Professor Jesus Diaz
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
The Greatest NBA player of all time
By: Christen Lamb
It quite possibly may be the greatest controversy/ discussion
in sports history. Many have their sole opinions, some may share
statistics as facts. Who's the greatest? Magic Johnson or Larry Bird? Wilt or Kareem? Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan, the debate will forever be discussed; even years after our days are numbered. That conversation will be discussed later in the paper. For now, the backgrounds of each candidate will be mentioned. Back in the era of which Richard Nixon was president, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell ruled the game. Wilt by far was the most dominant, while Bill russell was the most successful. All while these two were in the prime of their basketball lives, Kareem Abdul Jabbar was spectating at home as a teenager. Listing Wilt’s personal accolades/ achievements would be a bit redundant and excessive, but for his case, it’s needed. He holds the record for most points in a single game (100). He once averaged 50 points during a whole season, which is the most ever. Over his CAREER he’s averaged 22 rebounds a game. There aren’t many players in the league that can say they’ve eclipsed 22, let alone doing it twice. He has the most career 60 point games with 32, while second is Kobe with 5. Judging solely on statistics, Wilt takes the cake. No other player has accumulated such achievements like Wilt, “The Big Dipper”.
Statistics aren’t always the means of defining the greatest. Maybe the amount of times you win or come out on the top gives you the right to say you were the greatest. If so, Bill Russell wins. He played 13 seasons in the league and out of that, he won 11 championships. It’s unheard of.There are many greats to have played like Magic, Bird, and Hakeem who don’t even have half of what Russell generated. Like mentioned before, he and Wilt chamberlain dominated that era having such a huge advantage over the competition.
Others that may compete for the title of the greatest include the most known rivalry of Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson. Although their statistics maybe a bit different, many have come to the conclusion that they are equal in skill. During Larry bird’s career, he’s averaged over 24 points per game, while Magic Johnson accumulated over 19. Assists wise, Magic Johnson is better in the category with over 11 assists. Larry on the other hand is the only NBA player to be named the coach of the year, most valuable player, and Executive of the Year. The only downfall with these two players was that they both suffered career ending situations. Larry bird had a bad back problem that ultimately degenerated and caused him to retire. And around the same time, Magic Johnson had contracted HIV. In that era/ generation, not many knew how to get HIV so some players were afraid of playing against him. This caused him to retire while still playing at such a high level. Maybe if he’d (Magic Johnson) play more years, we’d be talking about him as the greatest ever. But in my opinion he didn’t have enough time, so we will never know.
When Jordan came into the league, it was sort of a new beginning. The Magic Johnson vs Larry Bird era reached its expiration date, while Wilt (Chamberlain) and Bill (Russell) retired years before. The NBA was in desperate need of another superstar or hall of famer, but better yet they received a legend in the making. "With the third overall pick in this years draft, the Chicago bulls select Michael Jordan from the University of North Carolina" announced by the league commissioner. For years Jordan ruled the game of basketball, winning multiple mvp's and championships. Michael once had 10 triple doubles in 11 games showing that his offensive skills weren't all he had to offer. He could absolutely amaze and do it all. “Once Michael gets up there he says, ‘Well, maybe I’ll…