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Most Dominant athlete: Wayne Gretzky vs Wilt Chamberlain

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Old
01-22-2013, 04:32 PM
  #76
SidGenoMario
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Wilt Chamberlain had about 5 Mario Lemieuxs.

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01-22-2013, 06:39 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by Slapshooter View Post
Gretzky was statistically dominant, but Mario Lemieux was pretty much as good or even better. Did Wilt Chamberlain had a similar "Lemieux" in NBA challenging him?
Really?

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01-22-2013, 08:03 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by HabsByTheBay View Post
Whoa.

That's an enormous understatement. Russell is the best defender in NBA history.
Wilt was a monster too. He's 4th all time in defensive win shares. It's debated who blocked more shots and Wilt had more rebounds, and also more rebounds in head to head games against Bill. Wilt dominated most opposing centers and stifled them extremely well.

Lots of great, hall of fame players had their shooting % drop by about 10% or more in games where Wilt was defending them come playoff time. Bill Russell's highest shooting % against Wilt in a series was 45.4% according to the internet, than shot over 70% in the next series.

He was good in the playoffs, his team sucked, but when a guy regularly had games where he outscored a future hall of famer(Red Kerr) 53-7, you can't blame losses on him easily.

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01-22-2013, 09:24 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by VerySuperFamous View Post
Wilt was a monster too. He's 4th all time in defensive win shares. It's debated who blocked more shots and Wilt had more rebounds, and also more rebounds in head to head games against Bill. Wilt dominated most opposing centers and stifled them extremely well.

Lots of great, hall of fame players had their shooting % drop by about 10% or more in games where Wilt was defending them come playoff time. Bill Russell's highest shooting % against Wilt in a series was 45.4% according to the internet, than shot over 70% in the next series.

He was good in the playoffs, his team sucked, but when a guy regularly had games where he outscored a future hall of famer(Red Kerr) 53-7, you can't blame losses on him easily.
There's very little data to back up the defensive win share calculation. It's based on 1. Team defensive success, 2. Wilt's minutes played, 3. Wilt's total rebounds.

I'll add that in Wilt's two highest scoring seasons, 1961-62 and 1962-63, his team allowed the most points per game in the league. Bill Russell was voted league MVP in both seasons.

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01-23-2013, 06:58 AM
  #80
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
Really?
Lemieux is the only forward who can even be compared to Gretzky. Granted, their primes didn't overlap but Mario's dominance in the 90s certainly makes a case.

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01-23-2013, 06:59 AM
  #81
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Easily Chamberlain.
Wilt's shafting of at least 2 league MVPs and his crap teams and lack of wide media like today minimize his unmatched dominance in the game of basketball.

He is equal to Jordan on the highest peak of his game.



I don't care if Gretzky is considered GOAT by the casual fan. These are the same fans who come frothing at the mouth to the NHL after 3 lockouts.


Gretzky is behind Orr most certainly and in my books behind Lemieux as well. And that's skaters.

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01-23-2013, 07:20 AM
  #82
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Originally Posted by WingsFan95 View Post
Wilt's shafting of at least 2 league MVPs and his crap teams and lack of wide media like today minimize his unmatched dominance in the game of basketball.

He is equal to Jordan on the highest peak of his game.



I don't care if Gretzky is considered GOAT by the casual fan. These are the same fans who come frothing at the mouth to the NHL after 3 lockouts.


Gretzky is behind Orr most certainly and in my books behind Lemieux as well. And that's skaters.
I don't think it is the casual fan who says Gretzky is the GOAT. Majority of list would be

1. Gretzky
2. Orr
(Those two chance places pretty often)
3. Howe
4. Lemieux

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01-23-2013, 08:40 AM
  #83
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I think a team of Orr's or a team of Howe's would beat a team of Gretzky's. A team of Chamberlain's could beat a team of Jordan's, IMO, depending on which era of rules they used (no illegal defense, 3 pointers, or "Jordan" rules).

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01-23-2013, 11:54 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by WingsFan95 View Post
I don't care if Gretzky is considered GOAT by the casual fan. These are the same fans who come frothing at the mouth to the NHL after 3 lockouts.


Gretzky is behind Orr most certainly and in my books behind Lemieux as well. And that's skaters.
Bollocks. You presume to speak for a lot of people with those words. And you are wrong based on the evidence:

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=669817

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=486479

http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis...he_Hockey_News

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01-23-2013, 11:56 AM
  #85
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Originally Posted by 57special View Post
I think a team of Orr's or a team of Howe's would beat a team of Gretzky's. A team of Chamberlain's could beat a team of Jordan's, IMO, depending on which era of rules they used (no illegal defense, 3 pointers, or "Jordan" rules).
That's pretty hilariously irrelevant.

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01-23-2013, 01:05 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by WingsFan95 View Post
Wilt's shafting of at least 2 league MVPs and his crap teams and lack of wide media like today minimize his unmatched dominance in the game of basketball.

He is equal to Jordan on the highest peak of his game.



I don't care if Gretzky is considered GOAT by the casual fan. These are the same fans who come frothing at the mouth to the NHL after 3 lockouts.


Gretzky is behind Orr most certainly and in my books behind Lemieux as well. And that's skaters.
But you also ranked Gretzky at 8th all time among skaters so its not like you are without bias. Any argument for Orr above Gretzky usually includes defensive play. Which should automatically exclude Lemieux since he was far more one dimensional than Gretzky. There are arguments to put one or the other above Gretzky but no real argument for both. Same if you include Howe. If you rank Howe above due to longevity you cannot logically rank Lemieux and Orr above him. If you rank Orr above him for complete game you cannot logically rank Lemieux above him. Gretzky dominated far more at his peak than any other hockey player except Orr and Gretzky did it longer and in a deeper era.

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04-02-2015, 12:08 AM
  #87
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Basketball is the closest major sport to Hockey, they almost seemed tied to the hip at times and routinely 3rd and 4th in North American ratings.

Although 5 on 5, the key differences are extremely important to comprehend:

1. Starting players in Basketball can play the majority of the game whereas in hockey they usually settle for half or less.

2. By virtue of the first point, a Championship team can run off as few as 3 star players, whereas in hockey that's simply not enough.

3. There is no comparison in Basketball to the value of a Goaltender. No position on the floor can singlehandedly lose or win you the game.

4. Hockey has a far greater luck factor than Basketball, which is why cinderella runs in the NBA are quite rare (injured teams that get healthy late notwithstanding).



In terms of athleticism, it's a dicey topic but Gretzky wouldn't crack my Top 100 if I was doing a list of NHL & NBA players by physicality. He just wasn't that guy like Peyton Manning in the NFL.

Wilt Chamberlain, regardless of era, was a freak. Guys his stature break down in their 30s, not get courted to come out of retirement throughout their 40s. Chamberlain would have been a top player in any era, period. I myself have been obsessed with how he'd compare with Kareem if their primes overlap and while the sample is low, Wilt was indeed able to block the "unblock-able" sky-hook in his twilight at least a few times, so that leads me to believe it'd be close.

How people rank Wilt is almost entirely based off Championships and it's absurd. Bill Russell was not better than Wilt. He was even given NBA MVPs for absolutely no reason over Wilt because the league wanted to create the illusion of battle between the two and although there were some noteworthy contests, ultimately Chamberlain produced and played on a far less talented team time and again while Russell did his job while letting his team finish things off. 63-64 Warriors go 48-32 all the way to the Final with Wilt Chamberlain, Nate Thurmond in his rookie year and Guy Rodgers in a down year.

Sure, Thurmond and Rodgers are Hall of Famers, but please look at context. Thurmond was nowhere near Hall of Famer form as a rookie and Guy Rodgers is one of the weakest inductees just last year in a very watered down Hall of Fame (arguably the worst of the 4 major leagues). He also had a down year in 63-64.

Russell on the other hand played on an all-star team with several Hall of Famers. It's ridiculous.

That famed 71-72 Lakers team? You know, the streak?

That was old man Chamberlain, Jerry West and ancient Elgin Baylor with Gail Goodrich in his prime (and another weak Hall of Famer). Honestly, nobody compares.

Now Michael Jordan had his good teams but he certainly deserves more credit than Russell. I put Jordan and Chamberlain side by side but I'm fine with people putting Chamberlain #2.

Magic was great but a bit of an arse for playing PG at 6"8, and he had a magnificent team as well. I like him, but give me Chamberlain without a doubt.

As for Shaq, he's not even in my Top 5:

1. Chamberlain
2. Hakeem
3. Moses & Robinson
5. Russell

There's a wonderful quote I recall about Shaq: " If Hakeem was 6"0, he'd be a starting PG, if Shaq was 6"0, he'd be out of the league ". The man was a beast but extremely one-dimensional and has the lone MVP to show for it.


Athletically, it's Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Vick the last 50 years.

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04-02-2015, 12:18 AM
  #88
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Originally Posted by VerySuperFamous View Post
Gretzky was the most dominant hockey player in the history of the game, and I'm sure everyone should know who he was. But Wilt Chamberlain is debated as the greatest of all time for basketball. It seems like an interesting discussion.

Gretzky holds 61 NHL records. Chamberlain holds 71 official NBA records.
Interestingly enough Gretzky wasn't really a good athlete, Gretzky used is brains not his frail body and lack of athletic skills. He was never the best at anything but his IQ was obviously off the wall and in a different dimension.

How good would Wayne do in a skills competition? my guess is the only event he had a chance in would be either passing or accuracy shooting.

As a matter of fact I don't recall Gretzky ever partaking in the skills challenge.

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04-02-2015, 12:23 AM
  #89
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Originally Posted by shazariahl View Post
But you also ranked Gretzky at 8th all time among skaters so its not like you are without bias. Any argument for Orr above Gretzky usually includes defensive play. Which should automatically exclude Lemieux since he was far more one dimensional than Gretzky. There are arguments to put one or the other above Gretzky but no real argument for both. Same if you include Howe. If you rank Howe above due to longevity you cannot logically rank Lemieux and Orr above him. If you rank Orr above him for complete game you cannot logically rank Lemieux above him. Gretzky dominated far more at his peak than any other hockey player except Orr and Gretzky did it longer and in a deeper era.
Both Orr and Lemieux were superior athletes to Gretzky. Gretzky was average at just about everything other than his superior hockey IQ and below average in athletic ability.

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04-02-2015, 12:34 AM
  #90
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Both Orr and Lemieux were superior athletes to Gretzky. Gretzky was average at just about everything other than his superior hockey IQ and below average in athletic ability.
Not sure why you revived this. But that statement is totally false. Gretzky was above average in speed, was one of the most agile players ever, had the most accurate slapshot I've ever seen, and had amazing stamina. He was by far the greatest passer of all time; it wasn't just superior IQ, he also regularly threaded passes over sticks, through legs, and right on to a teammate's stick for an easy goal. Gretzky was also extremely deceptive with his passing and shooting.

He may not have been good at lifting weights, but since he wasn't a weight lifter, that's not really relevant. There's more to "athletic ability" than being "big"; Gretzky excelled at nearly every skill needed to play hockey, which is what produced the success and points that went with it.

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04-02-2015, 12:35 AM
  #91
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Originally Posted by Hawksfan2828 View Post
Interestingly enough Gretzky wasn't really a good athlete, Gretzky used is brains not his frail body and lack of athletic skills. He was never the best at anything but his IQ was obviously off the wall and in a different dimension.

How good would Wayne do in a skills competition? my guess is the only event he had a chance in would be either passing or accuracy shooting.

As a matter of fact I don't recall Gretzky ever partaking in the skills challenge.
Tazzy once posted a video of Gretzky beating Lemieux head to head in the puck control relay in one of Gretzky's first couple years with the Kings. I'm sure you could find it on youtube if you looked hard enough.

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04-02-2015, 12:36 AM
  #92
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Originally Posted by WingsFan95 View Post
Magic was great but a bit of an arse for playing PG at 6"8, and he had a magnificent team as well.

...

Athletically, it's Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Vick the last 50 years.
Magic was an "arse" for playing PG at 6'8... but Vick was simply one of the two best athletes of the last 50 years? Not sure if serious.

What was Magic for playing C against Dawkins while having a game for the ages during the clinching game 6 of the NBA Finals... when he would have been a junior in college?

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04-02-2015, 12:44 AM
  #93
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Originally Posted by shazariahl View Post
Not sure why you revived this. But that statement is totally false. Gretzky was above average in speed, was one of the most agile players ever, had the most accurate slapshot I've ever seen, and had amazing stamina. He was by far the greatest passer of all time; it wasn't just superior IQ, he also regularly threaded passes over sticks, through legs, and right on to a teammate's stick for an easy goal. Gretzky was also extremely deceptive with his passing and shooting.

He may not have been good at lifting weights, but since he wasn't a weight lifter, that's not really relevant. There's more to "athletic ability" than being "big"; Gretzky excelled at nearly every skill needed to play hockey, which is what produced the success and points that went with it.
Gretzky also had excellent stamina, could skate for days.

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04-02-2015, 12:51 AM
  #94
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Hockey players have more in common with soccer/football guys than they do with BIG guys like LeBron.

The more average size guys like Ronaldo, Messi, Crosby, Gretzky tailor their bodies to the skills needed like skating/running which needs a low centre of gravity to succeed. You don't need to be big to be the best. It's not like NBA, or NFL.

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04-02-2015, 07:04 AM
  #95
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I'd say Gretzky vs Chamberlain are pretty close matches in overall dominance. Some of things Chamberlain did simply defy belief. There are currently 2 active NBA players with over 30 rebounds in a single game. WC career average was just over 27.

Kevin Love was the last player to score 30 points and grab 30 rebounds in a single game... that was back in 2010.

Chamberlain accomplished this feat no less than 127 times.

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04-02-2015, 10:17 AM
  #96
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I'm not sure how Gretzky isn't more dominant than Wilt when Wilt has a few different centers from a couple different eras clustered in his general neighborhood of total points scored...when Gretzky has 50% more points than history's second leading scorer.

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04-02-2015, 10:47 AM
  #97
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Babe Ruth doesn't count because he didn't play against black guys, had sex and drank beer?
You forgot about the hot dogs. My God, all those hot dogs

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04-02-2015, 11:58 AM
  #98
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Gretzky is better at hockey than Wilt ever was at basketball.

Wilt was more "dominant" because it is so much easier for one player to take over and control the game in basketball than it is in hockey.

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04-02-2015, 01:30 PM
  #99
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Gretzky is better at hockey than Wilt ever was at basketball.

Wilt was more "dominant" because it is so much easier for one player to take over and control the game in basketball than it is in hockey.
No, Wilt was dominant because he played in an era where nobody could enter his stratosphere physically. And he had the skill to go with it.

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04-02-2015, 01:34 PM
  #100
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Gretzky is better at hockey than Wilt ever was at basketball.

Wilt was more "dominant" because it is so much easier for one player to take over and control the game in basketball than it is in hockey.
These two statements are true, and in particular the second one. Basketball is far more easily influenced by one outstanding player than is hockey. It more closely resembles an individual sport. Exact statistics will take lots of time, but I can give some anecdotal evidence.

1. In the NBA's infancy, there was George Mikan. He made the Minneapolis Lakers dominant.

2. When Bill Russell was drafted by the Celtics, he became the best player, and they won 11 Championships.

3. When Lew Alcindor was drafted by the Bucks, they instantly became better, and won a Championship within 3 years.

4. Magic Johnson did the same for the Lakers.

5. Larry Bird for the Celtics.

6/7/8/9/10. Jordan, Olajuwon, David Robinson/Tim Duncan, Shaq/Kobe, Lebron.

11. Hockey is more of a team game where outstanding scorers like Crosby, Ovechkin, Stamkos, and Tavares can be nullified by good team defence or an outstanding goalie like Carey Price.

12. As already noted above, an NBA player with good endurance can practically play the whole game, which Wilt did. He had one season in which he averaged over the regulation time of 48 minutes. He played every minute of regulation time, and played every minute of overtime that season. Other than the goalie, no NHL player plays 60 minutes.

13. A dominant centre in basketball is more dominant than even a dominant quarterback in football - because the quarterback does not play defense.

14. The only other comparable position in a team sport would be the pitcher in baseball. What Schilling and Johnson did to a stacked Yankees team in the 2001 World Series was amazing. Likewise, what Madison Bumgarner did in the latest World Series was amazing. But still, pitcher's usually don't have much say on the offensive side of things.

Put it this way; if I owned an NBA team that just drafted Wilt Chamberlain, and I owned an NHL team that just drafted Wayne Gretzky, I'm almost sure Wilt's effect on the team would be greater. And that is why I think Wilt is the more dominant of the two.

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