ten years their elder. Gilmore couldn’t even get a shot off.

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    But of course someone who routinely offers opinions on things they haven’t seen would paint the situation as Pippen just showed up and the rings started rolling in. Stop it.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    Only Ricos I know are that Rico Suave cat and my boy’s dog. Oh, and that one penguin from the kids’ cartoon.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Oh Scotty doesn’t know-o,

    So don’t tell Scotty,

    Scotty doesn’t know,

    Scotty doesn’t know,

    So don’t tell Scotty

  • JTaylor21

    Rigo, fair point but you’re acting like they are many great centers in today’s league. Look at DHow, the man’s best season is 23/14. Just imagine the kind of numbers a better player like Wilt could put up in today’s league. He wouldn’t come close to 50/25 but I could picture him going 35/17 on a year to year basis. Someone like KAJ with that skyhook would put up 40/15 without breaking a sweat.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    Well I don’t know any Rigos, so Rico was more familier. Saaaa-orrrrry.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    If Cousy played today he’d have access to better drills, training, and equipment too.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jukai they still use that drill. Even NBA guys still use that drill, infact I saw a video of a young big doing that drill the other day, might’ve been Enes Kanter? not sure. Just players aren’t brought away from the basket with the drill like Kareem did (on his own). That drill and lay-up lines are really the drills that have been around forever. And “around the world” which is as much a game as a drill but I digress.

  • JTaylor21

    But of course someone who routinely offers opinions on things they haven’t seen would paint the 60s as the weakest era and hold it against Wilt for winning “only” 2 rings. Stop it.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Brian Scalabrine would put up 30 and 15 in the 60′s… Fa reals.

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    We can argue this thing point for point statistically all day long, but MJ’s influence resonates throughout the game of basketball all over the world… To this day. THAT is what makes him the undisputed GOAT. He made this game what it is today. His products/merchandise are STILL the best and most sought after basketball related products all these years after his playing career ended.
    NOBODY can say that they had that kind of impact on this game and the fact that people still try and argue against his legacy makes his case even stronger.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    The 60s were pretty weak. Not as weak as the 50s but they were still pretty weak.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    Jukai – you’ve known this Rigo for a minute now.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    When its HEAVILY debatable that prime Shaq would have destroyed a prime Wilt….you really cant justify Wilt in any “best ever” conversations. Best center? Hes in the top 5. Best ever every spot? Take your drunk as$ back to the bar if you think he could have dominated at that ridiculous level playing night in and night out in Jordans era against those centers (hakeem, ewing, robinson, yoing
    Shaq, etc). You think Mike wouldnt go backnin time and destroy Wilts NBA?
    Think before you commit stupidity suicide.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Teddy, if Bob Cousy played today he’d be playing in an equal opportunity climate (totally non-existent when he broke into the league), and he’d be what “6’1″” supposedly, and unathletic? his chances of breaking into the league even if he played basketball every day of his life from the day he could understand the ball goes into the hoop are below somewhere between 0-5%. Respect what those did in the past for the sport, but don’t be crazy, the idea of being a professional basketball player in the 50′s and 60′s was like trying to become a professional video game player today. They exist, make decent money, are pretty popular but who really goes about something so niche as a profession? That’s what basketball was 50+ years ago.

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    That era was weak, sorry. And trying to argue and say that it wasn’t just makes you look completely clueless.

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    unless we can have time machines and pitch these guys’ teams against each other or more fairly give them all the same supporting cast or may be like the 5 on 5 of their same likenesses we will never truly know who is better or not. These are simply hypotheticals that you can’t prove. Unless maybe there is a videogame simulator that is so real and you know exactly what to input, but then you gotta adjust for the era factor. I don’t think it’s fair to take Wilt out of that era and compare to modern athletes as those were at the time the top basketball talent he could play against. Basically you could really have a greatest of their respective era.

  • dahon

    Bruce Lee kicked his ass in the 70s

  • JTaylor21

    Really? So because the guy sold millions of sneaks and appeared in 100s of commercials that makes him the GOAT? What the hell happened to judging players by what they did on the court? So because KAJ was never able to sell as many shoes or appease the Sports Center generation, he should take a backseat to MJ. Oh lawd!
    Dr. Naismith is rolling over in his grave.

  • Pugz

    Word Kareem, Word..

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    Oh man, Shaq woulda destroyed Wilt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    No one is saying all because he sells nice shoes that MJ’s the greatest. If you judge Kareem and MJ by what they did on the court, MJ is better than Kareem skillfully.

  • http://lakers.com stu

    didn’t pip say that lebron could be the most complete player?
    it’s hard to not see his point, lebron’s career-prime (say 2010/15) stat line may end up looking something like this: 6’9″ 250lbs, 28/8/8 with multiple rings (i’m generously forecasting that!).. he plays 4 positions, defends 4 positions, nigh impossible to guard, and has developed a 4th quarter killer mentality.. that’s pretty complete. i also agree with bryan above, michael’s GOAT status has as much to do with his influence on the global game as anything else. he transcended the sport, barcelona was his world stage, he put every kid in a pair of nike’s, had us all wagging our tongues, wanting to be dunking 2 guards.. but when it’s all said and done, could lebron be a more complete player? i think he could. but he’ll never be the GOAT.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    Eboy & Rigo: Ok, so Wilt could run faster, jump higher, shoot farther, pass better and out-post Shaq… but Shaq could destroy Wilt. Because he has about 15-pounds of strength. Uhhhh huh.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    wth is JTaylor talking about? do you seriously not understand that people get better at things? like technology hasn’t improved either over the past 50 years, and this is not an improvement over written letters, this conversation with dozens of people. Putting stock in a bunch of stats that happened before the 3pt line. You obviously have almost no grasp on the history of the NBA and how the game USED to be played. Wilt Chamberlain used to touch the ball on 98% of possessions. The best shot was always a 2, and using common sense the best way to get a 2 was to be the closest to the basket. which just so happened to be the biggest guys (who were extremely larger then the rest of the league, because basketball wasn’t as popular (get where popular comes in yet concrete head?)) and the biggest of them was regularly the most dominant. I’ll make it easy for you to understand, George Mikan – Wilt Chamberlain – Kareem Abdul Jabar (in college and the 70′s). get it yet? do you understand why how popular the sport is makes a difference on a players individual impact? or are you still awestruck by statistics that happened before you were even a thought in your grandfathers eye.

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Michael Jordan as an INDIVIDUAL advanced an entire sport by himself. Nobody else can say that they did that. Not Wilt, Nor Kareem, Magic or Bird. Like I said, arguing against it is inevitable, but feel free to do so if you like and if you don’t think he’s the GOAT then cool. The opinions of a few — even Kareem’s — does not necessarily reflect what is.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    I mean, Shaq couldn’t even destroy a prime Duncan. Olajuwon made Shaq his b*tch. Shaq feasted in an error where guys like Rik Smits and Kieth Van Horn were fronting him. And people give Wilt crap for lack of competition? LOLs.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    a twinkle* or sparkle* in your grandfathers eye. Whichever makes you happier, my bad.

  • JTaylor21

    To all those talking about Cousy and Wilt not being able to dominate in this era, you do know that when you’re trying to gauge how players perform in different eras, you have to think of them having access the same advantages players have today. Things like nutrition, training, medical staffs, technological improvements (film study, advanced footwear) have to be taken into account. Just imagine Wilt or Cousy having access to all those things, some might those guys would have played longer and been better ball-players.

  • robb

    “Wilt went 7’1′, 270 pounds in an era where there were only two other 7 footers in the entire L.
    Just saying.” That’s right. If Jordan had played in a league full of John Stocktons and without a 3 second violation rule, man he would’ve scored 125 points. Jordan is the best scorer and the best player ever. Period. Please get this guy his statue already, the dude’s losing his mind.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    we did take that into account.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    And Shaq had Wilt by 50+ Lbs. not 15

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    OK, Olajuwan woulda made Wilt his b*tch too then.
    Anyways, the part that makes me LOL is when he says “the ring’s the thing”.
    OK, so I guess Robert Horry > Wilt Chamberlain, than?

  • JTaylor21

    Stupidity and ignorance is a disease that spreads like wildfire and it looks to have infected slam’s commenting section. I guess that’s what happens when a whole generation lives vicariously through Michael Jeffery Jordan.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    Shaq did not have Wilt by 15 pounds. Wilt was listed at 280 because that was his rookie weigh in numbers. Wilt was WELL over 300 pounds during his championship phili days.

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    When you’re talking GOAT without taking the entire scope of a players career into consideration, then you’re just talking loud and saying nothing. There is a reason why Ali is the GOAT in boxing and Babe Ruth the GOAT in baseball and it’s not just limited to what their occupational accomplishments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Cousy probably wouldn’t be able to dominate in this era because he was so bad of a shooter he makes Rajon Rondo look like a prime Reggie Miller.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    Olajuwon v Wilt woulda been incredibly interesting. Both are far better than Shaq, who just planted his ass in the paint and pushed around a bunch of scrubs.

  • Toner

    Do you think he signs off all his letters like that? I’m picturing him signing off his kids’ permission slips for their school field trips in the same way. “I give permission for my son to attend the field trip to the museum, yours sincerely, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer”

  • http://www.slamonline.com unf*ckwitable

    Jtaylor like eboy said, you never saw Wilt or Bill play so how can you make a proper argument?

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    unf*ckwitable: perhaps the countless hours of games and footage that are on the internet? I certainly don’t agree that Chamberlain was better than Jordan (oh god, in today’s age he woulda been worse than Iverson) but one can make an estimated guess. Really, if there’s no way to make a proper argument, why is everyone saying Jordan is better than Chamberlain? We might as well only compare players in a five year span and say the rest is too difficult.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    I just honestly think if Wilt played in the 90′s, I mean, dude woulda been a beast regardless, but his best season he would’ve probably averaged like 27 and 13, not 50 and 27.

  • JTaylor21

    Ali’s the GOAT, says who? To the group of fans that never saw or know who Sugar Ray Robinson is, yes but to boxing historians, no!
    You gotta come better than that, you can’t be throwing around broad statements without knowing the entire history of a sport.

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I like how JTaylor calls people stupid and ignorant too. That ish is mad funny. Oh, and if you insist on using a word, like vicariously for example, know what it means and what the proper context of it’s usage should be before you start calling people ignorant and stupid. Just a thought…

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    Rigo: I like Wilt a bit better, I’d say 32-15-5… but yeah, I agree. 50-27 is unthinkable. You don’t even have to factor in level of competition… WILT TOOK 39 AND A HALF SHOTS A GAME! Could you imagine if Kobe ever ATTEMPTED that? Kobe was chucking like 28-something a game and the LA media went apesh*t.
    But yeah, Wilt would never get close to 50 even if he took those shots.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    ….When did boxing come into the conversation???

  • JTaylor21

    Actually, I recently watched Gm5 of the 72 finals between LA and NY. So yes, I know what I’m talking about, at least more than MJ fanboys, who probably believe that the NBA began in ’91.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Jukai has taken on a new level of silliness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    This thread is blowing so fast I blink twice and three new comments are up.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    All these stats flying around and no one has mentioned Wilt’s impressive “20,000 women” stat?

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    Eboy: Don’t you have kids on your lawn to yell at, old man?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Nobody in here knows how skilled Wilt was or wasn’t, lets not let Jukai saying “Olajuwon v Wilt woulda been incredibly interesting. Both are far better than Shaq” effect anyone’s perception. We only know of Wilt as an athlete, which he based on legends about him, would still be the best athlete in the NBA today. (supposedly he beat out Jim Brown in a footrace. Met Walt Bellamy at halfcourt of a game when Bellamy was a rookie scoring 30ppg and said he wouldn’t get a shot off in the first half, then proceeded to block 9 shots and didn’t let anything from bellamy get to the rim) but that doesn’t mean he would have been the best scorer/rebounder/player. He definitely would be one of the best players in the league and of this generation, but to give him so much credit playing against such inferior athletes and competition is insulting to everyone that played after him and improved on the game he helped make popular. atleast IMO it is.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Just because Magic had 20,024

  • JoeMaMa

    Idiots compare players from different eras. Would’ve, could’ve, might’ve. You can only compare players from the same era. Travel schedules, weight training, conditioning, reffing, coaching, racial issues, collective bargaining, increased TV revenues, league marketing, social mores, etc. Taking Shaq and putting him into the 1940s…what would you expect? Had the players from so long ago learned to crossover, shoot with one hand, etc.? Had the lanes been expanded? Was there a shot clock? No. The game evolves with the players. Putting player X into another generation basically discounts EVERYTHING. With that said, Wilt’s the man. It’s not like 7 footers were invented after he left the league. There were plenty of tall players in his era. Wilt was just so far ahead of the game that he killed em all. Champion high jumper, he could bench 500 lbs, played pro volleyball after his basketball career…truly great.

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    So watching ONE GAME makes one a subject matter expert these days, huh?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    and for the record I have seen more then 1 Wilt Chamberlain game, I am not however going to claim to know that much about him. I’m not stupid enough to make that assertion.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    @Joemama – there weren’t “plenty of tall players” in his era. He was the tallest. And heaviest. The second biggest dude, and I’m talking about Wilt in his prime-era, was like 7’0′, 240 pounds compared to Wilt’s 7’1″, 280-plus.

  • JTaylor21

    It’s a shame that people continue to downplay Wilt’s accomplishments based on his competition yet guys like Shaq and DHow have been going up against bums for the majority of their career, yet everyone praises them. If shaq was dominating against the likes of a 50yr old, 235 pound Deke, Jeff Freaking Foster, Rik Smiths and Todd MacCulloch, what makes people think that Wilt wouldn’t have gone ape sh*t on those clowns? Hell, Shaq couldn’t even dominate a 6-8 Ben Wallace.

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Ugh ridiculous later y’all this is stupid

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    NBK: I mean, it’s not legends about himself… he dunked on 12-foot rims at halftime, ran 30-feet in less than 11 seconds, cleaned the Big 8 in High Jump every year, would tip-in his free throws from the foul line until they made that illegal… there’s tons of video footage. No need to say it’s all “legend.”
    I agree that athleticism doesn’t make the player (or else Green would be in the league) but c’mon now, you’re inferring that Chamberlain may not have been skilled? Or just stating that, which I will assume means you’re going to back out of this debate?

  • JoeMaMa

    I shouldn’t say ‘idiots’. Pardon me. BUT: Kareem Abdul Jabbar: 7’2″
    Dennis Awtrey: 6’11″
    Walt Bellamy: 6’11″
    Tom Boerwinkle: 7’0″
    Nate Bowmen: 6’11″
    Mel Counts: 7’0″
    Walter Dukes: 7’0″
    Jim Eakins: 6’11″
    Ray Felix: 6’11″
    Hank Finkel: 7’0″
    Artis Gilmore: 7’2″
    Swede Halbrook: 7’3″
    Reggie Harding: 7’0″
    Bob Lanier: 6’11″
    Jim McDaniels: 6’11″
    Otto Moore: 6’11″
    Dave Newmark: 7’0″
    Rich Niemann: 7’0″
    Billy Paultz: 6’11″
    Craig Raymond: 6’11″
    Elmore Smith: 7’0″
    Chuck Share: 6’11″
    Ronald Taylor: 7’1″
    Nate Thurmond: 6’11″
    Walt Wesley: 6’11″

    Those are the other ‘tall’ players during Wilt’s era. Something to think about.

  • JTaylor21

    No, but you’re stupid enough to claim that Cousy wouldn’t get off the bench for a fringe Division 1 squad.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    But most of those cats were only 220, 230 pounds tho.
    Shooting guards weigh that much nowadays.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    On Wilt’s block numbers: the year Wilt retired was the last year that the league did not record blocks or steals. When Wilt retired, defensive bench center Elmore Smith became the Laker’s main option. That year, Smith averaged a ridiculous 4.9 blocks a game.
    Yet there was no “OH THANK GOD Chamberlain is gone, we have someone to block shots.” The reaction was “oh damn, this guy is alright but he’s no chamberlain defensively.” So Chamberlain at 30-something was blocking 5+ shots a game. Competition level? Yes. But it wasn’t Chamberlain “making up legends” as NBK suggested.
    Also, Chamberlain was still putting up 20-something rebounds a game at the end of the 60s when no one else was doing that, not even Russell. And during the 70s when Chamberlain’s knees were shot, he was still pulling down 18+, and no one was doing that. Not even Kareem, who during the 80s was still known as a fantastic rebounder.
    Just saying.

  • JTaylor21

    No but never reading up or watching players from the 60s play makes you an expert enough to proclaim the 60s the weakest era?
    “Stupid is as stupid does”

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9B412oN9MA EJ

    Cmon Wilt played with garbage players. If he played in the 90s nobodu knows how much his production would drop, but it would. Imagine if MJ played against the same level of competition as Wilt.
    Also if you’re probably the only 7 footer playing and you are allowed to stay under the basket all you want, you have no chance but to get boards.

  • http://sohh.com teamplayer65

    If JTaylor21 is wrong because he never saw Wilt play, then pretty much all of you guys are wrong. Jukai is a Kobe slurper so it’s no surprise he’d downplay MJ and Shaq. BCrawford’s arguments for why MJ is the best is just foolish. He’s not even arguing skill, he’s arguing influence lmao.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The NUPE

    Kareem only argues that Wilt is the greatest scorer ever, not the GOAT. If you look at his stats – it’s not even close. Wilt clearly scored better than anyone in the history of the game. IF the GOAT is based on rings – which Kareem says in his letter. Then how can anyone not give Russel his due? MJ has slightly more than half the rings as Bill. Once you ignor stats such as scoring or rings from the argument, then it’s purely emotional and hypothetical items such as “will to win” or “leader”. Then you can make a lot of arguments for a lot of players – Magic, Big O, MJ, Bird, Wilt, Russel, etc. It would be great if all of these guys could play against each other in thier prime. However, that’s not possible. So stats and perceived skills/ leadership/ hear/ desire is all we can base things on. So, no clear winners unless best scoring average = greatest scorer and best ring rate = greatest winner. I’m not sure I’d give MJ credit for being the best anything ever (based on stats), but watching him play I could still make a case for best of his generation – that’s about it though. GOAT though – Based on what?

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Jukai- I was inferring you have no clue if was or wasn’t more skilled then shaq. His athletic ability is not in question. JTaylor call me stupid all you want for asserting a 6’1″ non-athlete wouldn’t get off the bench at a small d-1 school, and keep acting like your comments boom with intelligence. Don’t matter to me, actually it’s funny. Later all

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Dueces, Sooper

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    Jordan would probably average 52-18-15-10-5 in Wilt’s league. Is everyone happy?

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    And the legends about Wilts athleticism I spoke of came from other people not Chamberlain himself. The Bellamy story was Red Holzman I believe, I don’t remember who said the Jim Brown thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    My Top 5 Centers. 1)Hakeem, 2)Wilt, 3)Kareem, 4)Shaq, 5)Ewing

  • http://theurbangriot.com The NUPE

    @Jukai – How do you come up with what Jordan would have averaged in Wilt’s league? Whatever you’re smoking, I’d like some.

  • JTaylor21

    Looks like someone’s overflowing with crocodile tears.

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    So I have NO KNOWLEDGE of that era because if I did, I wouldn’t call it weak? Word? So what makes an 8-10 league dominated by one squad so “strong” in your opinion? I’m just curious…

  • http://ZOGS.CA ZOGS

    LEGOOOOO KAREEEMM BABBBBY
    I HATE IT HOW EVERYONE FORGETS ABOUT WILT
    AND COSIGN JOEMAMA_ I HONESTLY HAD NO IDEA THERE WAS THAT MANY GIANTS IN THAT ERA, AND THE “ALL TIME SCORER” AT THE END WAS PRICELESS
    HAHHAHAH
    LEGGGGOOOO
    KAREEEM

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    55, 20, 20, 20 and 10 if you wanna keep it real, Jukai.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    Soop – come on, now, you know Bob Cousy would get a scholarship to Duke. Without question.

  • JTaylor21

    No one’s saying that the 60s the toughest era but to sit there and act like Wilt was going up against a bunch of bums night to night, points to a lack of knowledge. For all the claim about MJ playing in the toughest era; 80s and 90s, only 2-3 teams won chips on a consistent basis. The 70s is only era with the right to be labeled the “toughest” because it was impossible for one team to dominate.

  • Paps

    I hope ten years from now MJ still gets this much love. GOAT!

  • JTaylor21

    Also, guess who was the most dominant player in the 70s? Yes, Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Most of the NBA’s greatest players came from the 80s and 90s.

  • Ghetto Van Gogh

    Anyone on here who is trying to say that Michael Jordan is not the greatest player of all time is clearly just playing devil’s advocate. I’m a Pistons fan and I know MJ is the GOAT.

  • http://ballislife.com Stephon

    Understandably Wilt and Jordan were great in their era. I respect Abdul’s words but he needs to know this THERE IS ONLY ONE G.O.A.T and that person is Michael Jeffery Jordan. Nobody has had the imapct, the charisma, and just the out not talent Jordan possessed. He may not have the most points or rebounds but he shouldn’t be measured in that he should be measured on the work he’s done to help globilize basketball period. Abdul has a point for Wilt has stats no one will EVER reach and Bill Russell’s 11 chips is reamined to be seen and reached. But there is only one Michael Jordan there’s no one who can touch him. NO ONE

  • http://sohh.com teamplayer65

    Jukai is a Jordan hating Kobe slurper.

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Every dominant player before the 3 point line was the biggest guy in the league. Mikan -Chamberlain-Abdul Jabbar -3pt line – Larry Bird. There were Ofcourse small guys that scored heaps of points, but only those 3 truly dominated entire generations before the 3pt line. Then we had Bird, Jordan, Shaq. Magic and Russel are the only players that dominated without being a scorer. But Chamberlain’s overall size and athletic ability were what separated him from everyone else, and that advantage would be extremely less significant today. jordan’s dominance can’t really be translated even a little bit, the skill level (ball handling-shooting-defense(man and team)-preparations from scouting) all were basically amateurish compared to today. And now I’m back maybe gone, I take retirement as serious as Brett Favre.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    I don’t think anyone who considers Chamberlain one of the best thinks he’d drop 50-27 in today’s age. He doesn’t have to drop anywhere near that to still put up better numbers than Shaq.

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Jukai that’s not what the conversation is about. Atleast not my part in it. It’s about Jordan. I don’t think there is anyway to know who would’ve dominated which era more or was better between Chamberlain and O’Neal. For all we know O’neal might have been a better fit in The 60′s and Vise Versa for Chamberlain.

  • http://www.facebook.com B-Moore

    Ignoring Kareem cos he’s a whingey bastard

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    It’s not that Wilt was going up against bums, but there was only SEVEN OTHER TEAMS in the NBA at that time and out of those, one team won the championship 9 times and the second best team (the Lakers) played in the Finals 7 times. This went on for a DECADE. So yes, the 60′s were weak and that doesn’t point to a lack of knowledge, but fact. Especially when you say I have no knowledge of that era.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    Well, that was my argument. No need to have a side argument.
    I think that it doesn’t matter who you think is BETTER between Chamberlain and Jordan… Chamberlain’s lack of championships and unwillingness to be a team player, along with how Jordan helped the game, make Jordan a GREATER basketball player.
    Kareem seems to be talking about pure scorers, something no one seems to be talking about.

  • ruserious

    michael jordan is the greatest. case closed, but wow kobe loses in the playoffs this year and his name is just forgotten; lebron makes it to the finals with d-wade and is now getting called by some as the greatest to ever play

  • jdawg12

    First off, its impossible to compare these different players in different eras accurately. The competition was different, the rules were different, everything was different. Facts: the current era has bigger, stronger, more talented players than ever before, therefore being a superstar in this era requires more talent than ever before. That being said, theres no question that Wilt, Bill and Oscar were truly incredible players, and would have been major forces in todays game. I would argue that lebron has the most skill of any player to ever play in the league. If he died tomorrow, I would still consider him as the most skilled player ever to play in the league. This does not make him the GOAT. Order of greatness (according to Slam in 2003, and they got it right): 1) Mike 2) Wilt 3) Oscar 4) Bill 5) Magic 6) Bird 7) Kareem 8) The Logo Order of talent I’m not going to get into but its tough to argue with lebron at #1, jordan at #2, kobe or magic #3???

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Chamberlain averaged 39ppg his first 7 years. And 20.1 his second 7. Supposedly in the name of winning. and rebounding numbers from back then are crazy i don’t think they show much except that teams played at extremely fast paces and shot tons of shots.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Greg Oden is the only guy to have played against all these players – he would have the best understanding of who is the GOAT.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    I mean,if CHamberlain still kept putting up insane rebounding numbers while everyone elses’ dropped, that should say something

  • AD

    157 comments for a guy who does not care about you, KUDOS…… plus MJ the greatest all time defender, man i swee why Scottie said what he said, he still aint recognized….. iF HE WASNT ON THE BULLS, MJ WOULDNT HAV NO RINGS!!!!!!!!! Please hop off MJ and watch Lebron

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    dacre ftw

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    No, most of us haven’t seen that much of Wilt, but even going by stats he was an absolute BEAST on EVERY facet of the game.
    Wilt has 78 career triple doubles not even counting blocks (which weren’t recorded back then)–with blocks who knows how many QUADRUPLE doubles he would have had. 78 triple-doubles ranks fourth all time behind Jason Kidd, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson, three of the best point guards to play this game. GUARDS for crying out loud.
    He once led the league in total assists for a season, not to mention his insane scoring and rebounding figures. Not to mention his insane athletic background as a high jumper. Not to mention his “mere” 2 rings.
    As someone who actually played in both eras of Wilt and Mike, I think Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a pretty good perspective on things…

  • BostonBaller

    Why is it that when a former player speaks out they are labeled as bitter and if a younger player speaks it’s hating? Cap has some points but we do not know what woulds coulda happened or would happen.

  • http://sohh.com teamplayer65

    MJ currently IS the greatest. Lebron will be the greatest when he retires 7 years from now.

  • jdye

    Lebron will never be the greatest of all time because he went to miami to be part of loaded team he took the easy way. And i am not hating at all its a fact. If Miami win this finals or others you can’t not compare those titles those rings to MJ’s or even kobe’s last two its as simple as that. MJ was the man for the bulls when they won 6 titles kobe was the man for his last two until lebron is the man on championship team not just a part of it then saying he is the GOAT is a joke.
    Is Lebron the most physically gifted player ever probably will he be one of the top ten players of all time most likely but he will never the greatest so SLAM and others need to get over it i think lebron is over it he knew when he went to miami he will never be compare to jordan

  • jdye

    personally i don’t see how you can say lebron is better than rick barry. Rick took a team of bums “besides a rookie jamaal wilkes” and defeated a loaded washington bullets team in 1975 to win a championship.

  • kabelion

    Hey. Sean Bankston.
    “Find another guy in the history of the league that won multiple NBA Championships without some post presence. Whether it be a low-post offensive nightmare, or a shot blocking defensive anchor, every NBA Champ before MJ had a solid big man.”

    Isiah Thomas. And mike and scottie leased Rodman (DPOY) for the post.

  • http://fkjslf.com Jukai

    jdye: Because for all of Rick Barry’s immense skill, he made Kobe, Iverson, Chamberlain and Maravich look like the most coachable people on the planet.

  • Hugh Jass

    …but MJ has a statue

  • HAMMER

    Ouch! I luv Pip and it hurts me 2 say this, but Scottie deserved this. Pip has said, n my opinion, the most dumbest comment of the year so far. That being said, MJ IS THE G.O.A.T.!

  • kabelion

    I said this in another thread but it more applies here to this “discussion”. If michael jordan had played during wilts era, or any era before his own, he would have been hacked to oblivion. Far worse than he was during the bad boys era. After his second dunk, he’d have been fouled into the stands. There would not have been any like mike commercials. He would have been like David Thompson. Wilt, in any era, was better than any big man who played. In any era. And he won two rings. He averaged 40 against Bill Russell. He scored 100 after partying for 24 hours. Let that “flu game” go. Lets see how many points michael scores on no sleep after a night of boozing, screwing 5 to 6 chicks and showing up to the game 15 to 20 minutes before it starts. Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest to ever play. Anyone who argues differently, probably has nike gear on or in their apartment/moms basement/moms garage/moms attic.

  • ai come back

    are u kidding me??? mj wouldnt give up like that……..sides kareem talks about how rings are all that matterse and everythin else is statistics he ends his letter with……nba all time leading scorer…wtf???are u seriously saying that a guy who went up to a guy like shaq cant go up to a guy like wilt….???shaq broke backboards, wilt just broke records haha

  • LeBron de Con

    dont fuc wit me reem, imma fcng giant. reem can jump my stick

  • Dnelly

    Man kareems letter makes me feel like chamberlain deserves a statue before him lol kareem played 20 seasons and mj did not and look at his point total…not to mention he had oscar robertson and magic johnson feeding him the rock hmmm big o and magic > pippen Jordan rules again
    and @ad is right he doesnt care about us I personally met kareem and hes a dick

  • Dnelly

    how did La times get this letter anyways??

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    “MJ led the league in scoring in consecutive seasons for 10 years but he did this in an NBA that eventually expanded into 30 teams vs. when Wilt played and there were only 8 teams.” I stopped reading right there; that was a totally contradictorily statement. Wouldn’t have been more prepared to attack 8… 8 teams just as well as they would be prepared to stop him?

  • AD

    u GUYS ARE SuCh MJ DI** RIDERS… JORDAN HAD PIPPEN.. WHY CANT LEBRON JOIN WIT DWADE… NOBODY WANTED TO GO TO CLEVLAND……. MJ PLAYED IN A LG WHERE THE GUARDs WERENT AS ATHLETIC and good AS THE GUARDS NOW IN DAYS… HE EVEN SAID HE WANTED TO PLAY IN THIS ERA……HOP OFF MJ HE WAS GREAT BUT its time for MJ to step down

  • ‘B”leh

    Okay, f’real Kareem needs to stfu already, first his little statue tantrum now this man, common -.-

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    One thing that frustrates me is when people talk about Bill and Wilt being better than MJ, but talk about them as if they were a single entity; they say Wilt was a better scorer and Bill was a better winner; sure, but MJ was one of the best (if not the best) scorers and still had six rings. If Wilts and Bills accomplishments were within one person, sure, better than MJ; but really, MJ is the only person to combine that level of individual excellence with winning.

  • flimo

    Finally. Someone has to stop the MJ cult & marketing machine.

  • http://www.slamonline.com blackvictory23

    Kareem’s just likes to keep his name in the papers…Oscar Robertson is the GOAT, followed by Wilt, Lebron, Jordan, Kareem, Russell, Magic then Bird.

  • kabelion

    Actually, the guy who wrote the letter combined that level of individual excellence with winning. And he, as was noted earlier in an earlier post, played games against both. He didn’t even like Wilt, but if he can say it, he means it. And he’s right.

  • KwamePooh

    so if the ring is the thing, and everything else is just statistics =
    Darko Miličić > Barkley, Ewing, Malone, Stockton, etc.

  • MrSuper

    *AHEM*
    Wilt faced Russel in his prime, and then Cap during his twillight years, and got on top, at least statistically. You don’t score 30+ against the Celtics (and grab 25) if you are “an average center” even by today’s standards. Just Because the NBA expanded and basketball became more popular, it dosn’t mean that older players were scrubs. There are pictures: look at them. There are videos: watch them. Have you seen pics of Wilt, Russel, Oscar, videos of them? Do they look non-athletic? By no means was Wilt like Nowitski! He was built like a sh!t brickhouse with shoulders as big truck tires. The man run a marathon at age 40! Come on now… And MJ was just great, a total package. Great athlete, great baller, great insticts, toped with a huge will to win! Was MJ in his prime a better scorer than Wilt in his prime? No. Would today’s centers or even those from the 90s be able to stop Wilt in the post? No. Why? Because he was stronger, faster, smarter and he could last more. Plus, he was a true 7’1″ 300 pounder, not just “listed as”, *ahem : Dwight, Hakeem, etc. I could go on, but does it really matter? It puzzles me how some people would immediately go forth and make statements on historical figures (such as they have become) without doing the proper research.

  • http://www.slamonline.com blackvictory23

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Kobe in my all time greats…I rank him ahead of Magic and below Russell.

  • condeus

    Michael Jordan owns the highest playoff scoring average in history, including Wilt. Another big difference is the increased level of scouting and analysis, both statistical and tactical, between the modern game and Wilt’s period.

  • BlackJesus23

    hey kareem didn’t ya kno that mike is a 6’6??? and you comparing him to a 7 footers??

  • condeus

    I don’t really understand why people keep talking about the number of teams in the league as a deciding factor. Two point worth considering are that if you play with 5 other “all-stars” it becomes a lot harder to be doubled, whilst the global explosion of basketball (started by MJ) has led to a talent pool which dwarfs anything that cam before.

  • Dagger

    Oscar’s the GOAT because he averaged a triple double in a much faster-paced game with far more possessions and far less defense?

  • Geek

    dear darla,
    i hate your stinking guts. you make me vomit. you’re the scuuum between my toes. love, alfalfa

  • fernandogarcia

    love the comment he makes about how MJ led the league in scoring for 10 yrs while their are 30 teams and wilt only played when there was 8…. isnt it harder to lead the league in scoring with more competition…. lebron best player ever.. jordan best scorer

  • Buccetz714

    Man this is great. It’s unbelievable how much this has stirred to the average fan. I been down with SLAM since that ZO’ cover back in the day. To the remarks being made by Lew Alcindor. It’s true WILT had INFLATED numbers because of the number of teams at that time. But there is not way that he is a better scorer than GOAT if they played in the same ERA. He would AVG about 25-30 PPG, 12-14 RPG 2-3 BPG but he wouldn’t come remotely close to the numbers he had. HE would of had to compete with THE DREAM, SHAQ!, DROB, EWING33 ETC. MJ dominated his ERA. From the very start he was the best player in the league! no doubt. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cIIuS_BvHM HE WAS IN COLLEGE!!!!! VS ALL STARS (magic, isaiah, aguirre, english etc) PLEASE DONT LET ME GO THRU HIS ACTUAL CAREER… Let’s just put this to rest and don’t disrespect GOAT anymore please??

  • hagekg

    with all due respect to kareem, i also thinks that chamberlain maybe the greatest centre or inside force to ever play the game….the sad thing is, in the era of chamberlain’s prime, the media is not yet as hype and people outside the US like myself couldnt even get to be the witness. MJ can play both down low or perimeter for offense. MJ is a daman great perimeter defender. MJ is more complete than Stilt. MJ may beat Stilt in one on one because Stilt will be too slow to keep up with him. so the conclusion is, Stilt may be one hell of an inside presence in the team, but when you are talking about overall ability, i still gotta give my props to the G.O.A.T, MJ.

  • http://www.slamoline.com Max

    Chris BO$H is the GOAT, if he played in any era he would get 50-50 each game if he wanted, he just wants to give Lebron and Dwade a chance to shine right now..

  • Lazarus

    why’s this thread turned into a claiming of the different eras heights?

    however, it’s scary to think the physical speciman wilt could have been if given the facilities and training methods todays players have been given. could have very well been 50lbs heavier and more athletic.

  • http://www.arbys.com LilKDub503

    Didn’t read all the comments yet, but 11 rings is impressive. However, the corollary of there being 8 teams means more opportunity to win games. I knew Kareem, you had your idols, but let us have ours.

  • http://www.arbys.com LilKDub503

    And championships.

  • http://www.slamonline.com blackvictory23

    @dagger…don’t hate Oscar b/c he played in that era. I won an argument with Jukai over this; Oscar played in an era w/o a three-point line and one where hand-checking was allowed. He could have gotten triple-double stats in whatever era he played in; especially at the specific point in the 90′s where guards and forwards like Mark Jackson & Charles Barkley were allowed to use their big bodies to back down opponents on isolation plays….don’t get me started, Oscar is definitely the GOAT but Lebron could pass him today b/c he’s even more versatile which is scary.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ Also, in Big O’s era assists were harder to get.

  • E

    Wilt destroyed physically inferior players, and so did Jordan, but not as bad as wilt. Nobody ever talks about Jordan playing against smaller, less athletic players. Jordan said dumars was the best to ever guard him….. He was 6’3″! Imagine lebron or kobe playing against John Starks or Craig Ehlo year after year in the playoffs….. Jordan benefited from a weak era of shooting guards

  • http://www.slamonline.com blackvictory23

    yep…assists were a lot lot harder to record back then. If a 26yr old Lebron keeps this level of play for another seven to eight years (Kobe turns 33 this August) then he’ll end up the GOAT.

  • Vanravan

    This issue of who’s the best is really stupid, cuz we can’t compare the eras. Wilt and Bill make their own statement on their era, but if they palyed in the late 80′s early 90′s , when the game start losing some phisically and start to be more fast and athletic they might can’t keep the pace , or even if they play today they wouldn’t make so many block shots because with the new rules their phisically will put the on foul trouble every single game.
    So in my opinion the greatest ever is MJ , not because is better than Wilt or Bill but what he accomplished in is era. The late 80′s and the early 90′s was , for me , the best era ever, a lot of teams , have a great players , even hall of famers and MJ simply destroyed their dreams of winning….!

  • Tolo

    hmmmmmmm…

    no i got nothing.

    no comment.

    word.

  • zp

    1.Larry Bird
    2.Wilt Chamberlin
    3.Bill Russel
    4.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    5.Shaquille O’Neal

  • http://www.twitter.com/SylvanusUagbor Sovain

    I think Kareem is still offended that when greats are mentioned, he’s not the first name that gets acknowledged, better yet, he is still salty that the Laker organization hasn’t coronated his greatness with a statue in LA. Jabbar is barely mentioned in great centers. A lot of people are putting Shaq n front of him.

  • Gman

    I think its important to state… the GOAT is the one everyone keeps getting compared too.

  • marc

    Honestly i think you cant have a greatest of all time in basketball or in any sport because it is too hard to tell. If any of the players that kareem named including himself, played in a different era will they still produce or dominate the same? It is easier to say they are the greatest players of THEIR time. And also why didn’t kareem include Oscar Robertson?

  • bill

    yo man u crazy thinkin that mj is not greatest. u must i dont even no what are. but ur crazy

  • zp

    Amen Kareem! MJ or lebron is not the greatest players of all time.

  • AD

    Larry Bird is the greatest of all time…. ALL Hail the white man

  • zp

    Amen Kareem! MJ or Lebron Are not the greatest players of all Time.

  • zp

    You tell them AD!!!!

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    wtf i missed EVERYthing.

  • Yesse

    His letter makes sense, but i still can’t believe he behaves like this. Nobody in modern basketball has this kind of ego, not even LeBron or Kobe. This is embarrassing and i think we can call this the “Kareem Abdul Kanye West Syndrome”.

  • barnabusb

    Wilt was mad talented but he played against old, fat white guys who chain smoked and drove taxis in the off season.

  • madterps

    Sorry everyone but there is no real greatest of all time per say, as there might be someone else in the future who can win 12 titles, voted the MVPs 12 times, get the DPOY 12 times, etc.

    Records are meant to be broken at some point. There is however the greatest of their era. MJ is the greatest in the 90s, Magic or Bird in the 80s, Kareem in the 70s, Russell in the 60s.

  • Cole

    Kareem is way off talking about Wilt Chamberlain. He was the assist leader because he got bored of scoring, so that season he passed up tons of open shots to try and get an assist. He was the worst teammate ever to play the game and lost his teams plenty of games by only caring about stats. I think Stottie Pippen is spot on the LeBron could “eventually” be better then MJ. As of now he isn’t though.

  • Cole

    @JTaylor–He dropped 63 on the Celts in I think his 3rd year in the league in a playoff game, correct me if I’m wrong. He did everything he could to win.

  • OneStep

    None of this matters. Calm down dears.

  • Eric

    Kareem is an angry, senile old man….. If we send Bron or Mike back in time they would dominate…. Kareem jus hurt himself by sayin there were 8 teams…. Those boys back in the 50′s 60′s and 70′s were slow and unathletic…. Anyone with a decent crossover and mid-range jumper coulda easily dominated the other 7 teams

  • Hambone

    Dear kareem,

    I got a bronze bust at the united centre,what u got??.plus I reckon sucking up to lbj might get me a spot on the heat.did you see me draining 3′s and killing Justin bieber at the asg???

    Yours

    Pip

    Oh yeah lebron isn’t as good as pippen right now

  • Bigfoot

    Kareem is right on! He obviously knows the history of the game better than Pippen.

  • openlyblack

    Kareem continues to be the class act and the intellectual bench mark of the NBA … characteristics and standards that any number of today’s NBA players (especially so-called stars) would do well to aspire to.

  • lukas

    put jordan in wilts league – he would put up surreal numbers (i like the 52-18-10 thing), put him in todays league, he would average like one billion points on 79 free throw attempts per quarter – lets be honest: jordan had to overcome the toughest league so far with other shooting guards handchecking him on the perimeter and the likes of charles oakley waiting for him in the lane to basically beat him up. he is widely considered to not only be the GOAT in baskeball, but also the most wellknown athlete in all sports, all time. nobody influenced the league like mj (even dirk shows his tongue on dunks ;) )and to argue for any other player in terms of being the most important ballplayer ever has to be a bad joke…scottie obviously is on crack these days and kareem is the GOAT in terms of being bitter. Jordan was the greatest is the greatest and will be the greatest.

  • Lew Alcindor

    Kareem is really the best ever. He won more MVPs and is the alltime leading scorer. He played against great competition too. Never doubt the sky-hook!

    Look at the stats and awards then tell me its not Kareem. Go back to his college days too… Best college player of all time too.

  • http://www.blackmountaincompany.com compleatcarpenter

    Kareem is simply offering perspective, something many people lose when looking at the present. In terms of winning, Bill Russell is probably the greatest NBA player ever. No one else comes close. Oscar Robertson averaged a triple double one year. Wilt has records nobody will break. MJ was great and Kobe and Lebron are great, but don’t forget the people whose shoulders they are standing on.

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