Most Dominant athlete: Wayne Gretzky vs Wilt Chamberlain
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01-20-2013, 03:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
I believe that Gretzky and Chamberlain were similarly dominant at their peaks, though Gretzky has a pretty sizable edge in longevity. There are more considerations to be taken into account with Chamberlain's scoring, such as the possessions per game and the quality of opposing big men. Chamberlain was clearly the superior defensive player, and by a wide margin. Any positive intangibles favour Gretzky tremendously. Chamberlain's playoff contributions are far better than people often give him credit for, but Gretzky was a better playoff performer. I would give Gretzky the edge in dominance, since he did it longer than Chamberlain and because there wasn't really anything that could be done to stop him at his apex.
I also don't buy that Chamberlain would not be ridiculously dominant today. Referees are much more likely to call fouls down low, and three point shooters would open much more space than was abailable in the 60s and 70s. Also, I do not believe that a physical freak like Chamberlain would have much trouble dominating the current crop of NBA big men, particularly as the league moves away from traditional centres. Too much is made of the height thing, as I don't remember Yao Ming going out and posting Chamberlain-esque numbers just because he was inches taller than everyone.
Something to remember about Wilt - the man was near Shaq size (when Shaq was in shape), but had tremendous speed and jumping ability. That's without the aid of modern training and nutrition. NBA athletes have not improved to the point where they should be close to matching Chamberlain athletically.
Originally Posted by
I Hate Jay Feaster
Wilt's 100 point game was mostly because of fouls.
They fouled Chamberlain excessively to prevent him from scoring way over 100. Look at some game logs, and you can see that with good free throw shooting like Chamberlain enjoyed in that game he would have reached 100 points multiple times. He mainly reached 100 because he enjoyed one of his best free throw shooting performances on the same day as one of his more typical dominant games.
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