Why is Wilt Chamberlain disregarded and not included in the GOAT conversation?

I am a former basketball player and coach who watched Wilt, Kareem, and Shaq play at the Forum in my hometown of Inglewood, California. Wilt is the best big man I’ve ever seen, period. It is easy to argue that Wilt faced inferior competition throughout his career, but there were plenty of highly skilled big guys back then, like Bill Russell, Walt Bellamy, Nate Thurmond, Jerry Lucas, Willis Reed, and, later, Kareem and Bob Lanier. Bill Russell had no offensive talents and was surrounded by Hall of Fame teammates throughout his career, which explains why he won more rings and is regarded as the greatest of all time.

The league being much smaller back then, Wilt had to meet the other elite bigs more frequently, and the game was far more physical. Then there were his unfathomable stats: a 50-plus point per game average in 1961-62, leading the league in assists in 1966-67 (as the first point center in NBA history), and near-superhuman strength and world-class athleticism. Former UCLA All Americans and NBA standouts Marques Johnson and David Greenwood testified of Wilt dominating pickup games with active NBA players at UCLA in his 50s, saying there was no doubt he could have played in the NBA at the time.

Wilt, in his heyday, would have given Kareem, Shaq, and today’s centers FITS with his arsenal of fade away jumpers, insane strength, finger rolls, drop steps, hook shots, and rim shattering dunks, as well as the ability to run the floor and lead fast breaks. In his first game against Kareem at 33, he dominated Captain Skyhook, prompting him to say: “Wilt showed me a few tricks I hadn’t seen before.” Fortunately, we can watch some of his best work on YouTube.

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