Tag Archives: russell

Who was the best NBA center of all time and why?

I think the main contenders for this spot is either Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

First off, out of these 3 I rank Russell the lowest because even though he was the best defender of the three, the greatest winner and arguably the best team player, he lacked the 2 way dominance the other two had. In terms of intangibles Russell might be #1, but I place him below Wilt/Kareem.

Now for Wilt vs Kareem it really depends on whether you value prime output or longevity. This is a big debate among fans and there’s no right answer. For example, would you take Robert Parish 21 years of above average play or Bill Walton 2 years of transcendental play? Would you take Bernard King a SF with an incredible unstoppable prime, or Paul Pierce an above average SF with a long career but a not so dominant prime?

Wilt has the most incredible prime out of any player in NBA history, MJ included. He averaged 50 points a game one season, scored 100 points in one time, grabbed 55 rebounds in one game, led the league in assists etc it goes on and on. However he only played 13 seasons.

Kareem along with Duncan, Malone, Stockton, Kobe, Lebron etc has one of the longest careers of exceptional play out of any NBA player but his prime doesn’t quite match Wilt’s. He played 7 more seasons than Wilt did, yet I believe that Wilt would have exceeded almost all of Kareem’s records (except for rings maybe) if he played just as long as Kareem did.

So for me I’m picking Wilt over Kareem because I believe that Wilt was the more talented player, post knee-injury Wilt was able to block prime Kareem’s skyhook and match him one on one and I do believe that if Wilt was in his prime, he would dominate Kareem. But it’s a close choice and I really don’t fault anyone for picking Kareem over Wilt as well as I understand the reasons behind it.

Who are the greatest rebounders in NBA history?

  1. Wilt Chamberlain – 23 rebounds/game average, all time leading rebounder, 11 rebounding titles
  2. Bill Russell – 22.5 rebounds/game average, 4 rebounding titles second all time rebounder
  3. Dennis Rodman – 13 rebounds/game average, 7 rebounding titles, was only 6′7
  4. Bob Pettit – 16 rebounds/game average, probably the best white guy rebounder along with Jerry Lucas and Dave Cowens
  5. Moses Malone – 12 rebounds/game average, 6 rebounding titles, all time leader in offensive rebounds
  6. Jerry Lucas – 15.6 rebounds/game average
  7. Nate Thurmond – 15 rebounds/game average
  8. Wes Unseld – 14 rebounds/game average, 1 rebounding title, was only 6′7
  9. Dave Cowens – 13.6 rebounds/game average
  10. Dwight Howard – 12.7 rebounds/game average, 5 rebounding titles
  11. Mel Daniels
  12. Charles Barkley
  13. Elgin Baylor
  14. Kevin Garnett
  15. Artis Gilmore
  16. Larry Bird
  17. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  18. Ben Wallace
  19. Dikembe Mutombo
  20. Tim Duncan

What makes Michael Jordan the best in the history of basketball?

I would revise it to mean history of NBA, not basketball. And even then I don’t think its that clear cut. Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time (GOAT) to most people because he’s a winner (6 championships, no losses in the finals), he’s super competitive, he has 5 MVPs (most out of any guard), he plays in a way that makes him electrifying to watch with lots of high flying dunks and clutch plays, he has the most awards out of any player in the modern era (6 Finals MVPs in addition to the stuff above and 10 scoring titles , DPOY, etc). Plus because people love scoring so much, he’s the penultimate scorer. The highest scoring average in NBA history both in regular season and playoffs. The most complete guard ever. Marketing wise no one else compares, Jordan earns millions a year despite the fact that he’s been retired for over 10 years. He’s the most famous basketball player still to this day.
That makes him an easy choice for GOAT for the majority of people.

There’s 4 other players that could possibly be considered the GOAT though this is for the minority of people:

Wilt Chamberlain – numerous unbroken records, most average rebounds a game, most rebounds all time, led league in assists once, rebounds 11 times, scoring 7 times, FG% several times, averaged 45 minutes a game, 100 points in a game, averaged 50 points and 25 rebounds a game before, etc. For pure statistical dominance, Wilt is at the top.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – all time NBA leading scorer, consistently great for 20 years, 6 rings, 6 MVPs, 2 Finals MVPs 14 years apart, 3rd in rebounds and blocks. He has the championship pedigree of Jordan and stats that are not quite Wilt-like but close to it.

Bill Russell – the consummate winner. 11 rings in 13 seasons. 5 MVPs. The greatest defensive player ever. the first african-american coach. The first black superstar in the league. One of the greatest teammates you can ever have. The thing that holds Russell back is his lack of offense, so he can’t really be called a ‘complete’ player like the other guys on this list.

Lebron James – modern era dominance, 8 Finals in a row, makes whatever team he’s on championship calibre, has a ridiculously long prime (pretty much the same as Jordan his entire career is his prime), excels in every category scoring rebounding assists etc. 4 MVPs, 3 rings, 3 finals mvps. The only thing that prevents Lebron from being the GOAT I think is his amount of awards that still trails Jordan. Stats wise you could make arguments that he’s surpassed Jordan in several areas already, but the amount of rings and other awards just aren’t there yet.

So yes to the majority of people, Jordan is the GOAT. the other guys are too old for this generation, weren’t marketed back in their time, and Lebron hasn’t matched up to Jordan in the key category of championships.