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When Rick Barry Called Wilt Chamberlain A “Loser” In His Book: “There Is No Way You Can Compare Him To A Pro Like A Bill Russell Or A Jerry West… These Are Clutch Competitors.”

When Rick Barry Called Wilt Chamberlain A “Loser” In His Book: “There Is No Way You Can Compare Him To A Pro Like A Bill Russell Or A Jerry West…These Are Clutch Competitors.”

The legends of basketball have an almost deified air around them. The way we see the icons of 90s basketball talk about the ones that paved the way for them, it is incredible to see how basketball has evolved through the generations. 

The 60s and 70s saw dynasties rule the NBA with certain players putting up statistics in the league that was never seen before and haven't been seen since. The man who put up most of these numbers was Wilt Chamberlain, the sole owner of a 100-point game in the NBA among countless other records.

Despite Chamberlain's insane statistical feats, he retired with just two championships to his name. One of these championships came in 1967 as part of the Philadelphia 76ers over the San Francisco Warriors, now known as Golden State. The star of that Warriors' team was the legendary Rick Barry, who wrote a book called Confessions of a Basketball Gypsy where he goes into Wilt for being a 'loser'.

“I’ll say what most players feel, which is that Wilt is a loser…He is terrible in big games. He knows he is going to lose and be blamed for the loss, so he dreads it, and you can see it in his eyes; and anyone who has ever played with him will agree with me, regardless of whether they would admit it publicly... When it comes down to the closing minutes of a tough game, an important game, he doesn’t want the ball, he doesn’t want any part of the pressure. It is at these times that greatness is determined and Wilt doesn’t have it. There is no way you can compare him to a pro like a Bill Russell or a Jerry West…these are clutch competitors.” (h/t The SportsRush)

Wilt had a 2-4 record in the NBA Finals over his career, being outmatched by the Celtics dynasty with Bill Russell leading the team to 11 championships in that time. 

Jerry West was a lifelong Laker who is the only player to have ever won Finals MVP on a losing team. He has a 1-8 record in the Finals but is widely respected for having always been a Laker, unlike Wilt, who switched teams regularly and won a championship alongside West in 1972.