Using the logic (or lack of) by people who bash Wilt, I will now present a group of losers. This is a lesson in absurdity, as I can also take selected facts--often presented by fans of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, modern NBA fans who know nothing of the NBA before 1991, or fans of the Boston Celtics who will say anything, true or false, to make their own guys look good--and I can draw the same conclusion.
Once again, I do not believe these conclusions. This is a lesson in absurdity, so that people may finally realize that one man does not win championships. It's about time our society realizes that basketball, football, and baseball are *TEAM* sports. If they want to equate championships with individual greatness, let them watch Pro Wrestling or golf.
The List of Losers:
Larry Bird is a Loser
If Bill Russell is better than Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson is better than Larry Bird.
I suppose the very thought of this makes Celtic loyalist cringe. Well, good--let them cringe. Although Wilt did nearly every facet of the game better than Russell, Russell is considered by many to be better because his TEAMS won. So even though, he couldnt contain Wilt, his teammates were able to overcome the mismatch at the center position, and this is supposed to somehow make Russell better.
Likewise, I submit that even though Larry Bird did most things better than Magic Johnson individually, Magic is the better player because his teams won more often. The same absurd logic applies to both cases. Lets compare:
Both Wilt and Bird only made the Final 4 once in their college careers. Both were one man teams and both lost in the finals. Except Wilt lost to undefeated North Carolina and Bird lost to Magics Michigan State team. Also, Wilt shot 6-13 for 23 points in the game and Larry shot 7-21 for 19 points (gee, who is the choker?.
Both joined the NBA on teams who failed to make the playoffs the year before they joined. Both teams saw major improvement the first year. Both teams lost the conference finals.
Each player won rookie of the year.
Wilt and Bird only made the NBA finals 1 time in their first 5 years.
Both players faced major nemesis from within the conference and outside of the conference during their careers. Wilts nemeses were Russells Celtics and later Willis Reeds Knicks. Birds nemeses were Dr. Js Sixers and Magics Lakers.
From 1966-69, Russells Celtics won 3 titles in 4 years. The lone year they didnt, Wilts Sixers won with arguably the greatest team of all-time, going 68-13. However, Red Auerbach says they arent the greatest because they didnt repeat. From 1984-88, Magics Lakers won 3 titles in 4 years. The lone year they didnt, Birds Celtics won with arguably the greatest team of all-time, going 67-15. I submit that they, likewise, cannot be the greatest team of all-time since they didnt repeat. When both teams tried to repeat, they lost to their respective nemesis (Russells Celtics/Magics Lakers) and were plagued with injuries (Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, and Matt Guokos/Kevin McHale and Bill Walton).
Both were phenomenal passers. Birds accomplishments are well documented. Wilt was the only center to lead the league in assists.
Both finished in the top 20 in 4+ categories in the same year: Bird 1988 (PPG, RPG, APG, 3 pt%, ft%). Wilt 1967 (points, rebounds, assists, FG%, and had blocks been recorded, surely blocks) however, Wilt #3 in points, and assists and #1 in the others; Bird only made the top 3 in ft% and PPG and missed the top 10 in rag and APG.
Each player lost twice to his respective primary nemesis (Russell/Magic) in the NBA finals: Bird (1985,87) Wilt (1964, 69).
Both went to the NBA finals 5 times.
Both won approximately the same number of championships (Bird 3, Wilt 2) and MVPs (Bird 3, Wilt 4).
Both of them played in the finals with 4 other members of the top 50 of all-time: Bird: Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Bill Walton, Nate Archibald. Wilt: Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West)
Celtic fans like to bash Wilt by saying, "but he should have won more titles!" Well, if Bird is supposedly better than Wilt, then he, also, should have won more titles. Celtic fans say, "Wilt was supposed to revolutionize the game by being a dominant, complete center." Well, didn't Larry Bird revolutionize the forward position, by being a complete player who could score, pass, rebound, and shoot long distance?
In conclusion, Larry Bird is every bit inferior to Magic Johnson as Wilt is to Bill Russell. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If Wilt is a loser, so is Larry Bird.
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Hakeem Olajuwon is a Loser
How about we analyze Hakeem and Wilt?
Wilt's team made the NCAA finals in college and lost to undefeated North Carolina. Olajuwon played on the "greatest team to never win the NCAA title"...in other words, the biggest chokers. Remember who stood there while Lorenzo Charles dunked that ball and gave North Carolina State the title? Yep, Olajuwon. Wilt's Jayhawks lost to an undefeated team. Olajuwon's team lost to a 26-10 team that shouldn't have even made the Final 4 (and then lost again to Georgetown the next year). Wilt had no other notable players on his team. Olajuwon had Michael Young and Clyde Drexler.
Wilt won 2 titles in the NBA, so did Olajuwon.
Olajuwon's Rockets were defeated in the first round of the playoffs 4 consecutive years (in the 16-team playoffs). The 5th year of this streak, they missed the playoffs entirely. Only 3 times in Wilt's entire career did his team not get to at least the conference finals.
When Wilt's teams lost in the playoffs, they lost to the NBA champion all but once. Out of Olajuwon's 12 playoff appearances, his teams were beaten by "also rans" (teams that failed to win the championship) 9 times!! 6 of those 9 times, the team that defeated them failed to even make the finals!
Since Hakeem is supposed to have the most unstoppable moves in the paint, handle the ball like a guard, pass out of double-teams well, rebound better than most (if not all) centers, rate near the league leaders in blocked shots, and play superior defense, there is no reason why he should lose so often, since Wilt was supposed to win games by himself.
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a Loser
How can I dare call a guy with 6 NBA rings a loser? Follow closely.
Kareem only won championships when he had one of the 2 finest point guards in NBA history (Oscar Robertson or Magic Johnson) playing with him. Anything less and it's cough, cough!
In 1970, Kareem joined the NBA and lead his team to an impressive 56-26 record. However, they were quickly dismissed by the New York Knicks, 4-1, in the playoffs. The same team took on Wilt's Lakers in the finals and needed 7 games to win. Yes, some will whine that Willis Reed was injured, but before the Reed injury, the series was tied 2-2, which is one more win than Kareem had against Reed.
The following year, Kareem's Bucks acquired Oscar Robertson. They improved to 66-16 and won the NBA title. Along the way, they played Wilt's Lakers who were playing without Jerry West and Elgin Baylor and even without this help, the Bucks blew a game, winning that series 4-1.
The year after, Kareem's Bucks failed to defend their title as Wilt's 69-13 Lakers efficiently removed the 63-19 Bucks 4-2.
The next year gives us a big glimpse into Kareem the loser: The Bucks finished 60-22 as did the Lakers. The Bucks got home court advantage and choked in the first round of the playoffs, losing to 47-35 Golden State, 4-2. Golden State advanced to the 2nd round, where Wilt's Lakers quickly mopped them up, 4-1.
The following year, Wilt retired and Kareem's Bucks made the finals, where they once again blew it to a team with a lesser record, the Boston Celtics, and their giant of a center, Dave Cowens ... all 6'9" of him and giving up 5 inches of height to Kareem.
The following year, Oscar Robertson retired, and without the all-world point guard to lead them, Kareem led them to a 38-44 record as the Bucks failed to make the playoffs.
During the off season, Kareem bellyached enough, that the Bucks traded him to the Lakers. However, the Lakers didn't have an all-world point guard. They did have Gail Goodrich, the hall of fame shooting guard who went to the finals twice with Wilt earlier in the decade. However, that was not enough, as Kareem led his team to a 2nd consecutive losing record (40-42) and a 2nd consecutive failed playoff appearance.
The next year, the Lakers got stronger. They finished 53-29 and won their division. After a long absence, Kareem led them back into the playoffs. However, without that all-world point guard, we saw yet another choke from the great one, as he led his Lakers to a swift 0-4 exit in the conference finals to 2nd place finishers Portland, as Bill Walton personally kicked Kareem's butt up one side of the court and down the other.
The next 2 years, we saw more mediocrity from Kareem's teams as they failed to even make the conference finals, getting defeated by Seattle in the first round (2-1) in 1978 and the 2nd round (4-1) in 1979. During these 2 regular seasons, mighty Kareem led his team to a 4th and a 3rd place finish in the 5 team Pacific division.
we have looked at Kareem's first 10 years. These should be his productive
"prime", and they were: Kareem won 5 MVPs in these 10 years. He won
2 scoring titles and 1 rebounding title and once league in field goal percentage once
(very mild when using Wilt as your measuring stick). Because he didn't have Bill
Russell to contend with, and the ABA was taking a lot of talent, making Kareem a big fish
in a small pond, he was able to win 5 MVPs with these sub-Wilt performances. Still,
with the talent diluted by the ABA, you would think the great Kareem would have more than
1 title. Here is a conclusion of Wilt and Kareem's first 10 years:
|Number of Championships||
|Number of Appearances in the finals||
|Number of times missing the playoffs||
|Number of times team had losing record||
|Number of times team lost in the first round of the playoffs||
|Number of scoring titles||
|Number of rebounding titles||
|Number of times led league in assists||
|Number of times led league in FG%||
Now for the 1979-80 season. What happened? Magic Johnson happened! Kareem once again had that all-world point guard, which was good, since Kareem evidently wasn't able to lead the team. Magic stepped in and quickly led the Lakers to their first title since Wilt--something Kareem had failed to do in the previous 4 seasons. That very year, Magic led his team to the title, winning on the road, while Kareem was at home with a sprained ankle, proving how indispensable he was! You would think Kareem would be happy with winning, like Russell, right? Wrong. In both of Kareem's first 2 books, he bellyaches about not winning the MVP of the finals -- maybe because he wasn't that valuable...ya think? I mean, it wasn't like he pulled a Willis Reed and hobbled out on the court and inspired them to victory. He didn't even make the road trip!
From there on, Kareem never won another MVP, never led the league in any category and when the Lakers won the last 2 titles out of their 5, Kareem wasn't even the first option on offense. After Kareem led the Lakers to a choke against the Rockets in 1986, Pat Riley changed the Lakers offense and made Magic the first option on offense and decreased Kareem's role. The result was 2 consecutive titles -- something that hadn't been done since 1969! In his final year, Kareem proved what he had all during his career: without the all-world point guard (Magic was out with a pulled hamstring), Kareem led the Lakers to a 4 game sweep at the hands of the Pistons. Injuries to teammates were not a sufficient excuse for Wilt in 1968 and 1971, therefore, they are not sufficient for Kareem in 1989.
Kareem's teams were only as good as their point guard, not their center. That is why the year after Kareem retired, the Lakers improved 6 games and finished with the best record in the NBA and were back in the finals 2 years later, whereas when Wilt retired, the Lakers lost 13 more games than they had in Wilt's final season and never made the finals until Magic joined the team, despite 4 years with Kareem on the team.
Therefore, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is also a loser.
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Michael Jordan is a Loser
During Michael Jordan's first
season, the Bulls improved 11 games, from 27-55 to 38-44, which is still a losing
record. Jordan averaged 28.2 PPG, .515 FG%, 6.5 rag, 5.9 APG, and 2.4
steals/game. It is obvious that his whopping stats do not equate into wins and if he
was more interested in winning than his own personal stats, the Bulls would have won more
games. (Perhaps if he didn't score so much, or if he shot a lower percentage, or
didn't grab as many rebounds!).
This argument was said about Wilt when Wilt was with the Warriors, so it also applies to
Jordan, who is hailed by the modern press as the "greatest player of all
time!" During Jordan's first 4 seasons, the Bulls were 1-9 in the playoffs,
even though Jordan had teammates like Charles Oakley (2nd in the league in rebounds) and
George Gervin (top 50 of all time). Jordan scored 63 against the Celtics in a 1986
playoff game, however, they lost to the Celtics, so Jordan wasn't as good as Larry Bird,
who I have already proven is a loser. Jordan was 0-6 against Loser Bird in the
playoffs in his career. Jordan had the stats. Bird had the wins (but he went
on to lose to Magic, because he was also a loser). Also, on that day that Jordan had
63, he missed the potential game-winner at the end of regulation. He just can't rise
to the occasion, he just wanted stats.
As a matter of fact, Michael Jordan never escaped the first round of the playoffs until
Scottie Pippen joined the team, so the glory can be given to Pippen, who is 6-4 without
Jordan in the playoffs (whereas Jordan is 2-9 without Pippen). Even after Pippen
joined, Jordan was proving his inferiority to Joe Dumars by losing to the Pistons 3
consecutive years in the playoffs. Sure, Jordan was scoring a ton of points, but
Dumars had the win, so just like Bill Russell, he was dominating Jordan, and proving his
superiority. Only when Pippen developed and the league watered itself down, were the
Bulls able to win a title.
Sure, Jordan has 6 titles, but he wasn't important to the success of the team. When he retired, the team went from 57 regular season wins to 55. They went to the 7th game of the conference semi-finals and lost on a very poor call against Scottie Pippen that never would have been called on Jordan (as Jordan proved the following year, when he mugged a Charlotte player at the end of the decisive first round playoff game and wasn't called for it). When Jordan returned the next year, they didn't have Horace Grant, and without a rebounder/defensive force in the middle, the Bulls did even WORSE in the playoffs than they did the year before. They won their first round series 3-1 (the Jordan-less season, they were 3-0) and got beat handily in the 2nd round 4-2 (where the previous season they got beat 4-3 on a bad call). Also, their competition wasn't as good. The Knicks team that beat the Jordan-less Bulls went to 7 games against the Rockets in the finals. The Orlando team that beat the Jordan Bulls got swept by the Rockets. So Jordan caused them to do worse against inferior talent than they did the previous season, when Jordan was gone and Horace Grant was there.
The following season, the Bulls added the best player to fill the Horace Grant-role in Dennis Rodman. Rodman brought his defense, rebounds, and winning experience (2 titles in Detroit) and the Bulls won 72 games, no thanks to Jordan.
So when Jordan is put on the Wilt-standard we see he is a loser who comes up short. All he was interested in was stats, and his were not as good as Wilt's. Actually, Jordan should be held to a HIGHER standard, since the press spreads the myth that he is the "greatest player of all time."
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I have just demonstrated that one man, no matter how great he is, cannot win titles by himself, and if Wilt is supposed to be held to some lofty superman standard, than I will use that same standard to judge other players who are considered by some to be better, or on the same level, as Wilt.
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