Sunday , Jun , 05 , 2011 J.N.

Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Wilt. Who is the greatest?

No Boston Celtic made the final three to determine the best player according to the criteria. Cheer up Celtic fan, Magic Johnson did not make it either. Even though Kareem is bitter as hell, Wilt is resting, and Jordan is enjoying people rip on his outfits, they all have a good case to be the ultimate NBA player. Hold up. Magic and Bird did not make it despite dominating the 1980s? Yep, you got it. There was no joking around when the GOAT requirements were made.  

Let’s keep it straight. Wilt Chamberlain’s career total win share is 247.3. His career PER is 26.1 with two rings and 4 league MVPs. He built a great case yet falls short. He is eliminated.

Kareem versus MJ

  • Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s numbers: career PER is 24.6 and total career win shares is 273.4 (number one)
  • 6× NBA Champion (1971, 1980, 1982, 1985,1987–1988)
  • 6× NBA Most Valuable Player (1971–1972, 1974,1976–1977, 1980)
  • 19× NBA All-Star (1970–1977, 1979–1989)
  • 2× NBA Finals MVP (1971, 1985)
  • 10× All-NBA First Team (1971–1974, 1976–1977,1980–1981, 1984, 1986)
  • 5× All-NBA Second Team (1970, 1978–1979, 1983,1985)
  • 5× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1974–1975,1979–1981)
  • 6× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1970–1971,1976–1978, 1984)
  • NBA Rookie of the Year (1970)

Here comes Michael Jordan’s statistics and accomplishments. As a rookie, the man was already a top 4 player averaging 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.4 steals, true shooting percentage of .592 (amazing), 14.0 win share, 25.8 PER, and 84% from the line. Remember this is all AS A ROOKIE. LeBron and Kobe was nowhere near this. He edged out Kareem’s rookie year, too. That was a great start. Do not get me started on his accomplishments at the end. These are some of them:

  • 6 rings.
  • 5x MVP.
  • 14x All-Star.
  • 6x Finals MVP.
  • 1988 Defensive Player of the Year
  • 9x All-NBA Defensive Team
  • 10 scoring titles.
  • 10 All NBA First team
  • Career regular season scoring average of 30.1 points – number one all time.
  • Career playoff scoring average of 33.4 points.
  • 5,987 career playoff points.

There are also other notable statistical achievements that many people forget:

  • Number one all time career Player Efficiency Rating – 27.9
  • Number two all time steals – 2,514
  • Number three all time steals per game average – 2.3
  • Number one in win shares from 1986 through 1997 ending up with the total of 214 (4th all time)

That’s just some of the notable achievements. He has the statistics and the hardware. Now, did you watch him play doing all the little things during his run with the Chicago Bulls? I hope you did.

  • Titles – MJ (6/6) vs KAJ (6/10) Advantage – Jordan, perfect 6 for 6 in the Finals
  • MVP – MJ (5) vs KAJ (6) Advantage – Kareem
  • Finals MVP – MJ (6) vs KAJ (2)  Advantage – Jordan
  • Defensive POY – MJ (1) vs KAJ (0) Advantage – Jordan
  • All NBA 1st team – MJ (10) vs KAJ (10) TIE
  • All Defensive 1st team – MJ (9) vs KAJ (5) Advantage – Jordan
  • Scoring titles – MJ (10) vs KAJ (2) Advantage – Jordan
  • Career ppg – MJ (30.1) vs KAJ (24.6) Advantage – Jordan
  • Playoff ppg – MJ (33.4) vs KAJ (24.3) Advantage – Jordan
  • Career playoff leader in points – MJ (5987/179 games) vs KAJ (5762/237 games) Advantage – Jordan
  • PER – MJ (27.9) vs KAJ (24.6) Advantage – Jordan
  • Win shares – MJ (214) vs KAJ (273.4) Advantage – Kareem
  • Total career points – MJ (32,292) vs KAJ (38,387) Advantage – Kareem

Lastly, according to basketball reference, Jordan is number one in MVP award shares. The gap between him and Jabbar is big.

The Greatest of All Time

After investigating and exploring facts and figures, it came down to Michael Jordan versus Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Michael Jordan takes it easily. He is the NBA’s Greatest of All Time based on the strict GOAT criteria. The statistics and the accomplishments are heavy in Jordan’s favor.  He is not the undisputed ultimate player of the forever because Kareem has a great case, too. Here are the other players who did not make the cut. For the current crop of stars and fans alike, they need to take it slow. One game at a time. One season at a time. Hell, do not even think about it. It’s too overwhelming looking at the work. The players are not filling his Air Jordans. Instead, they’re actually trying to fill the Grand Canyon. It’s a huge task.

Argue all you want with who you want, but Air Jordan reigns supreme. The facts do not lie. I ended the debates. Thank me later.

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