Why Bill Russell is greater than Wilt Chamberlain and a top 5 player all time.
(And most importantly not the “overrated plumber” NBA twitter has made him out to be)
In this thread I aim not only to prove Russell should be ranked over Wilt but also to prove wrong many of the misconceptions surrounding Russell and his career. It’s gonna be done in several parts so as to separate everything because it’s long and confusing otherwise
PART 1: Who was a better basketball player?
At first glance, Wilt seems to be the far superior player. Comparing career stats, Russell averaged 15.1 ppg, 22.5 rpg, and 4.3 apg on 44.0% FG. Comparing that to Wilts career stats of 30.1 ppg, 22.9 rpg, and 4.4 apg and it doesn’t look close. However, context is key. (1/19)
Wilt was a statpadder who favored stats over trying to win games. He famously set out to be the first big to lead the league in assists in ‘68 and did it, at the expense of his teammates. In his 100 pt game, Wilts teammates fouled Knicks players to get him the ball back. (2/19)
Russell, on the other hand, was a born competitor. He frequently sacrificed his numbers in the interest of being a good teammate and leader. He preferred to get everyone involved than get his numbers. (3/19)
Don’t believe me? Here’s a quote from Celtic John Havlicek on the Celtics post-Russell. (4/19)
Russell was the better rebounder. While Wilt did average more career rebounds per game, he usually played 2-4 more minutes a game and was padding his boards.
Career p36 min. rpg
Russell: 19.1
Wilt: 18.0
Career playoffs p36 min. rpg
Russell: 19.7
Wilt: 18.6

(05/19)
Russell was also the better passer. This is difficult to prove because all we have is APG to judge. However, Russell beat Wilt out in both regular season and playoffs assists per 36 minutes. I dropped the Havlicek quote explaining his importance in the offense and ability- (6/19)
-to make teammates better. After point guard Bob Cousy retired, the offense ran through Russell because he was the teams best playmaker. On the other hand, Wilt wanted no part of passing the ball unless it was for an assists title. While Wilt was a talented passer and his- (7/19)
-best passing year was better than Russell's best, Wilt only cracked 5.0 assists a game twice in the playoffs. Russell averaged 5.0 or more assists seven times in the playoffs. (and seven times in the finals) (8/19)
It’s difficult to prove defensive ability in the 60s when defensive stats were far and few. One stat that is available is defensive win shares. Russell led the league in defensive win shares 10 of the 13 years he was in the league. (9/19)
Also, Russell vastly improved his teams defense when he came into the league. Before Russell was drafted, Boston were a run-and-gun offense with no defense.Let's look at Boston's ranks in defense from the five years before Russell was drafted to the five years after: (10/19)
It's well-documented that Wilt didn't try particularly hard on defense until the '67 season, when coach Alex Hannum got him to buy in. (And Russell still led the league in DWS over him that year) (11/19)
One modern NBA stat is DFG%, which measures how opponents shoot when guarded by a given player. I wanted to find something similar to be able to statistically quantify the defense of the two. (12/19)
While DFG% is tough to find for the 60s because there's no camera tracking, I made an estimate by finding the FG% of centers who averaged 20 or more ppg for a given season in games they played against Russell or Wilt. I compared that to their reg. season FG% and got this. (13/19)
While its clear Wilt was the superior scorer, there’s a popular myth on this app that Russell was a terrible offensive player because he never averaged 20 ppg and shot just 43% from the field. However, this lacks context. As I said before, Russell preferred to get his- (14/19)
-teammates involved than score himself. When it was needed of him, he could score. He averaged at least 18 points per game in the playoffs five times, and averaged at least 20 points per game in the playoffs twice and three times in the finals. (15/19)
Russell played in an era where shot quantity was valued over quality. After the shot clock league FGA skyrocketed bc teams were afraid of clock violations and ran down the court jacking shots up. That's why he placed top 5 in FG% 4x despite never shooting 47%. (16/19)
Meanwhile, Wilt had a massive playoff to regular season dropoff. Wilt fell from a career regular season 30.1 points per game on 54% FG to 22.5 points per game on 52% FG. (17/19)
I'm not saying Russell was a better scorer. But he wasn't the offensive liability twitter makes him out to be. Far from it, he's one of the smartest players and best passing big men the league has ever seen. (18/19)
So who would you rather have on your team? The better scorer who cared only about his numbers and was at best respected, at worst hated by his peers? Or the better passer, rebounder, defender, teammate, playoffs performer, and leader who was beloved by his peers? (19/19)
PART 2: Winning and mentality
One of the most prevalent and misguided narratives is that the reason Russell only dominated his era so much more than Wilt was because Russell played with Hall of Famers and Wilt played with role players. However this is false and lacking context. (01/41)
Although Russell did play with several NBA legends, his teams weren't as stacked as his detractors claim. As his career went along, his teammates and coach aged and retired. In addition, his opponents teams were quite often just as talented as his teams. (02/41)
Meanwhile, Wilt wasn't playing with exclusively role players like '06 Kobe or '07 LeBron. Over the course of his career he played with multiple all stars, and during the last 3-4 years of Russell's career his supporting cast exceeded that of Russell. (03/41)
Also, Wilt had the opposite of a winning mentality. As I will prove in this section, his obsession with his own numbers led teammates and coaches to despise him. (04/41)
There's no doubt that Russell had star teammates. But his teams weren't as far ahead of everyone else as it's claimed. People always say “There were 8 teams back then” as an example of how weak his era was. But look at it this way: 24 guys make the all star team every- (05/41)
-year. If there's 8-10 teams in the league, every team will end up with 2-3 all stars. Let's look at the '65 season as an example, since that year Boston broke the NBA win-loss record with 62 wins. Both Bill Russell and two Celtics teammates were all stars. Both- (06/41)
Both the Bullets, Sixers, and Oscar's Royals had three all stars. Also, Wilt joined the Sixers mid-year, giving them four all stars by the playoffs. In the playoffs Russell's Celtics beat Wilt's Sixers in 7 who had more all stars than them. (07/41)
To outline my point here, I’m going to compare Russell’s help to that of his best opponent each year. From the ‘59 to the ‘64 seasons Boston was the undisputed best team in the league, so I won’t contend those years. (08/41)
From '57 to '58 Boston faced the St. Louis Hawks both years. Boston had Russell plus perennial All Stars Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman, plus '57 ROTY Tom Heinsohn. The Hawks had Bob Pettit, who was the '56 MVP and was an all star both years, averaging 25-16. They also- (09/41)
-had Slater Martin, Ed Macauley, and Cliff Hagan who combined for 4 All star appearances in '57 and '58. The talent level between the teams was extremely close, as Boston beat them in 7 in '57 and lost in 6 in '58 without Russell, who missed 2 games with a sprained- (10/41)
-ankle. Russell’s supporting cast obviously wasn't enough to win without him in ‘58. Also, Boston beat a seasoned veteran Hawks team in '57 while two of their own best four players were rookies. Boston and St. Louis were a wash for best team across these two years. (11/41)
Let's skip ahead to the aforementioned '65 season, where Boston won a then-record 62 games. Boston had Russell (All Star), Sam Jones (All Star), and John Havlicek (All star and best 6th man in the league) Tom Heinsohn was an all star that year but he was washed and- (12/41)
-it was a courtesy "NBA legend about to retire" all star appearance, a-la Kobe in 2016. Meanwhile, Philly bought Wilt's contract midseason, joining him with 3 All-Stars: Hal Greer, Luke Jackson, and Larry Costello. The Lakers had Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, both- (13/41)
-All-Stars and HOFers in the middle of their prime. (They combined for 48 ppg and 19 rpg) Boston beat Philly in 7 in the EDF and beat Los Angeles in 5 in the finals. Russell arguably had the second worst team of the three and still won the most games and the chip. Hmmm. (14/41)
In '66 Boston had essentially the same core as '65: Russell, Jones, and Havlicek. All All-Stars in their prime, plus a few old veterans ring-chasing. The Sixers had Wilt, Greer, and Chet Walker, all All-Stars, plus rising star and future HOFer Billy Cunningham. Sixers- (15/41)
-win 55 games to Boston's 54. However, Boston beats Philly in 5 and then takes 7 games to dispatch the West-Baylor Lakers in the finals, winning game 7 by just 2 points. Talent edge goes to Philadelphia this year. (16/41)
Before the '67 Celtics legendary coach Red Auerbach retires. From there, Wilt famously embraces a winning mentality for the first time in his career and Philly win a record 67 games. Billy Cunningham hits his prime and aided by All stars Hal Greer and Chet Walker, they- (17/41)
-handle the Russell-coached Celtics in 5 and go on to win the title. This year the talent level and title of "best team in the league" is obviously belonging to Philadelphia. (18/41)
In '68, Russell is aging but Boston are rolling with the same core, but replacing the offense lost by aging Sam Jones with aging Bailey Howell. Philly have the exact same team as in '67, only Wilt spent the season padding assists and trying to lead the league. The Lakers- (19/41)
-still have prime West and Baylor but now have Archie Clark, who averaged 19.9 ppg. The Sixers win 62 games, eight more than Boston. Despite the obvious talent disparity in Philly's favor, Boston beats them in 7 and goes on to beat the more talented LA in the finals in 6. (20/41)
The '69 season: Russell and Sam Jones are both on their last legs. Havlicek is nearing his peak and Howell is still good for 19.7 points a game. Boston flounders and finishes last in their division. Meanwhile Wilt teams up with a prime West and Baylor creating what- (21/41)
-is arguably the NBA's first true superteam. They're clear favorites and win 55 games before blowing through the West and making the finals. The elderly Celtics beat them and famously beat them in 7, with Russell shutting down Wilt. LA were clearly superior this year. (22/41)
So there you have it. Of Russell's 13 seasons in the league, he had the best team in six of them, was tied for joint best in two, and had a worse team in five. During his title years he had the best team in five, at most seven of eleven rings. (23/41)
Also, don't go thinking from '59 to '64 Wilt was playing with bums. Wilt played with all stars and Hall of Famers Paul Arizin and Tom Gola from '60 to '63. In '63, Wilt and Russell both played with 2 all stars. Wilt missed the playoffs and Russell won the championship. (24/41)
Here is one of my favorite stats to bring up when people say Russell only won more than Wilt because of his help.

Playoff Record vs a team with the same or larger number of all stars:
Wilt: 44-46 (0.489)
Russell: 70-40 (0.636)

(25/41)
Another popular argument is "Russell played with 13 Hall of Famers". This statement is lacking context. While Russell did play with 13 Hall of Famers, only 5 can be used as a legitimate argument. (Havlicek, Heinsohn, Sharman, Sam Jones, Cousy) (26/41)
Of the remaining 8 guys, 3 were longtime Celtics role players who made the Hall for their ring count, (Ramsey, KC Jones, Sanders) 3 were washed HOFers who were in Boston to ring chase, (Lovellette, Macauley, Howell) and 2 were HOFers inducted for college. (Risen, Phillip) (27/41)
Wilt was also known for his awful mentality. I'm gonna drop a lot of quotes later, but here's my favorite one FROM WILT'S OWN MOUTH that he didn't even like winning. Imagine if LeBron, Kobe, or Jordan said something like this and how y'all would react. (28/41)
Wilt was a hugely selfish superstar for eight of his first nine years. He threw teammates and coaches under the bus, (He got seven of his nine coaches fired) he fought with his teammates, hogged the ball, and always seemed to make it all about him. Outside the- (29/41)
-'67 season, Wilt only got on with one coach, Frank McGuire, who he only liked because McGuire encouraged his ball hogging and stat padding tendencies. During the '66 EDF against Boston, SI released an interview with Wilt where he attacked his coach, Dolph Schayes. This- (30/41)
-was during a playoff run! That's like Tatum dropping an interview in the middle of the Sixers series calling out Brad Stevens. Even Celtics coach Red Auerbach believed Wilt was such a prima donna he couldn't have coached him. Wilt didn't even travel with his teammates. (31/41)
Wilt had such a showman's mentality after playing on the Globetrotters, he believed that he was the league and people came to games solely to watch him. This fermented into a player who cared only about himself and favored a 40 point, 20 rebound game over winning a game (32/41)
Don't believe me?

Claim: Wilt was a bad teammate and disliked across the league.

Exhibit A: Wilt was traded twice for nothing in the middle of his prime, first in '65 after a 35 game stretch where he averaged 39-23 and in '68 after a season when he led the NBA in APG. (33/41)
Exhibit B: As you'll see later, pretty much every player from that era agreed Russell was better than Wilt and that was it. And everyone from that era also agreed that Wilt was a statpadder and hard to play with because of his unwillingness to adapt to his teammates. (34/41)
Exhibit C: After Russell retired, he moved to LA and was a season ticket holder for the Lakers. Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke asked him to come out of retirement and start for the Lakers. This was while Wilt was STILL A STARTER ON THE LAKERS. (35/41)
Exhibit D: (The smoking gun) During the '65 season, the Warriors made it clear Wilt was available. Lakers owner Bob Short had his players vote on whether they should pick up Wilt's contract. The vote was 9-2 AGAINST! And this dude was averaging a 42-25 for his career! (36/41)
The only time Wilt ever was able to play like Russell was the '67 season, and he openly admitted in his own book that he had to change his game to win that year. He went from 34-25-5 on 54% in '66 to 24-24-8 on 68% in '67. He also bought into defense and sharing the ball. (37/41)
Russell would win more rings in Wilts shoes than Wilt did. As I proved earlier, Russell made his teammates better and his value as a defender, leader, and his selflessness defined his value to a team. Even the Lakers coach said Russell was the only Celtic they feared. (38/41)
Before Russell was drafted, Boston had never won a ring. After he retired, they missed playoffs 2 straight years even though they had prime Havlicek (27-8-7) After Wilt was traded in '68 the Sixers won 55 games w/o him and after he retired the Lakers still made playoffs. (39/41)
Also, for anyone who still believes Russell only won because of his teammates, during the regular season the Celtics were .700 in games he played, but .482 in games he missed. Also, the only final Boston lost with Russell was '58, when he missed two games. (40/41)
In this second part I’ve proved without a doubt that Russell winning so much was due to his basketball ability, competitive nature and leadership, not his help. Conversely, I've proven Wilt lost so much because of his losers mentality and statpadding. Let's move on. (41/41)
PART 3: Clutch
Another thing often overlooked in the Wilt-Russell debate was the disparity between the two in crunch time. While Russell thrived in big games and in crunch time, Wilt was a playoff choker who sucked in big games and the finals. (01/25)
Let's compare their regular season stats to their playoffs stats

Regular Season
Russell: 15.1-22.5-4.3-44.0%
Wilt: 30.1-22.9-4.4-54.0%

Playoffs
Russell: 16.2-24.9-4.7-43.0%
Wilt: 22.5-24.5-4.2-52.2%

In the playoffs Wilt dropped by 7.4 ppg, while Russell flourished.

(02/25)
Every single year of his career Wilt's ppg decreased in the playoffs. The only area where he increased was rebounding. During his famous '62 season where he averaged 50.4 ppg, he fell to 35.0 ppg in the playoffs. His teams always lost and he never showed in crunch time. (03/25)
Meanwhile, Russell is one of the best big game performers ever. His stats increased in the playoffs because he turned up his game when winning was most important. He was spectacular in the finals as well, throwing up several great performances. (04/25)
During this part of the thread we will go through Wilt and Bill's careers and look at their most famous (Or infamous) postseason performances. (05/25)
1957 NBA Finals Game 7

Rookie Bill Russell drops 19 points and 32 rebounds, hits the game tying shot in regulation, and immediately sprints down the court to block a potentially game-winning layup, saving Boston with two dramatic plays and sending it to OT. (06/25)
1960 EDF Game 6

In a must-win game 6 for Philly Russell outplays and locks up Wilt, dropping a 26-25-3 on 42% to Wilts 25-24-0 on 44%. For the people who will say, "Well, Wilt locked up Russell too!", Wilt averaged 38 ppg that season; Russell averaged 18.

(07/25)
1960 NBA Finals Game 7

After dropping 21 points and 40 rebounds in game 2, Russell closes out the series with a 22-35-4 performance in game 7 that Boston wins comfortably. Russell averages a 17-25 for the series.

(08/25)
1961 NBA Finals game 5

After averaging 21-31 on Syracuse in the Division Finals, Russell and Boston defeat a resilient Hawks team in 5. Russell drops 30 points and 38 rebound on 53% shooting in the closeout game 5 and averages 18-29-4 for the series.

(09/25)
1962 EDF Game 7

Russell locks up Wilt in a must-win game 7, holding him from his regular season average of 50.4 ppg down to just 22 points. For the game Russell outplays Wilt, averaging 19-22-1 on 50% to Wilts 22-22-3 on 47%.

(10/25)
1962 NBA Finals Games 6-7

Russell comes through again, dropping a triple double (19-24-10) in game 6 to save his team down 3-2, and then drops 30 points and 40 rebounds in game 7 to clinch the series. During the end of regulation and OT in game 7 all of Boston's- (11/25)
-and big men fouled out, so Russell had to pull down every rebound and be the only paint protector in overtime. For the series he averages a 23-27-6 on 54%. This is the guy who was a terrible scorer right? 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️ (12/25)
1963 playoffs

Russell drops a 20-24-4 on 57% in a game 7 to send off a talented three all-star Royals team, including Oscar Robertson. Then he averages 20-26-5 on 47% in the finals to beat the West-Baylor Lakers in 6, including a 25-29 in game 1 and 38 boards in game 2. (13/25)
1965 Finals

After seeing Wilt off in the Divison Finals, Russell once again dispatches the Lakers in 5, averaging an 18-25-6 on 70% Field Goal shooting. He drops 22 points and 30 rebounds in the closeout game 5. (14/25)
1966 finals games 5-7

Through the last 3 games of this series, Russell drops a 32-28, 22-23, and 25-32 (3 game average of 26.3 points and 27.7 rebounds) to defeat the Lakers for the fifth time of his career. He averages a 24-24-4 on 54% for the finals, arguably his best. (15/25)
1968 EDF Game 7

Russell and Boston defeat a Wilt-led Sixers team in 7 games. In game 7, Russell has only 12 points but only misses two shots while holding Wilt to 14 points on 44% shooting. In case you missed it, there's a theme here of Russell beating Wilt quite often. (16/25)
1969 NBA Finals Game 7

Russell plays poorly but Boston defeat a highly favored Lakers team in 7. In Game 7 the Lakers stage a comeback from 15 down while Wilt is on the bench. (He was benched for a suspicious knee injury and refusing to play defense with 5 fouls) (17/25)
1970 NBA Finals

Willis Reed held Wilt to 19 ppg through the first 4 games before tearing a muscle in his right thigh, that practically severed all control to his lower right leg. In game 6, when Willis was absent, Wilt dropped 46. Willis had Wilt on lockdown when- (18/25)
-healthy. In the crucial game 7, Wilt was held to 2-7 shooting with 4 turnovers in the first 21 minutes by Willis, who was basically playing on one leg. Wilt scored 21 points while Willis was on the bench. Knicks went on to win the game and the chip. (19/25)
1972 NBA Finals

Willis Reed misses the entire finals with a knee injury. Wilt takes the opportunity to average a 19-23 on 60% and win Finals MVP. 🤔🤔🤔🤔 (20/25)
1973 NBA Finals

With Willis healthy, Wilt gets held to 12 ppg for the series and the Lakers lose in 5 to the Knicks. Enough said. (21/25)
Let's recap:

Wilt
Finals Record: 2-4
Finals W-L: 13-15 (0.464)
Finals Stats: 18.6-24.6-3.8-55.9% (Peak 22.9-28.1-4.8-53.3%)

Russell
Finals Record: 11-1
Finals W-L: 46-26 (0.639)
Finals Stats: 16.4-24.5-4.5-46.1% (Peak 20.4-27.2-5.2-49.3%)

Finals H2H: Russ 8-4 Wilt

(22/25)
Regular Season Wilt during finals career: ('64, '67, '69-'70, '71-'72)
22.0-21.0-5.1-60.1%
Finals Wilt:
18.6-24.6-3.8-55.9%

Regular Season Russell during finals career: ('58-'66, '68-'69)
15.3-22.6-4.1-43.9%
Finals Russell:
16.4-24.5-4.5-46.1%

I rest my case

(23/25)
The reality of the situation was that Wilt, whose number one concern was how he would be portrayed in the media, feared being blamed for losses. Even further, he was terrified of having the ball in close games because of his abysmal FT shooting and teams would hack- (24/25)
-him. Wilt would rather not have the ball in close games than get fouled and potentially take the blame for missing clutch FT. No other legend feared the clutch as much as he did. Sorry, it's the truth. Russell partially succeeded because he thrived under pressure. (25/25)
PART 4: Quotes
This section of the thread is simply going to be a list of quotes from coaches, broadcasters, columnists, and players (even Wilt himself) from the 60s talking about Wilt and giving their thoughts on him, although there will be some pro-Russell quotes sprinkled in. (01/24)
Matt Guokas talking about how Wilt was stat padding to win the assists title during the ‘68 season. (02/24)
Bob Cousy discussing Wilt’s obsession with stats and records and how different Russell’s mentality was. (03/24)
Butch Van Breda Kolff, Wilt’s own coach during the ‘69 season, talking about how Russell cared about winning and making his team better, while Wilt cared about his stats. (04/24)
Rick Barry in his autobiography embodying the league-wide sentiment that Wilt was a choker and a loser. (05/24)
Bill Bradley, who played Wilt in the finals on the ‘73 Knicks, showing how Wilt was able to cover up his losses with pretty stats. (06/24)
Wilt himself admitting Russell cared way more about winning and about basketball than him, and basically mocking Russell’s mentality. He admits he didn’t win anything because Russell cared about victory and he didn’t. Shocking. (07/24)
Cousy again criticizing Wilts lackadaisical attitude towards basketball. (08/24)
Celtics coach Red Auerbach, who had said himself he would be unable to coach Wilt, talking about Wilts selfishness. (09/24)
Chick Hearn, a legendary Lakers announcer since the 60s, talking about how Wilt would look at the stat sheets to check his numbers during timeouts. (10/24)
John Havlicek essentially settling the Wilt-Russell debate in one sentence. (11/24)
Hall of Fame shooting guard Paul Westphal talking about Russell’s ability to make teammates better. (While Hall of Famers tell me this, twitter tells me to listen to the 10 year olds who started watching basketball in 2013 who say Russell was a shitty offensive player) (12/24)
John Havlicek talking about how Wilt would literally stop playing defense if he had 4+ fouls because he was obsessed with never fouling out in his career. (13/24)
Wilt HIMSELF IN HIS OWN AUTOBIOGRAPHY saying he didn’t know how to play team basketball until 1967, the eighth season of his career. He’s basically a less-angry version of DeMarcus Cousins. (14/24)
Bill Bradley analyzing Wilt’s awful mentality towards winning and his prioritizing individual statistics and accomplishments over winning basketball games. (15/24)
Wilt’s Hall of Fame teammate Jerry West saying Russell is better and talking about how Wilt wouldn’t adjust to his teammates. (16/24)
Another All-Star and Champion, Jerry Lucas, talking about the difference between Russell and Wilt in mentality. If I haven’t proven to you by now that Russell is better then I don’t know what else I need to do. (17/24)
Bill Russell confirming what I’ve been saying the last 90 tweets and saying Wilt prioritized his own wealth and fame over winning championships. (18/24)
Here’s Wilt in an interview saying he liked losing more than winning. Lmao. (19/24)
Jim Murray, an LA Times columnist in ‘65, talking about how the priorities of any basketball team Wilt played on rotated around getting him points. (20/24)
John Taylor, who wrote a book about Chamberlain vs Russell, explaining Wilt’s attitude toward basketball and why he was the way he was. (21/24)
John Havlicek on the Celtics post-Russell’s retirement, when they missed the playoffs two straight years. Also talks about how all the Celtics teammates benefited offensively from having Russell there. (22/24)
Lakers head coach John Kundla during Boston’s 62 win season talking about how LA would easily beat Boston without Russell and he was the X-Factor that made the team tick. (23/24)
Jerry West in 1968 calling Russell the best player in the world, even though Wilt was still in the league. (24/24)
PART 5: Disproving Myths
Throughout the first four parts of this thread, I've pretty much all but proved Russell was better and greater than Wilt, while doing some mythbusting. This last part I'll use to compare their resumes, talk about their head-to-head matchups, and- (01/24)
-give my thoughts on the criticisms of Russell's era by modern NBA fans. (02/24)
Let's compare the resumes of the two. At first glance, Wilt's looks better. But this is out of context. Wilt had more All-NBA teams because they were voted by the media, while the players voted for MVPs and voted Russell. Also, Russell only played 1 year of basketball- (03/24)
-where Finals MVPs and All-Defensive awards were given out, while Wilt played five years, meaning five times the opportunities. The disparity in stat titles can be explained by Wilt's obsession with record and statistics. But I went back through history and examined- (04/24)
-each award year and switched some things around. I looked at some potential MVP and All-NBA robberies and gave out All-Defensive award, Finals MVPs, and DPOYs for players in the 60s. There's too many of them for me to explain every single one so if you disagree with me- (05/24)
-do your own research and prove me wrong. For starters, I concluded Russell was robbed of the '59 MVP. He averaged more rebounds and assists, shot a better FG%, and won more games than MVP Pettit. I didn't find any year where Wilt was robbed of MVP except possibly the- (06/24)
-'64 season where Oscar won and averaged less points and rebounds on a lower FG%, but averaged more assists, and won more games. At the end of the day I gave the '64 MVP to Wilt because there's similar evidence that Oscar had a negative impact on his teams. No- (07/24)
-Russell didn't rob Wilt of the '62 MVP. While Wilt averaged 50.4 ppg on a higher FG% and also outrebounded Russ, the Celtics won a then-record 60 games and became the NBA's first 60 win team. Before you blame "help" on thee 11 win differential, Russell only had one more- (08/24)
-All-Star teammate than Wilt, which isn't enough to explain an win differential of 11, especially considering Russell's best teammate (Heinsohn) wasn't much better than Wilt's best. (Arizin) Also Wilt was a stat padder who made his teams worse but anyways. I went through- (09/24)
-every Finals year and found that Wilt should've won Finals MVP in '67, when his Sixers beat the Warriors. Russell should've won every Finals MVP from '59 to '63, and both '65 and '66. This would give Wilt two FMVPs and Russell seven. Now we go to defensive awards These- (10/24)
-are much more difficult to quantify because all we really have are DWS and people's opinions. However, in '69 Russell made first team All-Defense over Wilt, despite Russ being on his last legs and Wilt being somewhat still in his prime. Based on this and the fact that- (11/24)
-Russell led the league in DWS pretty much every year, we can infer that Russell would've made about 10 or 11 All-Defensive first teams and possibly as many as 8-10 DPOYs. Meanwhile, Wilt would likely have made around 2 Defensive first teams and 9 second teams with 2- (12/24)
-DPOYs. Also, if we line up Russell and Wilt's All-NBA teams with their MVPs, we get resumes something like this. Once we add context, things don't look as lopsidedly in Wilt's favor. (13/24)
Another thing people talk about is how Wilt outplayed Russell H2H. While statistically, this is true, it is out of context. As we know, Wilt cared only for numbers and he was more focused on that than winning. Also, Russell consistently shut down Wilt and the Celtics won. (14/24)
Here we have Wilt's scoring numbers in games against Russell. And while Wilt also shut down Russell, Russell didn't need to score to help his team do well. (15/24)
To close out this thread, I'd like to talk about the narrative that Wilt and Russell aren't top 10-20 because they "played plumbers and electricians". While it's not deniable that the talent level back then was inferior to today, the level of competition isn't as bad as- (16/24)
-twitter pretends. (And for the record the 60s was easily more competitive than the 70s. As I stated earlier, because there were only 8-10 teams, every team ended up with 2-3 all stars. Also, look at it this way: If theres only 8-10 teams in the league and its an- (17/24)
- 80-82 game season, and every team has 2-3 all stars, that means Russell and Wilt were playing a team with 2-3 all stars basically every night. And the best players back then wouldn't be scrubs today. Wilt, Oscar, West, Baylor, and Bellamy would all still be 20 ppg- (18/24)
-scorers if you adjust their stats to todays pace. Also, in a slower paced era, their FG% would increase. Also, if we go by the same concept that you play every good team 8-10 times a year, Russell and Wilt would've played one another 8-10 teams every season. The league- (19/24)
-as well as Russell and Wilt, also included Walt Bellamy, (20k points and HOFer) Willis Reed, (Good enough defender than he locked up Wilt on one leg) and Nate Thurmond. (Locked up twitter legend Kareem in 3 consecutive postseasons) For example, during the '68 season- (20/24)
-Russell faced Bellamy, Wilt, Thurmond, and Reed a combined 39 times over an 80 game season, plus an extra nine games against Hall of Fame defender Dave DeBusschere. That's like taking only the ten best teams in the NBA in 2018 and putting them in a league so LeBron has- (21/24)
-to face KD and the Warriors; Hayward, Kyrie and the Celtics; PG13, Russ, and OKC; Harden, CP3, and Houston; and Kawhi and Toronto a combined 40 times a year. As it is he saw those guys a combined 12 times last year. You don't think posting up against a HOF center every- (22/24)
-night for six months won't have a negative impact on your stats? Exactly. Their competition was, in its own way, just as tough, as the great players in todays league. (23/24)
In this thread I've empirically proven Russell is greater than Wilt, and I've proven wrong pretty much every criticism of his career. I have him as the GOAT Center and Top 5 All-Time. I don't expect you all to do the same, but I hope you can see my POV. Thanks. (24/24)
GOAT
I know this not gonna get any clout because twitter hates hearing things that contradict their popular points of view but fuck it hard work is its own reward
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