In the upcoming weeks, and as the basketball fans are getting ready for the next NBA championships season, AfroAmerica Network will be looking at the basketball greatest players of all times. A list of top 11 players will be covered, starting with No 10, Wilt Chamberlain, and ending with an honorable mention.
Ranking basketball players is a challenging exercise, mixing both subjective considerations, heuristics, and objective factors and measurable data. Given the roster of the excellent basketball players and the wide variety of candidates, it is possible for anyone to come up with a different list. However, AfroAmerica Network, using a proprietary advanced analytics ranking methodology, including sentiment analytics and leveraging AroniSmartLytics™ (see here: Advanced Analytics, Machine Learning, Sentiment Analytics), has narrowed the potential candidates to a list most basketball fans could agree on. In fact, with such advanced analytics tools, although rankings also took into account subjective assessment, the measurable data had more weight.
Let us start with Number 10: WILT CHAMBERLAIN
Wilt, a Phenomenal NBA Rookie
There’s no better way to start this ranking assignment off. Wilt Chamberlain’s energy, unstoppable scoring, and Goliath strength propelled him to extraordinary realms in basketball statistics. Particularly, with the Harlem Globetrotters and his most well known career with the NBA, Wilt’s stats were phenomenal. The man was averaging 37.6 points per game and 27 rebounds in his rookie year. HIS ROOKIE YEAR. There is no other player on this list or any NBA hall of fame list that averaged over thirty points and over 20 rebounds in their rookie year.
Oscar Robertson and Walt Bellamy both had 30 point in rookie years as well but Walt Bellamy has no championships, which hindered his chances of being on the Mount Rushmore of basketball. Wilt Chamberlain obtained two championships once he learned how to win. This gap may be one thing Wilt struggled with for awhile that hurt his chances of being in the top 5, at least in our rankings. Wilt Chamberlain has more championships than Oscar Robertson and more regular season MVPs, as well. Lastly, he has an NBA Finals MVP and Oscar Robertson has none. Thus Stats help to elevate NBA status but winning at the highest level is the most important thing in organized basketball.
The great Micheal Jordan came close to averaging 30 points in his rookie year, but he didn’t and so did Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Neither one put up the monster stats that Wilt Chamberlain did. That’s including the 27 rebounds per game previously mentioned. As a matter of fact, Wilt Chamberlain also had a great field goal percentage for a rookie: 46 percent. Better than Lebron James' 41 percent.
Wilt Chamberlain was also a freak of nature with a 7’8 wingspan and a 40 plus vertical. He also had phenomenal endurance, playing entire games night in and night out during an era when the pace of the game was faster. The man averaged 47 minutes a game three straight seasons! That’s incredible, even though Micheal Jordan, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul Jabbar remain still superior in comparison? Yes, they are.
Winning at the highest level is Key
One can’t say that enough. Even if this is as repetitive as a Drake song on the radio: Winning at the highest level is key. NBA Finals MVPs are more important than any stat one can imagine.
AroniSmartLytics has weighted Winning at the highest level, as one of the most important factors in the NBA: Championships and NBA Finals MVPS to be more specific - How about Robert Horry? Where are his NBA Finals MVPs?-. Basketball is a "team" sport as the cliché goes. Unfortunately, Wilt Chamberlain spent the majority of his career "losing" at the highest level. Two championships in 13 years is not bad, but its not exceptional either.
To be fair, he did have a phenomenal Boston Celtics team that kept standing in his way with a "Master Mind" like Bill Russell as their fearless leader. However, Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics "team" was phenomenal because Bill Russell , unlike Wilt, appeared to value winning over stats unlike Wilt.
That’s why Bill Russell has 11 rings. That’s why Bill spent the majority of his career winning at the highest level, when it counted. Wilt appeared incredibly selfish and was often viewed as though he couldn’t care less about getting his team involved.
Wilt Chamberlain set the single-game scoring record in the NBA by scoring 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 169–147 win over the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962, at Hershey Sports Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Since then, he was known as "Mr. 100 points". Mr. 100 points lost so much until 1967 when he finally beat the Boston Celtics. It was 4 to 1 as well unlike another top NBA player, that we will cover later, who has barely beaten the great teams of his era. Chamberlain also didn’t lose to an aging player by a record margin either like the other player.
Despite the flaws in Wilt Chamberlain’s career, he remains one of the best players of all time, who has earned the score to be ranked among the top 10, by AroniSmartLytics™
Next: No 9: HAKEEM OLAJUWON