7’1” NBA Legend, Who Bench Pressed 600 LB, Once Called Himself Greater Than Michael Jordan

Published 07/05/2022, 9:30 AM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 26: Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan watches as Roger Federer of Switzerland plays against Marinko Matosevic of Australia at their men’s singles first round tennis match on second day of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 26, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time. He dominated the league in a way very few have done. MJ won 6 championships with the Chicago Bulls and he was named the Finals MVP each time. While Jordan’s greatness can be measured because he played in an era with international coverage of the sport, many players from the past didn’t have that privilege.

There are only limited clips of the NBA before the 1980s. One of the players to play before that was the legendary Wilt Chamberlain. People who had the opportunity to watch him consider him to be the most dominant athlete of all time. He was 7’1″ tall and weighed around 275 lbs but he was a freak of nature. Wilt could run faster than most people and had the athletic ability of a much smaller person. He could also bench press 600 lbs.

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Chamberlain considered himself to be the greatest player of all time. Even though he was in awe of Michael Jordan, he felt he was given the support and backing of the league to become so great.

One of the major arguments against him is that he only won 2 NBA championships. Although, he said, “I don’t think you can predicate how great a guy really is because he has championships”.

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Wilt holds numerous ridiculous records in league history. In his prime, he was a beast of a player. He said, “If you had to have Wilt against Michael, my prime or his prime, how much money will you be willing to bet?”

Was Wilt Chamberlain actually better than Michael Jordan?

Chamberlain holds the NBA record of averaging the most points in a single season. He averaged 50.4 points. Yes, FIFTY! “I came into the NBA and destroyed it. My tools were so dominant that they frightened people”, Wilt said confidently. Although the league was much different during his playing days, he dominated so extraordinarily that the NBA had to change its rules to stop the great man.

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Wilt considered that to be an indication of his greatness and why Jordan could never surpass him. He said, “Mike, until you are so great that they start changing the game to stop your greatness, then I don’t think you have the right to make that accolades in that particular way”.

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The NBA has had so many legends who can make a claim to be the greatest of all time. All these players are exceedingly good and dominated the league during their time. Choosing one great over another isn’t completely fair because the rules, the opportunities, and the way the game is played have changed so much since the league’s inception. Every generation has its own greatest player and rightfully so.

Who do you think is the greatest player of all time? Let us know in the comments.

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Pragya Vashisth

135 articles

Pragya is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed Masters in Sports Management from the International Institute of Sports Management, Mumbai, he has been a passionate fan of the NBA since 2010. Pragya is a massive supporter of LeBron James and just wants to enjoy the twilight years of his Hall of Fame career.

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