Michael Jordan is considered to be the GOAT by most fans of the NBA. His dominant peak along with his elite scoring and ability to play lockdown defense makes it hard to argue against his GOAT case. However, before MJ came into the league in the 1980s, different players were considered to be the greatest of all time.
Names like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, and Wilt Chamberlain still loom large in the history of the NBA, and all those centers had people that considered them the GOAT, some do to this day. And when it comes to one individual player with freakish ability, perhaps none come close to what Wilt Chamberlain was able to do in the NBA.
Several staggering records belong to Chamberlain. The 100-point game and the 50 points per game season immediately come to mind. So it's no surprise that Wilt considered himself to be better than almost any other player. And even when MJ came into the league and was putting up his historic numbers, Wilt always felt like he was better, something he also suggested during an interview.
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"I know basketball is a team game, and you've already made Michael number 1, but if you had to have Wilt against Michael, my prime and his prime, how much money would you be willing to bet?"
Some may think that Chamberlain's claim is a little overzealous, but Wilt could back it up. He was the original natural marvel in the NBA, being able to jump incredibly high and run very fast despite being a 7-footer. One-on-one, it's difficult to see anyone being able to stop him.
However, these conversations are always just hypothetical. The greats of past eras always feel like they are better than the players that come after them, but there is no way for either side to prove otherwise. Michael Jordan playing Wilt on-on-one might be the most amazing spectacle, sadly it will be something basketball fans will never be able to witness.