Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain are historic figures in the NBA. Chamberlain has put up some of the most ridiculous numbers the NBA has ever seen. Whereas Russell is the most successful player in NBA history.
Both players have made contributions to the NBA that will not soon be forgotten. The mercurial big men revolutionized the way the NBA works and pioneered an era of dominance that is yet to be replicated in the league.
Wilt Chamberlain is arguably the most unstoppable player in NBA history. Chamberlain's statistics, in the context of the modern game, almost seem unbelievable. He holds several individual records, such as the most points in a game and points in a single season.
As for Bill Russell, he had a much shorter career than Wilt Chamberlain. And while his numbers were never as ridiculous as Wilt's, Russell was a serial winner. There was nothing that could stop Russell, as he won 11 NBA championships in his 13-year career.
The narrative surrounding the two players was always that Russell could help any team win, whereas Chamberlain could dominate any team by himself. But Wilt isn't happy about the narrative that Russell carried the Celtics to 11 NBA titles.
In an interview in the past, Wilt noted that Russell didn't carry the Celtics, but was part of a great Celtics team that won a lot. And pointed to the fact Russell would often be waiting in the corner while he had to be guarded by other members of the Celtics.
"It bothered me because it was a lie. Russell didn't win 11 championships. He played on teams that won 11 championships. Russell had so much help it was unreal. I can't tell you how many times I got Russell in foul trouble, and the Celtics [reserve] Gene Conley guarding me and they'd send Russell to the corner. And I can't tell you how many times the Celtics were bailed out by Sam Jones or John Havlicek coming off the bench."
Chamberlain was a statistical marvel in the league. But that dominance on the box score didn't always translate to championship success. Chamberlain only won 2 NBA championships across the span of his career compared to Russell's 13. This fact always comes up whenever there is a career comparison between Chamberlain and Russell.
Despite this frustration, Wilt did share a solid friendship with Bill Russell, and would even let him sleep in his bed when he would visit. The duo defined their generation and paved the way for several future NBA superstars.