“Bill Russell’s Winning Record With Wilt Chamberlain Numbers” Brazilian Soccer Icon Pele’s Demise Ignites Unlikely Debate on NBA Twitter

Published 12/31/2022, 1:48 AM EST

The world was struck by tragedy a few days back when it lost one of the most iconic legends in the world of soccer. Brazilian football legend Pele passed away, leaving fans with a highlight of his memories to live with. But when asked if there was any equivalent to Pele in terms of basketball, fans came up with an adequate and respectful reply on social media.

There is no argument that Pele is one of the greatest to play the game of soccer. The level of skill and poise he possessed, along with the number of accolades he has won makes the argument pretty one-sided.

Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, or even Michael Jordan?


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Fans were asked if there was anyone equal to Pele in terms of basketball. Be it from a numbers standpoint, the level of skills anyone possessed or even the same amount of accolades won. 

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However, fans seem to have come up with a reply that does justice to the late soccer legend.

One fan tweeted, “Doesn’t exist, he’s Bill Russell’s winning record with Wilt Chamberlain’s numbers.”

Another fan commented, “Michael Jordan. Brought the sport to the global audience, innovator who created a lot skill moves for the modern day players, dominated in an era where defenders could get away with murder, and above all winning the biggest prize multiple times in their own sports.”

Here are some more reactions from Twitter.

Fans debated on which player could come close to what Pele had achieved in soccer that would do justice to the late legend. But most agreed that Bill Russell was the one that came closest to being what Pele was to soccer.

Who comes closest to Pele?


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Pele’s accolades do not do justice to the talent and skill he had back in the day. Even though he is the only player in history to win three World Cups, what is even more astonishing is that he won his first World Cup at the age of 17.

His skills could be argued with that of Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt was an absolute freak of nature who was way ahead of his time. The first stat-sheet stuffer who did so without deliberately doing so.

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But Pele’s number of accolades under his belt could definitely be argued for that with Bill Russell’s 11 NBA championships. However, some fans even threw in the name of Michael Jordan for the sake of comparison.

Which NBA player comes close to what Pele achieved in the world of soccer? Let us know what you think in the comments section down below.



Abhishek Dhariwal

739 articles

Abhishek Dhariwal is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He earned his bachelor's degree in English Honors from St. Xavier's College and his master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from AAFT School of Mass Communication and Journalism.

Edited By: Gideon Mathson