Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Diesel or Wilt the Stilt?

Many people feel Shaq should have been MVP this season (myself not included), and lots of modern basketball fans think he is possibly the best big guy to ever play the game. I'm going to have to remind those people, however, of Wilt Chamberlain. At age 23 in only his third season pro (1961-62) as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors, Wilt the Stilt averaged 50.4 ppg and 25.7 rebounds. I'll repeat- AVERAGED. That means half of the time, Chamberlain scored MORE THAN 50 points per game and 25 boards. In 80 games, he tallied just over 4,000 points. In ONE season (Shaq's highest was 2,377 in one season). Shaq's career-best 29.7 ppg in 00-01 with LA would have been Chamberlain's 10th-best scoring average, while Shaq's rebounding never surpassed 13.9 a game (which places dead last for Chamberlain, whose worst rebounding year saw him grab 18.2 per contest). While Chamberlain's final two scoring averages (about 14 and 13 per game) bring down his career average, it is impossible to overlook his scoring run between ages 23 and 29 (37.6, 38.4, 50.4, 44.8, 36.9, 30.1, 38.9). Just compare career numbers to see that Chamberlain was far and away the better player:

Chamberlain: 30.1 ppg, 22.9 rpg, 54% FG through 14 seasons
Shaq: 26.7 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 58% FG through 13 seasons


Post a Comment

<< Home