Russell vs Chamberlain

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    Russell vs Chamberlain

    For anyone who believes that Wilt was a better player or more valuable than Russ......simply read the chapter titled "Russell, then Wilt".....it is in "The Book of Basketball" by Bill Simmons....this forever settles this argument...the author explains the "six most common myths of the debate".....unbelievable reading....I watched them play head to head their entire careers....and I learned several things that I didn't know or had never considered! I won't go into it here...too many facts and comparisons.......just do yourself a favor and take 30 minutes to read the chapter....buy the book ($18) or go to the library....but read it....truly enlightening!!
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    In Response to Russell vs Chamberlain:
    [QUOTE]For anyone who believes that Wilt was a better player or more valuable than Russ......simply read the chapter titled "Russell, then Wilt".....it is in "The Book of Basketball" by Bill Simmons....this forever settles this argument...the author explains the "six most common myths of the debate".....unbelievable reading....I watched them play head to head their entire careers....and I learned several things that I didn't know or had never considered! I won't go into it here...too many facts and comparisons.......just do yourself a favor and take 30 minutes to read the chapter....buy the book ($18) or go to the library....but read it....truly enlightening!!
    Posted by Duke4[/QUOTE]
    But what if some of us are so wrapped up in daily chores, we can't get to read the book?  Can anybody that really knows, tell us the highlights of what really happened when they met head to head.  The Duke has me going. I've wondered about this question for years.
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    I will take some time tomorrow and paraphrase..........stay tuned....there is some great stuff in this book....
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    Looking forward to it!




     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    OK.....because there is so much to absorb, I'll try to do this in small segments.....

    First....you cannot compare them head to head statistically...Wilt dominated the stats....he was all about stats....Russ was all about winning.......

    Myth #1-Russ played on better teams...

    looking at the 10 years they went head to head...Russ played on 5 better all around teams....Wilt played on 4.....1 year the teams were considered even........Russ played with 4 members of the NBA Top 50.........Wilt played with 6...Russell's teammates were selected to 26 all star games.....Wilt's teammates were selected to 24......Russ' teams won 84 games...Wilt's won 58.....during the playoffs, Wilt's numbers went down....Russ' went up

    Regular Season

    Wilt.....28.7 ppg and 28.7 rpg
    Russ....14.5 and 23.7

    Playoffs

    Wilt.....160 games...22.5...24.5...4.2 assists...47% ft...52% fg
    Russ....165 games..16.2...24.9...4.7assists...60% ft...43% fg

    Conference Finals

    Wilt 48-44....Russ 90-53

    Game 7's

    Wilt 4-5........Russ 10-0

    Records in Elimination Games

    Wilt 10-11....Russ 16-2

    Championships

    Wilt 2...Russ 11

    Russell won championships in high school, college, the Olympics, and the NBA..

    Wilt never won a championship in high school or college

    When the Warriors were in last place and decided to trade Wilt, they offered him to the Lakers, who desperately needed a big man to counter Russ....the Laker's owner put it to the players to take a vote....the team voted 9-2 AGAINST bringing Wilt onboard....that is an all too teling revelation...

    .....most of this information comes from Myth #1.....(there are 6 myths)

    There is more if anyone is interested.....please take the time to read this chapter if you can....you will understand why it makes sense...
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    When asked by my kids I break it down like this, simple and straightforward:
    Wilt was a scorer, Russ was a winner.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Duke4. Show Duke4's posts

    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    Exactly Redd....
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    Thank you very much, Duke.  That was great information.  I think I have read in the Cleveland newspaper that Russell was the better defensive player and his style of play was more conducive to team play.  Can somebody out there verify this?
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    Wilt was lots more than a scorer.. he was a rebounder, intimidater and just about everything else.  I dont like the stigma that Wilt was all about stats for this reason..

    any other player in NBA history could have had the same goals (stats) but none of them could have put up the numbers Wilt did. As a younger player he was extremely fast and flexible, jumped high.. Most people have only seen the vids of the heavier, more thickly muscled guy with the finger roll... wasnt always that way.

    But like any team sport, one guy isnt gonna win the title... especially when there a Bill Russell playing in your era.  MJ is another perfect example.

    I still say Russ was the greatest winner & player in basketball history. Nobody can convince me different. But lets not cheapen what Wilt was either... clearly the most dominant player ever  
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    In Response to Re: Russell vs Chamberlain:
    [QUOTE]Thank you very much, Duke.  That was great information.  I think I have read in the Cleveland newspaper that Russell was the better defensive player and his style of play was more conducive to team play.  Can somebody out there verify this?
    Posted by cavaliersfan[/QUOTE]
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    ....sure...I can help out here....the classic example was the blocked shot......no one had done it before Russ came into the league....he single handedly intimidated shooters....so much so that he forced Neal Johnson (league scoring leader) to alter his shots and finally retire.....Russ was everywhere, swooping from above, behind...he came from every spot on the floor.....many years into his career Wilt decided to become a defensive force to "be like Bill"....he would swat a shot into the fifth row as a show of power....the only problem was the other team got the ball back....Russ kept the ball in play, often controlling the ball or tipping it to a teammate to start a fast break score.....he turned defensive plays into points....Wilt sent fans scattering....only to give the ball back to the other team.....see the difference....?
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    In Response to Re: Russell vs Chamberlain:
    [QUOTE]Russell and Chamberlain were pretty equal. Russell played on much better teams with much better coaching most of the time. When Wilt had a good team with good coaching, his team won.
    Posted by Kirk6[/QUOTE]

    Your post doesnt make sense. First you say Russ & Wilt were pretty much equal. Then you go on to say when Wilt had a good team with good coaching, his team won.... implying everything else being equal, Wilt trumps Russ.

    Now explain how in 66-67 the 76ers beat the Celts in the playoffs and went on to win the NBA title.... yet the following year, they lost to the Celtics... the only difference in the 76er lineup in those 2 years were 2 bench minor players.

    That year was the only year Wilt won a title while Russ was playing.
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    Wilt played 5 years with the 76ers with 1 title. Several of those years he had the following linep, give or take a couple bench player changes.  Wilt was surrounded with arguably the best talent in the NBA on those teams. Cant use the cliche excuse if Wilt had the same talent/coaching on his team as Russell things would have been different

    Wilt ChamberlainC7-1275August 21, 19368University of Kansas
    21Larry CostelloG6-1186July 2, 193111Niagara University
    32Billy CunninghamF-C6-6210June 3, 19432University of North Carolina
    20Ron FilipekF6-5205February 5, 1944RTennessee Technological University
    16Johnny GreenF-C6-5200December 8, 19338Michigan State University
    15Hal GreerG-F6-2175June 26, 19369Marshall University
    14Matt GuokasG-F6-5175February 25, 19441Saint Joseph's University
    54Luke JacksonF-C6-9240October 31, 19413University of Texas-Pan American
    24Wali JonesG6-2180February 14, 19423Villanova University
    28Bill MelchionniG6-1165October 19, 19441Villanova University
    12Jim ReidF6-6210August 3, 1945RWinston-Salem State University
    25Chet Walker
     
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    In Response to Re: Russell vs Chamberlain:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Russell vs Chamberlain : Your post doesnt make sense. First you say Russ & Wilt were pretty much equal. Then you go on to say when Wilt had a good team with good coaching, his team won.... implying everything else being equal, Wilt trumps Russ. Now explain how in 66-67 the 76ers beat the Celts in the playoffs and went on to win the NBA title.... yet the following year, they lost to the Celtics... the only difference in the 76er lineup in those 2 years were 2 bench minor players.
    Posted by Karllost[/QUOTE]
    Nope, the following year (1967-68) in the playoffs, check out where Billy Cunningham, Wilt's HOF teammate, was.







     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    I posted the comparisons earlier....Russ played with 4 Top 50 guys.....Wilt played with 6......the last 3 years Wilt clearly played on better teams in Philly and LA....not only did Wilt's teams not go on to win titles the two years following his first one.....but his teams lost both years to a clearly aging Celtic squad....
    Russ was the difference.....and winning is the sole reason they played the game.................well,other than riches and fame of course

    The writer mentions the fact that Wilt was so obsessed with winning the assist title that he kept checking with the official scorer often arguing over plays that he thought should have been called his way.....he also told certain teammates that he would feed them if they were hot and he got on teammates when they didn't convert...this is verified by his teammates...

    Wilt was also obsessed with never fouling out of a game....and played poor defense when he got to 4-5 fouls...this is also documented by former players...

    a quote from Wilt: "I think (Russ) may have felt that with my natural ability and willingness to work hard, my team could have won an NBA Championship every year if I was as totally committed to victory as he was....I wish I had won all those championships, but I really think I grew more as a man in defeat than Russell did in victory"...from the book "Wilt"........so Wilt didn't work hard enough (or smart enough) to lead his team to the title.....rather, his focus was on setting records.....it's no wonder Jerry West is quoted as saying he would take Russ over Wilt as a teammate....
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    In Response to Re: Russell vs Chamberlain:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Russell vs Chamberlain : Nope, the following year (1967-68) in the playoffs, check out where Billy Cunningham, Wilt's HOF teammate, was.
    Posted by TheBhoys[/QUOTE]

    Fair point.  Philly lost Cunningham to injury before the 1968 playoffs.  

    But they still had Boston in a 3-1 hole with game five and, if necesary, game seven in Philly and they still lost--being the first team, up to that point, to blow a 3-1 lead.


    In game seven Wilt somehow took only two shots in the second half as Boston was pulling away.

    Some attribute this to Rusell's hellacious defense but when the greatest offensive force the game had ever seen up to that point takes only two shots with the entire season on the line a lot of it has to be attributed to that player's own reluctance to step up in the big moment.

    And that was the biggest difference between Russell and Wilt.  Russell, in the words of Tommy Heinshon, had a "neurotic need to win."  Wilt did  not.
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    "Now explain how in 66-67 the 76ers beat the Celts in the playoffs and went on to win the NBA title.... yet the following year, they lost to the Celtics... the only difference in the 76er lineup in those 2 years were 2 bench minor players. "

    Was David Stern part of the officiating crew?
    Sealed
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    In Response to Russell vs Chamberlain:
    [QUOTE]For anyone who believes that Wilt was a better player or more valuable than Russ......simply read the chapter titled "Russell, then Wilt".....it is in "The Book of Basketball" by Bill Simmons....this forever settles this argument...the author explains the "six most common myths of the debate".....unbelievable reading....I watched them play head to head their entire careers....and I learned several things that I didn't know or had never considered! I won't go into it here...too many facts and comparisons.......just do yourself a favor and take 30 minutes to read the chapter....buy the book ($18) or go to the library....but read it....truly enlightening!!
    Posted by Duke4[/QUOTE]

    The absolutely most important thing I have ever read.....  2 players who never had to play with a salary cap, two players who never played with a 3 point line, 2 players who were not allowed to play after 1 year out of high school, etc.....


    ummmmmmm who cares........  today Russell is on his best day PJ Brown without the benefit of today's nutrition and training, etc.  also on his best day nobody came to him  and said this year you can have either Heinsohn or Cousy but not both, etc........... whenever you change the rules and go the way that I would think most people think..... i.e just about everything is better today..... then why bother assessing Russell vs. Wilt......
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    I guess the reason is that the debate has been going on for the last 50 years and this book (just printed) looks at every angle and provides a great analysis....of course Russ would take advantage of todays weight training, etc....as for everything in sports being better today?....not in my opinion...baseball, basketball, boxing (we are talking professional sports here).....not even close.....give me the old days....football?...better today (but some of the rule changes have been ridiculous)....auto racing is better...as is golf (better equipment)...and tennis....JMO

     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

     I saw a playoff clip once where Russell was at center court and a forward on the opposing team had the ball at the top of the key and was racing in for an easy layup and Russell caught up to him and blocked the shot. He had an insane intensity and will-to-win. He was the kind of guy who makes everybody else on the team better. I never heard that said about Chamberlain. What were the rings 11 for Russell and 2 for Wilt? Doesn't that pretty much say it all?
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    In Response to Re: Russell vs Chamberlain:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Russell vs Chamberlain : The absolutely most important thing I have ever read.....  2 players who never had to play with a salary cap, two players who never played with a 3 point line, 2 players who were not allowed to play after 1 year out of high school, etc..... ummmmmmm who cares........  today Russell is on his best day PJ Brown without the benefit of today's nutrition and training, etc.  also on his best day nobody came to him  and said this year you can have either Heinsohn or Cousy but not both, etc........... whenever you change the rules and go the way that I would think most people think..... i.e just about everything is better today..... then why bother assessing Russell vs. Wilt......
    Posted by TheDUDDER[/QUOTE]

    "...today Russell is on his best day PJ Brown..."

    So, you're saying that PJ Brown would have played Wilt better than Nate Thurmond, Willis Reed, Walt Bellamy, Zelmo Beatty and Wes Unseld?

    When people say Russell would be a solid jorneyman at best today they usually implicitly or explicitly cite his lack of size.  He was after all just 6'9" and about 220 lbs.  These same people usually say that Wilt at a listed 7' and 275 pounds would dominate today.

      Wilt readily acknowledged that Russell played him better than anybody.

    So, what's wrong with this picture?  Russ couldn't dominate today because he was too small.  Wilt could because he was such a physical speciman. 

    Yet, Russell played Wilt better than anybody.
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    paulliu

    I'll take it one step further. The Wilt of the 60's, playing in the present,  would not put up the numbers that he did in the 60's. The skill level of the modern day Basketball player is much greater then that of  the competion that He and Russ faced.

    Seems 

     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    Great point!!!   .....another example...Dave Cowens vs Kareem Abdul Jabbar......at least a 5-6 inch height difference....and a few lbs to boot......the big redhead played him quite well....and in todays NBA....Cowens would also be a star....talent, dedication, drive, and hustle still work in the association....
     
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    Re: Russell vs Chamberlain

    In Response to Re: Russell vs Chamberlain:
    [QUOTE]paulliu I'll take it one step further. The Wilt of the 60's, playing in the present,  would not put up the numbers that he did in the 60's. The skill level of the modern day Basketball player is much greater then that of  the competion that He and Russ faced. Seems 
    Posted by SeemsToMe[/QUOTE]

    Absolutely agree.  If Shaq in his prime played in the early 60's, he probably would have racked up numbers like Wilt's.  But if the great players from that era played today--Russ, Wilt, Jerry West, Baylor, Oscar Robertson and others--they would still be stars though not as dominant as they were in their era.

    For example, I doubt that Oscar would average a 28-10-11 though he'd still be one of the top PG's. 

    Red Auerbach said that he could put togther a Dream Team from that era but he could put together two or three dream teams from the modern era but if they played each other no way that the modern dream team would be guranteed a win.
     

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