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Old 07-27-2011, 11:25 PM   #31
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Default Re: Happy Birthday to an Underappreciated All Time Great

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What impressed me the most is that he didn't only hold Kareem to 22.8 ppg in 1972, he actually outscored him as well (I think he averaged 25.4 ppg), while also outrebounding him.

Los Angeles Times - Jul 6, 1985

Revealed Thurmond: "The first time Kareem came to the West Coast he was playing Wilt down in Los Angeles the night before he was coming to San Francisco. I was about 23, 24 years old. I really didn't need sleep but I needed an advantage. So I got on PSA and I flew down and I watched that game. I could see that night the moves that he tried to do or did do against Wilt and what he liked to do best. The next night the first time I played against Kareem he only got 13 or 14 points. And that one game helped me for the next 10 years."




St. Petersburg Times - Oct 27, 1969

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Old 07-28-2011, 01:48 AM   #32
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Default Re: Happy Birthday to an Underappreciated All Time Great

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Originally Posted by PHILA
Los Angeles Times - Jul 6, 1985

Revealed Thurmond: "The first time Kareem came to the West Coast he was playing Wilt down in Los Angeles the night before he was coming to San Francisco. I was about 23, 24 years old. I really didn't need sleep but I needed an advantage. So I got on PSA and I flew down and I watched that game. I could see that night the moves that he tried to do or did do against Wilt and what he liked to do best. The next night the first time I played against Kareem he only got 13 or 14 points. And that one game helped me for the next 10 years."




St. Petersburg Times - Oct 27, 1969


Actually, Thurmond was 28 when he first faced Kareem. And the night before, in the only H2H meeting between Kareem, and a Wilt before he shredded his knee a few days later...Wilt outscored Kareem, 25-23; outrebounded Kareem, 25-20; outassisted Kareem, 5-2; outblocked Kareem, 3-2; and outshot Kareem, 9-14 to 9-21 (.643 to .429.) Granted, Kareem was a rookie, but on the flip side, Wilt was several seasons past his "scoring" prime (although, in that 69-70 season, his 11th in the NBA, Wilt was leading the NBA in scoring at 32.2 ppg when he went down with that horrific knee injury in game nine.)

Still, no one played Kareem tougher than Thurmond. Alexandreben posted the articles of the many H2H games between Kareem and Thurmond. Kareem was in his prime in the vast majority, while Thurmond was in his prime in the first 2-3 seasons. Yet, in over 50 H2h games, Kareem's high game against Nate was only 34 points. And, without actually looking at all of the available numbers, I feel extremely confident that Kareem probably shot less than 45% against Thurmond over the course of those 50+ games.

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For quite a few years, we've been aware of his defensive stats, how he was able to hold Kareem and Wilt significantly below their averages. Willis Reed, as well. I don't know if his high against Thurmond was as low as he says, but I've seen that in 1970, the MVP Reed had some terrible games against Nate, as well. I think he even had a 7-point game, on horrible percentages.

Thurmond (like Russell and later Cowens) was a fighter who raised his game against his greatest opponents quite often. What impressed me the most is that he didn't only hold Kareem to 22.8 ppg in 1972, he actually outscored him as well (I think he averaged 25.4 ppg), while also outrebounding him. However, I'm kind of skeptical about 1973, when he did an equally admirable job on him and got universal praises, but averaged "only" about 16/10 (and therefore, I'm not sure he outplayed Kareem in 1973).

He also outperformed Wilt in the first 2 games of the 1969 series (Wilt however got the better of him later on), while also holding him to 7 ppg in the 1973 series (career low for Wilt) - one of the very few series when you could make a case for Wilt's personal opponent outplaying him for a whole series. Wilt beat him clearly in 1967, but Thurmond still performed better than Wilt's other playoff opponents

A couple of points. Nate completely outplayed Kareem in the '72 playoffs. He outscored him, 25.4 ppg to 22.8 ppg, and outshot him, .437 to .405. Kareem did outrebound Thurmond, though, 18.4 to 17.8 rpg, and outassisted Thurmond, 5.4 apg to 5.2 apg.

In the first round of the '73 playoffs, while Thurmond probably didn't outplay Kareem (Kareem outscored him, 22.8 ppg to 13.5 ppg; outrebounded Thurmond, 16.2 rpg to 9.8 rpg; and outshot Nate, .428 to .397), Nate neutralized him enough that his 47-35 Warriors shocked Kareem's 60-22 Bucks, 4-2.

Which brings me to your point that Nate may have outplayed Wilt in the entire '73 WCF's. As much as I respect your opinion, that was completely false. True, Nate outscored Wilt per game, 15.8 ppg to 8.0 ppg, but that was a Wilt who seldom shot the ball at all. However, Wilt pounded Thurmond on the glass in that series, 23.6 rpg to 17.2 rpg, and outshot Nate in that series, .550 to .398. Furthermore, Wilt's 60-22 Lakers destroyed that same Warrior team that had stunned Kareem's Bucks, 4-1. In fact, I was in Oakland for game three of that series, when Wilt's Lakers murdered Nate's Warriors, 126-70. Chamberlain played a little about 35 minutes in that game (which was about the only minutes he missed over the course of his 17 playoff games that season), and he blocked at least 8 shots. That win propelled LA to a 3-0 lead in that series, and after a close game four loss, the Lakers wiped out the Warriors in an easy game five win.

You also mentioned the '68-69 playoffs between Nate's Warriors, and Wilt's Lakers. The Warriors stunned LA, and on the Laker's home floor in the first two games of that series. LA came back to win the next four games, including a 117-77 win (in San Francisco) in the clinching game six. Nate probably had his best series against Wilt, outscoring him, per game, 16.7 ppg to 12.0 ppg, but once again, Chamberlain outrebounded Nate, per game, 23.5 to 19.5 rpg, and as always, he outshot Thurmond in that series, .500 to .392.

Now, in the '67 Finals, Wilt crushed Thurmond. True, he "only" outscored him, 17.5 ppg to 14.3 ppg, but in the process, he outshot Nate, .560 to .343. He also outrebounded Nate, per game, 28.5 to 26.7 rpg (and he outrebounded Thurmond in five of the six games, including a 38 rebound game.) And he outassisted Nate, 6.9 to 4.3 apg, as well. Included in all of that was Wilt's clinching game six performance, when he outscored Thurmond, 24-12; outrebounded Nate, 24-23; and outshot Nate from the field, 8-13 to 4-13.

Once again, Nate probably played Chamberlain tougher defensivley than any other center in Wilt's career, but it must be noted that in the few games that the two played in Wilt's "scoring" seasons, Wilt dominated Nate. Wilt's "scoring" prime was in his first seven seasons, from '60-'66. However, he only faced Thurmond in a handful of games between '65 thru '66, and he had several 30+ games against Nate in those few games...including one game in which he outscored him, 45-13.

Also interesting was an early season game in Wilt's '67 season. Wilt's new coach, Alex Hannum, had asked Wilt to become a facilitator in the Sixer offense, and with that, Wilt dramatically vut back his shooting (he would only take 14.2 FGAs per game that season...albeit with a 24.1 ppg and .683 FG%.) In that early season encounter against Nate's Warriors, the Sixers fell behind at the half. At halftime, Hannum told the players to feed Wilt, and for Wilt to take it to Nate. Chamberlain responded with 24 second half points, en route to a 30 point, 26 rebound, 12 block game.

Continued...
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:48 AM   #33
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Default Re: Happy Birthday to an Underappreciated All Time Great

Continuing...

BTW, Psileas pointed out how well that Nate defended Willis Reed. However, Chamberlain absolutely crushed Reed in many of their battles in the '60's. In the 64-65 season alone, Wilt had games of 41, 52, 36, 58 and 46 points against Reed (and another 50+ game against him the next season.) (Thanks to Julizaver for that info BTW....who found that info in google news articles.) With the Sixers from the '66 season thru '68, Wilt also games of 30, 29, 37 (with 32 rebounds), 34, and 37 (with 28 rebounds) against Reed.

And as amazing as those numbers were, Chamberlain OWNED HOFer Walt Bellamy. He had an entire SEASON in which he averaged 55 ppg against him, which included THREE games of 60+, and a high game of 73 points. And Wilt also was a defensive monster against him in the '68 playoffs (in a series in which Wilt LED BOTH teams in scoring, rebounding, AND assists...and don't forget that Walt Frazier was on that Knick team.) In that series, Bellamy, who had shot .541 during the course of the regular season, was only able to shoot .421 against Wilt.

Now, as great a defensive player as Russell was (and he was, without question, the greatest ever), he still could "only" hold Wilt to a career 28.7 ppg over the course of their 142 H2H games. Wilt had SEASONS against Russell in which he averaged 38 ppg (twice BTW), and SEVERAL 30+ ppg seasons. In his '67 season, Wilt averaged 20.3 ppg on .549 shooting against Russell, and in that post-season, he averaged 21.6 ppg on .558 shooting. Chamberlain also had FOUR post-seasons, against Russell, in which he averaged at least 30 ppg, and included in that was a 30 ppg, 31 rpg seven game series in '65. BTW, Chamberlain had 24 40+ point games against Russell in his career (and 17 40-30 games BTW), as well as FIVE 50+ point games, with a high game of 62 points (on 27-45 shooting.)

As for Nate, he is one of only FOUR players in NBA history to have a 20-20 season (20 ppg and 20 rpg in the same season.) Here again, Wilt had TEN 20-20 seasons, and SEVEN 30-20 seasons. He also ranks SECOND, all-time, in 30-30 games, with FOUR (of course, Chamberlain had 103 of them...as well as 55 40-30 games, and the only four 50-40 games in NBA history.)

Was Thurmond a better defender than Chamberlain? Many writers that covered the NBA in the 60's claimed he was (with Russell being #1.) However, my research indicates that Wilt was considerbly more dominant. Chamberlain had a much higher Defensive Win Shares in EVERY H2H season except Wilt's 68-69 season (Nate had a 6.1 to 5.3 edge) and Chamberlain's 69-70 season (when he missed 70 games due to that knee surgery) BTW, aside from from Russell, who has the SIX highest seasons in NBA history, Wilt had the next two highest, and three of the top-17 seasons in league history. Meanwhile, Thurmond's best season (72-73) was at 6.74 (and it was STILL behind Wilt's 7.51 that season.) Thurmond was voted first-team all defense in both 68-69 and 70-71 (and second in '72, '73, and '74.) However, the award did not exist before 68-69, and Chamberlain would surely have won it in '67-68 and probably in '66-67, as well. On top of that, Chamberlain was voted first-team all-defense in his LAST two seasons, 71-72 and 72-73 (and he would surely have won DPOY in '72 had the award existed back then.)

Still, Nate played both Wilt, and Kareem, better defensively, than any other centers that those two faced. In fact, Wilt seldom even shot against Nate from the 68-69 season, on. He was also one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history, which included one of the few 40+ rebound games in NBA history. And, had blocked shots been an official stat, he probably would have been among the greatest shot-blockers in NBA history, as well.

Last edited by jlauber : 07-28-2011 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:35 PM   #34
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Default Re: Happy Birthday to an Underappreciated All Time Great

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Originally Posted by jlauber
A couple of points. Nate completely outplayed Kareem in the '72 playoffs. He outscored him, 25.4 ppg to 22.8 ppg, and outshot him, .437 to .405. Kareem did outrebound Thurmond, though, 18.4 to 17.8 rpg, and outassisted Thurmond, 5.4 apg to 5.2 apg.

So Kareem in the same playoffs averaging 33.7 points a game, 17.5 rebounds per game, 4.8 assists per on 45.7 FG% while making 84 FT% on Wilt and the Lakers ain't him completely outplaying Wilt who averaged 10.8 points per game, 19.3 rebounds per game, 3.3 assists per game, 45.2 FG% and 44 FT%. According to you that's not even Kareem dominating Wilt, that is according to Kareem getting "schooled" by Wilt.

But Kareem outassisting and outreboundning Nate who outscored Kareem with almost 3 points per game on a little better shooting is Kareem getting completely outplayed...
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:51 AM   #35
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Default Re: Happy Birthday to an Underappreciated All Time Great

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Originally Posted by millwad
So Kareem in the same playoffs averaging 33.7 points a game, 17.5 rebounds per game, 4.8 assists per on 45.7 FG% while making 84 FT% on Wilt and the Lakers ain't him completely outplaying Wilt who averaged 10.8 points per game, 19.3 rebounds per game, 3.3 assists per game, 45.2 FG% and 44 FT%. According to you that's not even Kareem dominating Wilt, that is according to Kareem getting "schooled" by Wilt.

But Kareem outassisting and outreboundning Nate who outscored Kareem with almost 3 points per game on a little better shooting is Kareem getting completely outplayed...

Maybe you can post the articles that were printed, AT THE TIME, which would dispute that then.

Yep....when even the MILWAUKEE PRESS, and the MILWAUKEE COACH, and the vast majority of sports writers that covered those series, and even the fans that actually witnessed those playoff games, claimed that BOTH Nate and ESPECIALLY Wilt, outplayed Kareem in the playoffs that year. One more time, TIME MAGAZINE credited Wilt with DECISIVELY outplaying an 11 year younger Kareem.

But, by all means, please provide the articles that contradict those takes.

Of course, what you have never addressed, is the fact that a PRIME Chamberlain dominated MANY of the SAME centers that Kareem would face in his career, and to a FAR greater extent.
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:52 AM   #36
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Default Re: Happy Birthday to an Underappreciated All Time Great

To get this thread back on track, I'd love to hear more about Thurmond. Any articles or videos are welcome. The stuff Phila posted was interesting.
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:21 AM   #37
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Default Re: Happy Birthday to an Underappreciated All Time Great

I always wondered why the '72-73 Warriors did not dominate the league. Barry, Jeff Mullins, Thurmond, Cazzie Russell, Jim Barnett, and Clyde Lee (who averaged 9.1 rpg in 22.4 mpg..and who LED the Warriors in rebounding in the playoffs.) That was a stacked team, and yet, collectively, other than Lee, they collapsed in the post-season. Yes, they stunned Kareem's 60-22 Bucks 4-2, but their post-season shooting was just AWFUL. Barry averaged 16.4 ppg on .396 shooting, Mullins 15.0 ppg on .429, Barnett 13.0 ppg on .408, and Nate 14.5 ppg on .398.

And then, to gut that team two years later ...basically either getting rid of, or benching EVERY one of those guys, except Barry...and then to win the title with a Barry and a bunch of no-names was just astounding.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:29 AM   #38
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Default Re: Happy Birthday to an Underappreciated All Time Great

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Originally Posted by jlauber
Maybe you can post the articles that were printed, AT THE TIME, which would dispute that then.

Yep....when even the MILWAUKEE PRESS, and the MILWAUKEE COACH, and the vast majority of sports writers that covered those series, and even the fans that actually witnessed those playoff games, claimed that BOTH Nate and ESPECIALLY Wilt, outplayed Kareem in the playoffs that year. One more time, TIME MAGAZINE credited Wilt with DECISIVELY outplaying an 11 year younger Kareem.

But, by all means, please provide the articles that contradict those takes.

Of course, what you have never addressed, is the fact that a PRIME Chamberlain dominated MANY of the SAME centers that Kareem would face in his career, and to a FAR greater extent.

Idiot, the article said that he outplayed him in the last game, are you so biased that you even can't read without making up your own mind of what the article really said?
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:04 AM   #39
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Default Re: Happy Birthday to an Underappreciated All Time Great

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Originally Posted by millwad
Idiot, the article said that he outplayed him in the last game, are you so biased that you even can't read without making up your own mind of what the article really said?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilt_Chamberlain

Quote:
In the post-season, the Lakers defeated the Chicago Bulls in a sweep,[85] then went on to face the Milwaukee Bucks of young superstar center and regular-season MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar again. The matchup between Chamberlain and Abdul-Jabbar was hailed by LIFE magazine as the greatest matchup in all of sports. Chamberlain would help lead the Lakers past Jabbar and the Bucks in 6 games.[85] Particularly, Chamberlain was lauded for his final Game 6 performance, which the Lakers won 106–100 after trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter: he scored 24 points and 22 rebounds, played a complete 48 minutes and outsprinted the younger Bucks center on several late Lakers fast breaks.[86] Jerry West called it "the greatest ball-busting performance I have ever seen."[86] Chamberlain performed so well in the series that TIME magazine stated, "In the N.B.A.'s western division title series with Milwaukee, he (Chamberlain) decisively outplayed basketball's newest giant superstar, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, eleven years his junior."[87]




Quote:
Kareem’s Image as Best Suffered in Buck Defeat
Bob Wolf
The Milwaukee Journal, April 24, 1972

When the Milwaukee Bucks won the National Basketball Association championship a year ago, there was talk that they had a dynasty in the making.

But their dynasty ended before it really began, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s reputation as the greatest center of all time was tarnished in the process.

Abdul-Jabbar failed to outplay either Nate Thurmond of the Golden State Warriors or Wilt Chamberlain of the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs, and his inability to contain Chamberlain finally made the difference in the Laker series that ended in disaster at the Arena Saturday

Matter of Muscle

In the first round series with the Warriors, Abdul-Jabbar outrebounded Thurmond 95-89, but was outscored, 127-114. The Bucks won the series, four games to one.

In the semifinal series with the Lakers, Abdul-Jabbar had a tremendous edge in scoring, 202-67, but was outrebounded, 116-105, and was outmuscled by a greater margin than that. He actually reached the point on occasion where he was intimidated by Chamberlain as he headed toward the basket, and who ever heard of the big Buck being intimidated?

The Lakers eliminated the Bucks in six games, and the turning point occurred, with the series tied 2-2, when Chamberlain took advantage of his tremendous advantage in weight and strength and began pushing Abdul-Jabbar around. Wilt is listed at 275 pounds but probably weighs 290, to Abdul-Jabbar’s 230.

Perhaps the best illustration of Abdul-Jabbar’s difficulties lay in his shooting averages. He shot .574 in the regular season but only .437 in the playoffs ― .405 against Thurmond and .457 against Chamberlain.

Because of the strong defensive work of his two veteran rivals, Abdul-Jabbar often was forced away from his favorite shooting positions. He took hook shots from 12 to 15 feet away instead of from 8 to 10, and sometimes he even resorted to 15 foot jump shots.

Keep It Up

As Chamberlain put it after the fifth game in Los Angeles, which the Lakers won, 115-90, “Tonight Kareem was taking jump shots. That’s something he doesn’t usually do, but I hope he keeps on doing it.”

Abdul-Jabbar took more jump shots Saturday as the Lakers ended the series with a 104-100 victory, and Bucks Coach Larry Costello said, “I don’t want Kareem taking 15 footers. You do that and you’re just not playing your game.”

But Chamberlain’s dominating presence obviously had much to do with Abdul-Jabbar’s change in tactics, and Wilt’s performance against the man who supposedly had usurped his title as king of the giants must have been one of the most satisfying of his long career.

http://www.amazon.com/Wilt-Larger-Th.../dp/1572436727

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Quote:
Thirty years after he retired from basketball, Wilt still owns more NBA records then any player in history. Bill Russell may have won all those championships, but not even Russell was a match for Wilt statisically. Chamberlain almost always outscored and out rebounded Russell in every encounter. Russell no doubt almost always had the better teams. Abdul Jabbar played 20 seasons to Wilts 13, and yet Chamberlain has several thousand more lifetime rebounds. In the twilight of his career, a 35 year old Wilt led the Lakers to victory over the Bucks and a 25 year old Jabbar during the 1972 playoffs. Even more astounding, was wilt blocked 20 shots in two consecutive games in that series, and 11 of those blocked shots were on Kareem. Who the heck ever did that to Jabbar. Makes you wonder what Wilt would have done in his prime. As great as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson were, none of them had the impact or dominance of Wilt Chamberlain. The rules of the game were altered upon Wilts arrival into the league. Modern day fans talk of Shaq being the greatest center of all-time. Does anyone out there think Shaq could have blocked 11 Kareem shots in two games? Shaq wouldn't have been able to leap high enough to block a skyhook. That statistic alone, should be enough to convince anyone of Wilts athleticism.

Last edited by jlauber : 07-29-2011 at 10:21 AM.
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