The great one is Larry Bird. Is there a player you think is superior?


by Burch, Michael R.


Definitely a contender for the basketball GOAT title is Larry Bird. He is one of my all-time starting five players. He was really, really good. Is he, however, the greatest of all time? We’ll find out who was superior.

Hehe! Do you believe you are superior to me? I’ll direct you to my statistics.


Wilt Chamberlain averaged 30.1 points per game compared to Larry Bird’s 24.3 points per game, a significant differential. But for the first six years of his NBA career—during which he averaged almost forty points per game—Wilt was simply attempting to score. Chamberlain scored 50.4 points per game on average during his most productive season. Bird’s best average score was 29.9 points per game. Therefore, there is not much of a comparison here. [+1 Chamberlain]

For a prolific shooter of his era, Larry Bird’s.496 field goal percentage is excellent; yet, Wilt Chamberlain scored significantly more points with a much higher.540 %. And Wilt did it nightly while getting hand-checked, double- and triple-teamed, and mobbed. So just think of what he could have done to improve floor-spacing using the three-pointer and contemporary scorer-friendly rules! For a prolific scorer, Wilt’s nine field goal percentage championships in 13 years is remarkable. In terms of field goal percentage, Bird never held the league record or even came close. With a career average of.527, his best field goal percentage is less than Wilt’s. Once more, there is not much of a comparison. [Chamberlain +2]

I will give Bird the benefit of the doubt because he was possibly the greatest clutch shot in NBA history. [+1 Chamberlain]

Wilt’s weakness was his free throw shooting, but Bird was an excellent shooter. Here, there is no comparison; Bird triumphs handily. [Even]


But are things truly balanced? Wilt had better overall shooting efficiency and scored more points per game despite his poor free throw shooting. A tiebreaker on overall shooting is required.

A tiebreaker on overall shooting is required. Let’s make use of TS+, which accounts for historical variations. The league’s shooting average is 100. Bird scored well for a volume scorer with a 105 TS+. In contrast, Michael Jordan’s was 106 and Kobe Bryant’s was 104. But Wilt was in another universe, with a 113 TS+ that puts him on an entirely new level as an overall shooter. Despite his subpar free throw shooting, Wilt was a considerably more effective scorer than Bird, Kobe, and MJ, according to TS+, which accounts for true shooting %.

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