Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest basketball player of all time.
I would like to thank my opponent for creating this debate, and allowing me to accept. Let's begin.
The BoP lies on myself as Con, and my ability to prove that Wilt Chamberlain was NOT the greatest basketball player of all time. In realitiy, this can be proved in only one way: proving that another player was better than Wilt Chamberlain. While better is a subjective term, it is relatively common and familiar that better (in basketball) can be determined based on a) statistics b) recognized ability and c) accomplishments. These three things will be the premise on which I will base my arguments. As Pro has not specified who I can and cannot choose to refute this resolution, I will make the decision for myself.
To negate this resolution, I provide indubitably the most famous professional basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan.
Contemplating the subjective superiority of Michael Jordan above any basketball player is an age-old conflict. Yet, statistics, recognized ability, and accomplishments all point towards MJ's superiority over Wilt Chamberlain, at least. Let us first examine the first area of analysis, being statistics.
In the area of statistics, it is relatively difficult to compare players of different positions accurately. However, we will compare important statistics for all around players in order to better determine the more suitable baller.
Free Throw Percentage:
It is increasingly evident that in the area of statistics, MJ has done more for his team by a) scoring more points and b) enabling his teammates to score more points (assists). At the end of the day, it all comes down to which team has more points. In that, "His Airness" has sufficiently completed his job "better" than Wilt.
Ability can be discerned in a variety of ways, particularly by experts analyzing gameplay and film. While game film wasn't around during Wilt's tenure, it must be understood that opponents during that era were not as "good" as they were while MJ played. This area of analysis must be solely based on individual skill in playing against opponents.
An article written by Steven Resnick, senior journalist for Bleacher Report, explained the difference between the eras in which Wilt and MJ played, and how it ultimately benefits MJ and his "better" play all things considered. He says, "While it is tough to determine who's the greatest, the edge goes to Jordan. The truth is that it's very difficult to compare the eras both played in, as well as the fact that Jordan and Chamberlain played two completely different positions with different responsibilities." 
This is a huge point. Michael Jordan played either the small forward or guard position. Conversely, Wilt Chamberlain played the center position. It requires very little knowledge of basketball to understand the disparity between these roles. For example, a center plays in the post and is bound to get more blocks and rebounds than any other position, simply due to their determined position/location on the court.
Later in the article by Resnick, he further details why some stats hugely favor Wilt Chamberlain over Michael Jordan, and there is a plethora of reasons why. I will condense and format those three reasons using a cause and effect system. Cause 1 (because of this...) has Effect 1 (Wilt was better able to...).
Cause 1: Players, at every position, couldn't shoot as well as they did in Jordan's time.
Effect 1: Wilt was better able to get both rebounds and blocks.
Cause 2: As a whole, basketball players were not as big as they were during Jordan's era.
Effect 2: Wilt was better able to use his massive body frame to dominate opponents both physically and even mentally (intimidation).
Cause 3: Teams in the NBA were worse as a combination.
Effect 3: Wilt was better able to use his natural ability to his advantage over less-skilled opponents of other teams.
In reality, it all boils down to the fact that during Wilt's era, competition was a lot less. While some stats may favor Wilt, it is evident that the cause of such disparity resulted from a lack of sufficient competition. On the other hand, Jordan played in an era with much better competition, but was still able to accomplish just as much (and sometimes more) than Wilt.
One of the most important analytical spectrums of determining who is the greatest at any sport is accopmlishments. Sports experts seem to seek players with the biggest and baddest accomplishments to argue their position of who was the best player of all time. I will do the same. Regardless of what people may think, individual effort and ability play a big role in determining the outcome of championship games, especially when the player is already recognized as an outstanding competitor. Nowthen, let's list a few of the accopmlishments of both players.
Rookie of the Year:
NBA Finals MVP:
These accomplishments indubitably give the edge to Michael Jordan. In conclusion, it is essential to understand three key points: the first of which being Michael Jordan's overall superiority in regards to statistics and their relative importance based on era facts; second of which is recognized ability, and how the era disparity gives an edge to Michael Jordan's superiority with enhanced competition; and third and finally being how Michael Jordan received more reputable awards overall than did Wilt Chamberlain. We must remember to take these into consideration when crowning Air Jordan the greatest of all time.
I will argue that the most important aspects of the game of basketball are scoring, rebounding, and the ability to control the paint/ protect the rim. I will show why Chamberlain was the best player in the history of the game at scoring, rebounding, and blocking shot's/controlling the paint/protecting the rim.
Chamberlain's career scoring average is 30.1 points per game.
Jordan's career scoring average is 30.1 points per game.
I will show you that while even though they are tied in career scoring average, Chamberlain was the best scorer of all-time.
Chamberlain's career rebound average is 23 rebounds per game.
Jordan's career rebound average is 6.
This is where the argument for Jordan belonging is the discussion falls apart.
Chamberlain is the greatest rebounder of all-time, and Jordan is a mediocre rebounder.
Rebounding is one of the 2 most important parts of basketball. and Wilt is the King of the boards.
It will all ways be a challenge to compare players from different era's. Using statistics to prove that Wilt Chamberlain was a better basketball player than Jordan will not be that difficult.
First of all lets look at your point that Jordan has scored more points in his career than Chamberlain scored.
Wilt scored 31,419 points in 13 seasons. Jordan scored 32,292 in 15 seasons
In 13 seasons Wilt scored 31,419 pts. In 13 seasons Jordan scored 29,277
Jordan essentially came back to play 2 extra useless non-play-off seasons with the Wizards too pass Chamberlain in all-time points.
Too prove Wilt was the best scorer of all time I want to look at the first 7 years of his career. These are important years because he was used as a primary scorer in his first 7 years. After that Wilts coach's asked him to sacrifice for the team and take less shots and concentrate more on defense and rebounding. Wilt was finally on teams that had scoring and he changed his role to better his team. His scoring went down because of team strategy, not lack of scoring ability.
Chamberlain in his first 7 years in the NBA scored 21,783
Jordan in his first 7 years in the NBA scored 16, 596
Chamberlains best scoring season he scored 4,029 pts
Jordan's best scoring season he scored 3,041pts
For those of us good at math we can see that Chamberlains best season is 1,000 points better than Jordan's best season.
These scoring accomplishments put Chamberlain all alone as a scorer.
Most cons. seasons leading league:*7
Most points, season:4,029
Highest average, season:50.4
Most points, rookie, season:2,707
Highest average, rookie, season:37.6
Most points, game:100
Most points, rookie, game:58
Most games, 50 or more, career:118
Most games, 50 or more, season:45
Most cons.e games, 50 or more points:7
Most games, 40 or more, career:271
Most games, 40 or more, season:63
Most cons. games, 40 or more points:14
Most cons. games, 30 or more points:65
Most cons. games, 20 or more points:126
Most points, one half:59
Most seasons leading league:**9
Most cons. seasons leading league:5
Highest, season (qualifiers):.727
Highest, game (min. 15 FG):***1.000
Most field goals, no misses, game:18
Most cons. seasons leading league:*7
Most cons., no misses, season:35
Most, one half:22
Now that we have established that Chamberlain was the greatest scorer in NBA history we will look at the the second most important aspect of basketball, rebounding.
Wilt Chamberlain was the greatest rebounder in NBA history.
Chamberlain Career rebounds: 23,924
Jordan career rebounds: 6,672
Lets be honest, this is not even close. Wilt is the run away all-time rebound leader. Jordan is not in the conversation.
These rebounding accomplishments put Chamberlain all alone as a rebounder.
Most seasons leading league:11
Highest average, career:22.9
Most, rookie, season:1,941
Most seasons, 1,000 or more:13
Highest average, season:27.2
Most, rookie, game:45
We have established that Chamberlain is the greatest scorer and rebounder of all time. This alone should be enough to earn him the title of greatest of all time.
But Wilt was the best all around player ever. Although the NBA did not keep official statistics for blocked shot until the mid 70's, it is generally accepted that Wilt Chamberlain blocked more shots than any NBA player in history. New paper reporters and team statisticians kept blocks during Wilts career. Wilt blocked 17 shots his first NBA game and he had 26 in a game mid career. A conservative estimate has Wilt blocking an average of 8 shots per game. This makes Chamberlain the greatest shot blocker of all time.
Wilt also has many NBA records for field goal percentage, assists by a centre, consecutive triple doubles etc.
Wilt Chamberlain was the only player to lead the NBA in scoring and rebounding and assists and rebounds.
Despite Jordan being a guard, he was never close too leading the NBA in assists.
Chamberlains field goal percentage records:
NBA Record - Most consecutive seasons leading NBA in field goal percentage (5, from 1964-65 through 1968-69)
Tied with Shaquille O'Neal
NBA Record - Highest Field Goal Percentage in a season (72.7% in 1972-73)
Chamberlain also holds the second highest percentage with 68.3% in 1966-67
NBA Record - Most consecutive field goals (35 from February 17-28, 1967)
NBA Record - Most field goals in a game without a miss (18, Philadelphia 76ers vs. the Baltimore Bullets on February 24, 1967)
Chamberlain also holds the next two most with 16 (March 19, 1967) and 15 (January 20, 1967)
I have shown how Wilt Chamberlain is the best scorer in NBA history, the best re bounder in NBA history, and the best shot blocker in NBA history.
Jordan only enters the conversation as a scorer, and even then his accomplishments pale in comparison with Wilts.
Brainwashing has nothing to do with my selection. In fact, I do not own or possess a television in my home. Furthermore, brainwashing cannot disrupt the truth. That truth is that Michael Jordan was a better basketball player than Wilt Chamberlain, with everything considered. My opponent consistently brings up how he has "proven" that Wilt Chamberlain is the "best" scorer, rebounder, and shot blocker of all-time. However, just because he perhaps scored the most (or close to it) doesn't make him the best at it.
Allow me to explain. I can go to a basketball court and play a 5 year-old kid 1v1. I can score on him all day, racking up point after point, rebounding ball after ball, blocking shot after shot. On the same token, I can play someone my age. Sure, I could likely still score, get a couple of rebounds and maybe block a shot or two, but my statistics don't look good on paper. The same is true with the comparison between Wilt and MJ. While the comparison may be slightly exaggerated, it effectively gets the point across.
Wilt's competition (exemplified through the 5 year-old) was NOT as good as MJ's competition (exemplified through the player roughly my age). There really isn't a comparison. Had Wilt played in MJ's time, there's no doubt he would have been an exceptional player. Better than Jordan? No way. Will we ever again see a player average 50.4 points per game? No way. Let's refer back to the evidence I brough from Steve Resnick, expanding on the truth of competition disparity.
Resnick explains, "It wasn't exactly the lack of big men in the era that puts Chamberlain a step below Jordan; in actuality, it was the guard play."  Resnick recognizes that competition was there, but wasn't on a level to stop Chamberlain. Wilt had a massive frame, 7'1' tall of pure muscle. In reality, his size was the biggest reason for his success. Most players at the times weren't as tall and couldn't compete with his strength and jumping ability. The result? Tons of rebounds with virtually every offensive one resulting in 2 points.
But let's tie back to the problems in Wilt's era, particularly regarding the guards of the time. "There's no question that guards could score in Chamberlain's era, but they were not efficient scorers and assist numbers from point guards weren't impressive either. Looking at Chamberlain's rebounding numbers, they were tremendous, but it doesn't take long to figure out that there were other big men putting up big-time numbers as well. Take a look at Walt Bellamy's rookie season in 1961-1962. Bellamy averaged 31.6 points, 19 rebounds and 2.7 assists, on 51.9 percent shooting - which led the NBA - and he shot 64.4 percent from the free throw line. In Chamberlain's era, the lower field goal percentages explain why you see guys like Bellamy, Bill Russell, Chamberlain and others put up big rebounding numbers. On average, only four players a season would shoot better than 50 percent during Chamberlain's career." I encourage any serious voters to take a look at this article to fully understand the disparity of the era's in which the two players under dispute played.
These flaws account for not only Wilt's exceptional rebounding ability, but also for his scoring as well. Imagine, Wilt's guard shoots 20 shots per game. Considering the statisics provided, we'll assume he makes 50% of those shots. That leaves 10 shots open for rebound. Given his advanced ability to rebound, we'll assume he gets 8 of those boards. Then, realizing that shooting closer is often much easier, we'll assume he makes 6 of those 8. That's 12 points, just off of one player. That excludes individual points and drives, and the rebound points from other teammates. That being said, it's obvious and totally plausible that one tall man in that era with some skill can compete on a heightened level, which accounts for Wilt's statistics; which, no doubt, are dazzling.
To attempt to prove his side, my opponent uses a host of statistics to "prove" Wilt's superiority. While important, I've explained why statistics must be taken with a grain of salt when comparing different eras, and even positions. My opponent specifically points out that Jordan is no match to Wilt in regards to rebounds. Of course! Their positions are polar opposites. However, he fails to mention assists, in which category Jordan accels. However, due to the reasons I just mentioned, I will not use that as the premise of my argumentation.
Instead, I will outline Jordan's superiority by moving on to an area where my opponent dared not go; accomplishments. I showed how Jordan's expertise led to a multiplicity of accomplishments in my first round of debate, and my opponent completely ignored it, failing to refute it in any way. That said, let's once again refer back to those statistics.
Rookie of the Year:
NBA Finals MVP:
All of these statistics are very important when considering who is the greatest of all time. In each category (with the single exclusion of Rookie of the Year) MJ destroys Wilt. My opponent may make the classic argument "But Michael Jordan had a better team!" Not so. During his expansive career, Wilt played with 8 Hall of Famers. Resnick confirms, "It also wasn't like Chamberlain didn't have help either. As a Warrior, he played with Hall of Famers Tom Gola, Paul Arizin and Nate Thurmond. When he was with the 76ers, he played with Hal Greer and Billy Cunningham. Finally, with the Lakers he had Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor, Jerry West and Gail Goodrich. So, in total, he played with eight Hall of Famers." On the other hand, throughout his entire career, Jordan was only privileged to play with one player who made it into the Hall of Fame. Once again, Resnick confirms, " Jordan had just one other Hall of Fame teammate, Scottie Pippen. What about the teams that the Bulls beat? What Hall of Fame players did Jordan go up against? James Worthy, Magic Johnson, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, John Stockton and Karl Malone." Not only was MJ disadvantaged in team skill, but he also, once again, faced more difficult competition in simple regards to Hall of Fame opponents.
On the basketball court, both Wilt and MJ were exceptional players who accomplished a lot. But is Wilt the greatest of all time? Not a chance.
This is common for those who try to diminish the accomplishments of athletes from era's past.
What they often fail to consider is that playing in the NBA in the 60's was much tougher than playing in the modern era.
When Chamberlain started playing in the NBA there were 8 teams. All the best basketball players in the world on 8 teams means that the talent was concentrated.
Jordan came into the NBA in the 80's which was considered the best era in NBA basketball.
But Jordan's success in the 80's was limited. The league was too good. Larry Bird. Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, Hakeem Alojuwaon, Dr. j were all better players with better teams.
Your point that Jordan won 6 Championships and 6 MVP's has little credibility.
Jordan won 0 MVP's and Championships in the 80' when the league was great.
When the NBA expanded to 30 teams and became watered down with d-league quality players Jordan started his run of Championships and MVP's.
Jordan's Bull's in the 90's never had to compete against a great team, so his accomplishments are not as impressive.
Chamberlains era of the 60's had much better competition because the NBA had fewer teams.
Jordan's Bulls never had to defeat a team as good as Russel's Celtics.
When Jordan faced the historically great Larry Bird 86 Celtics in the play-offs, he got swept.
Chamberlain's 76ers knocked off the 8 X NBA Champion Boston Celtics and Bill Russel on his way to the 67 NBA Championship.
Jordan never had to face competition as good as Chamberlain did. Russel, Oscar Robertson, Kareem, Jerry West, Elgin
Baylor, Nate Thurmond.
Comparing the players that Wilt competed against to a 5 year old is an insult to the great players of yesterday. The fact is that the size of the players in the NBA in the 1960's is exactly the same as today.
In 1965 the average height in the NBA was 6'7, the same as it is today. Chamberlain faced many players with size and skill and dominated them all. The players in the 60's were a far cry from 5 year olds.
Walter Dukes (7'0", 220 lbs.)
Swede Halbrook (7'3, 235 lbs.)
Tom Boerwinkle (7'0", 265 lbs.)
Bob Lanier (6'11", 265 lbs.)
Darrall Imhoff (6'10", 220 lbs.)
Otto Moore (6'11", 210 lbs.)
Sam Lacey (6'10", 235 lbs.)
George Johnson (6'11", 245 lbs.)
Paul Ruffner (6'10", 230 lbs.)
Dick Cunningham (6'10", 245 lbs.)
Walt Bellamy (6'11", 225 lbs.)
Leroy Ellis (6'10", 210 lbs.)
Nate Thurmond (6'11", 235 lbs.)
Mel Counts (7'0", 235 lbs.)
Nate Bowman (6'10", 230 lbs.)
Clyde Lee (6'10", 210 lbs.)
Walt Wesley (6'11", 230 lbs.)
Henry Akin (6'10", 225 lbs.)
Hank Finkel (7'0", 240 lbs.)
Lew Alcindor aka Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (7'2", 225 lbs.)
Neal Walk (6'10", 220 lbs.)
Elmore Smith (7'0", 250 lbs.)
Jim McDaniels (6'11", 230 lbs.)
LaRue Martin (6'11", 215 lbs.)
Tom Riker (6'10", 225 lbs.)
Conrad Dierking (6'9", 225 lbs.)
Johnny Kerr (6'9", 230 lbs.)
Bob Pettit (6'9", 220 lbs.)
Spencer Haywood (6'9", 230 lbs.)
Rick Roberson (6'9", 230 lbs.)
Luke Jackson (6'9", 240 lbs.)
Duke Hogue (6'9," 240 lbs.)
Zelmo Beaty (6'9", 230 lbs.)
Len Chappell (6'9", 240 lbs.)
Elvin Hayes (6'9", 235 lbs.)
Hub Reed (6'9", 220 lbs.)
The NBA did not give play-off MVP's in the 1960's, so saying that Jordan won more is not saying anything.
The reason that Chamberlain dominated the NBA like no other was not the lack of competition.
The reason was Chamberlain was the greatest athlete the world has ever seen.
Wilt was 7'1 1/16 in his bare feet. Today they measure players in their shoes and add 1 inch. So Wilt would be listed at 7'3 or 7'4 in todays game. Plus Wilt had a 7'8 reach. So Wilt had dominant size in any era.
Wilt was a track athlete and had world class sprint speed, as well as world class jumping ability.
Wilt had a 50 inch vertical and was a high jump champion a Kansas. 7'1 with a 7'8 reach Plus 50 inch vertical!
This is why Wilt dominated the 60's and would have dominated any era.
Wilt was also to strongest player that ever lived. Wilt had a maximum bench press of 550 lbs. Shaq's max bench was 450.
Wilt would be too big, too strong, too fast, and too good for anyone in the NBA today.
Other reasons Wilt is the greatest player of all-time:
Had blocked shots been an "official" stat, Wilt may have had other 20-20-20 games. My god, his CAREER AVERAGE is 30 ppg and 23 rpg...in well over 1000 games. Given the fact that renowned stats guru Harvey Pollack had Wilt with games of 20 blocks, there is a possibility that Wilt would have had several 20-20-20 games.
He also holds the record of most consecutive triple-double games, at nine. Here again, had blocked shots been officially recorded, he probably would have had HUNDREDS of triple-doubles, and perhaps 50 or more quad-doubles.
Wilt also had EIGHT DOUBLE QUADs in his career (games of 40 points and 40 rebounds in the same game), and FIVE 50-40 games (including a 78-43 game.) Of course, no other NBA player has ever accomplished either of those feats. Here is another interesting fact...aside from Wilt, there have been SIX 40-30 games in NBA history. How about Chamberlain? He had 55 (yes 55) 40-30 games by himself. There have been 131 30-30 games in NBA history, and Wilt has 103 of them.
There have been 28 40 rebound games in NBA history...and Chamberlain has 15 of them. There have been a TOTAL of ten 70 point games in NBA history, and Wilt has SIX of them by himself. There have been 32 60 point games in NBA history...and Chamberlain has 32 of them (MJ and Kobe are next with five each.)
Scoring streaks? Chamberlain scored 26 points in ALL 82 of his games in his 61-62 season (and only two of them were less than 30.) Not only that, but he scored 25 points in 126 straight games, and 30 points in 65 straight games. He didn't stop there either. Kobe and MJ each had nine straight games of 40 points and both averaged about 44 ppg in their streaks. How about Wilt? He had TWO streaks of 14 games in a row with 40 points, and in those two he averaged 53 and 54 ppg. And how about this number? Wilt scored 351 points over the course of five straight games...or 70 ppg in those five games.
Shooting? Wilt has the THREE highest "perfect" games in NBA history...and they all came in his 66-67 season. They were 15-15, 16-16, and 18-18. In fact, Chamberlain had a streak of 35 straight made FGs that year...another record. Wilt has the TWO highest FG% seasons in NBA history (.727 and .683), and three of the top-5.
More on why Wilt is #1
Wilt led the NBA in assists, rebounds, and F.G. % in 68. Wilt is the only non p.g. to lead the NBA in assists
Wilt played the single greatest game of all time and it was not the night he scored 100 points:
3/18/1968 Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Wilt goes for 53 points, 32 rebounds, 14 assists, 24 blocks, 11 steals, 24/29 f.g.
Wilt was the only player in NBA history to record a double triple double: 25 points, 22 rebounds and 21 assists.
Wilt has more triple doubles, quadruple doubles, and blocks than any player in history
Wilt scored 100 points in 1 game
Wilt had 55 rebounds in 1 game
Wilt was the best basketball player of all-time. People are not aware because of his era, and because race was an issue in the 50's and 60's. Wilt was so good people found it hard to cheer for him. Although Jordan will probably all ways be the most popular player of all-time because of the exposure he got from Nike and Gatorade, the title of greatest player of all-time will all ways belong to Wilt Chamberlain.
Before going any further, I would like to thank my opponent for such a good debate. This has been one of the best sports related debates I have participated in, and I thank my opponent for providing arguments rather than simply forfeiting. Now let's begin with argumentation.
My opponent's first claim is that I have conceded that Chamberlain was statistically superior. There are two responses I have to this:
1. I have not conceded that Chamberlain is statistically superior to Jordan. It's simply that there are cold hard facts that I can't change being that, in SOME areas, Chamberlain has better statistics.
2. We must consider all stats, and ALL aspects, when attempting to label the greatest. By this, we see that Jordan is statistically superior.
He says it's common to attack the era in which Chamberlain played. Simply, yes, it is. The reason? There is truth in that Chamberlain's era wasn't as good as it was when Jordan played, or now. My opponent has more or less conceded to this as well. ("Jordan came into the NBA in the 80's which was considered the best era in NBA basketball.") Because my opponent profusely attempts to refute the era argument, I must thoroughly discuss it.
He also brings up that the talent was more concentrated during Wilt's era because there was only 8 teams. However, statistics, which he obviously holds in high regards don't concur with that notion. Instead, they show that Wilt's era was overall worse than following era's (especially in regards to Jordan's era). Refer back once again to that Resnick evidence...
"There's many more players who didn't shoot the basketball very well at that time, but it's also interesting to see the team shooting percentages.
In 1959-1960, the Philadelphia Warriors shot 40.9 percent, Detroit Pistons 39.7 percent, Minneapolis Lakers 38.6 percent, Cincinnati Royals 41.2 percent, Syracuse Nationals 41.4 percent, Boston Celtics 41.7 percent, St. Louis Hawks 41.9 percent and the New York Knicks 42.1 percent... (continued)According to these numbers, only one team in the 14 years that Chamberlain was in the NBA shot better than 50 percent, and that was the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970-1971."
My opponent's next argument says that Jordan DIDN'T have competition and never played against a great team. That argument is also faulty. Teams throughout those years hosted greats like Charles Barkley, Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, John Stockton, and many more. That competition is certainly reputable. It is proved such by the statistics from Resnick, 27 teams shooting above 50%. This competition as a whole, even, was superior, making standout players such as these comparable to some of the greats of Wilt's era.