NBA All Time Pick Up Game…I Got Wilt…Who Ya Got?

Anyone picking anyone over these two better get your debate shoes on…

Had a discussion on twitter about who is the NBA GOAT (greatest of all time). As the conversation evolved, I put this out there. Then I said this after JD of Two Guys and a Mic radio show said this. After he went with Oscar I went with Mike Jordan.

I would go with Magic since JD went with the Big O. He’s not going to pick Moses so that’s who I’m going with to round out my starting five.

I see Jalen Rose and Dari Nowkhah are having the same conversation on Mike and Mike this morning so I wanted to get this post up just so ya know.

We’ve had these conversations many times here on the site and of course it’s all subjective but after doing some Wilt research (a great write up on Wilt’s competition) and wondering why he’s falling further and further off the pantheon ledge, this is as good a time as any to speak Wilt Chamberlain back into the mix as well as objectively discuss the greats of the game.

Pick up game…who ya got? I got next.

95 Responses to “NBA All Time Pick Up Game…I Got Wilt…Who Ya Got?”

  1. Mizzo says:

    That being said. Russell had way more team talent than Wilt. I love Hal Greer but who else on those Philly/Lakers (past his prime) teams could you name off the top of your head?

    Mike was definitely the prototype who could do everything the former evolution players couldn’t do and was clutch doing it but my point about the Lakers/Celtics dynasties is that they weren’t the powerhouse teams of the past (or the future).

    Chicago blasted that 91 LA team. That team was chopped up soon after Magic made his health announcement in 92.

    I know we can’t go back in the past and see what Wilt was but that pundits near and far are beginning to off his name’s head from the top center discussion publicly tells me how much of a threat Wilt was to the NBA’s legacy.

    I have to get to Russell soon and walk it out…

    If those of us with true love of the game make it so cut and dry, Wilt will become Mikan.

  2. Temple3 says:

    I think we would just encourage those 3 guys to come into the middle and have their shots get swallowed up by Shaq and Duncan. Rodman, Clyde and Pippen would all be very difficult to beat off the dribble — even for those guys.

    We saw how much trouble Wade had getting past Ronnie Brewer. LeBron would be having Bruce Bowen nightmares going back to ’04 and Kobe, well, Kobe would think it was Paul Pierce and “Peaches” all over again.

    I feel you on the Barkley thing. He’d literally be in over his head.

  3. GrandNubian says:

    I’m going to assume that we’re talking about these guys in their “prime”. The ’83 Kareem was not the Kareem who was in his prime. The ’83 Moses was. I’m not sure if the Kareem of the 1970s would’ve received the same fate.

    KG battled Duncan and held his own. However it was the Spurs who beat the Timberwolves. I’m not looking for KG to “lead” this team. All he has to do is play the same role he’s playing in Boston (rebounder, defender, shot blocker, etc.) :-)

    Also, i’m wondering when did Clyde become a defender comparable to Pippen and Rodman. I don’t ever recall Clyde dominating a game on the defensive end, except jumping the passing lanes getting steals. However, great on-ball defender, Clyde was not. He can’t guard Kobe, Lebron or Wade. He’d be better off guarding Reggie Miller. (lol)

  4. Origin says:

    Man this is one of the best discussions I have seen on here. Temple, GN, Mizzo and etc.

    You guys are dropping straight knowledge on here.

  5. Temple3 says:

    Clyde is one of the top on ball defenders in the history of the league. He won that famous Willis Reed game with one of the best 2-way performances in league history. If you do a search for steals in the NBA and go back…check the YouTube film on steals made on the ball, Clyde is the signature guy. Better yet, ask The Logo. Alllll that and a bag of chips.

  6. GrandNubian says:

    Sorry, but I don’t recall Clyde ever being a great “on ball” defender. Yes, he got his steals due to him being able to play the passing lanes. But i don’t recall him being in the same class as Jordan, Pippen, Payton, Moncrief or Cooper as a great on-ball defender.

  7. Temple3 says:

    He wrote the book that Cooper and Moncrief left on the playground for Jordan and them to pick up. I’ll send the video, you’ll recant and we’ll take it from there.

  8. Temple3 says:

    Go to “The NBA’s 100 Greatest Plays: Steals” and C4UR$elf. Most guys are passing lane guys…but there are only a few guys in this entire video clip with on ball rips. Clyde makes his cameo right away.

  9. Mizzo says:

    Sorry I couldn’t have been more involved in the discussion fellas. I had to get that preview up quick after one helluva day…my goodness.

  10. GrandNubian says:

    I’ll check it out. Thanks T3.

  11. GrandNubian says:


    My fault….I thought you were referring to Clyde Drexler. I should’ve picked up on it when you made mention of Willis Reed.

    But nevertheless, you’re right. Walt “Clyde” Frazier was one of the best on-ball defenders ever. But I still don’t think he could guard Kobe one-on-one. :-)

  12. Temple3 says:

    No one can guard Kobe one on one. That’s just it. Who on these teams can be guarded? And who can be guarded when they have this much help? Forget it.

  13. Temple3 says:

    Oscar Robertson politely tells John Wooden to stop smoking that STUFF:

  14. Temple3 says:

    Damn — I simply cannot believe you thought I was arguing for Clyde Drexler. I am speeeeeeeechless.

  15. GrandNubian says:

    LOL…..yeah man. I thought you mean Drexler. My bad… :-)

  16. GrandNubian says:

    “mean” = “meant”

    Sorry for the typo.

  17. Mizzo says:

    So let’s recap the teams so I can catch the hell up.

  18. Temple3 says:


    I don’t think you took an 8th player.

    Team Mizzo
    1 – Wilt
    2 – Jordan
    3 – Dr. J
    4 – Moses
    5 – The Big O
    6 – Dream
    7 – Chuck B

    Team T3
    1 – Shaq
    2 – Magic
    3 – The Big Fundamental
    4 – Scottie Pippen
    5 – Rodman
    6 – Pistol Pete
    7 – Kevin McHale (The Little Fundamental)

    Team Nubian:
    1 – Kareem
    2 – LeBron James
    3 – Larry Legend
    4 – The Mailman
    5 – Black Mamba
    6 – Reggie Who? (Miller, That’s Who!)
    7 – Kevin Garnett
    8 – Dwayne Wade

  19. Ron Glover says:

    Damn, this is Basketball 101, I’m gonna print this thread out and read it on the train. Wish I could’ve jumped in.

  20. GrandNubian says:

    LOL@T3 putting Clyde’s name in caps…. :-)

  21. Temple3 says:

    I’m curious to know what your priorities were in selecting your team.

    I went for the things that I believed determined the outcomes of playoff games for years: defense, rebounding, shot blocking, ball handling. For example, I took Pippen and Rodman because Mizzo and GN took Jordan and LeBron.

    I wonder who Mizzo wants in the 8th slot.

  22. Temple3 says:

    I should say the little things that determined playoff games — because at the end of the day, you have to be able to score. I think we all have roster full of cats who could mostly score from anywhere — except for GARNETT (HEAVE-HO!!) and MILLER, and of course, Dennis “3 Points” Rodman.

    Amazing that Bill Russell isn’t on anyone’s list.

  23. Mizzo says:

    Hahaha! Clyde in caps is hilarious.
    Gimme Gary Payton.

  24. Temple3 says:

    I thought about him, too. Long and hard.

  25. Temple3 says:

    Are we going to 10? If so, pick again, Mizz.

  26. Mizzo says:

    Gimme Chris Webber’s versatility.

  27. Temple3 says:

    I’ll take Elgin Baylor.

  28. Temple3 says:

    GN — you’re up.

  29. GrandNubian says:

    My priorities were based on you guys’ picks. For example, I had to have someone who could contend with Wilt. Shaq was the best option but he wasn’t available for me, so I had to get someone who could give them both problems in the post (“Sky Hook! Sky Hook! Sky Hook!” in my Darryl Dawkins voice :-)) as well as a good defender.

  30. GrandNubian says:

    We’re going 10?

    Ok, give me Bill Russell.

  31. Mizzo says:

    Spencer Haywood’s deadly turnaround and gifted swag around the rim.

  32. Temple3 says:

    I’ll go original Houston — before Moses…before Hakeem — for a true down home bruiser to show Karl Malone (and Kareem too) how its done…

    The Big E — Elvin Hayes.

  33. GrandNubian says:

    I almost went with the Big E, but chose Russ…..

    Give me “Zeke”…..Isiah Thomas.

  34. Temple3 says:

    So, there it is.

  35. Temple3 says:

    I might have to put Elvin Hayes in the starting lineup….shiiiiiiiiii%

    28 and 17 as a rookie….Ouch.

  36. Temple3 says:

    I’m not is is correct, but it looks like he (Hayes) missed all of 9 games in 16 seasons — playing PF. Scary.

  37. GrandNubian says:

    Yeah, he (Hayes) held the most minutes played record until Kareem eventually broke it.

  38. Mizzo says:

    No disrespect to Russell because he’s obviously a great champion but where is he gonna guard?

    I think that’s the reason for the omission but also it speaks to the specter of Wilt.

    I chose Wilt first because my imagination runs wild with how I assume his on court personality affects a game…the intangibles of his superior intellect encapsulated with that legendary Philly cotdamn.

    Mike for everything versatile and also for much of the same I said of Wilt and also his will to perform the best amongst the best.

    Doc to show the world he shot threes, got rebounds, picked yo shit and boofed it on the best with the best of afro picked flair. That Strong Island jazz tempered with trouble funk soul.

    Moses for that tenacity. His motor was nonstop even when he was tired as shit. That Patrick Ewing sweat type stuff. Like what Keith Lee should have been in the pros. All Moses everything around the rim.

    Then the Big O’s size, strength and chill over, under, through, side to side where the opposition needs more than four eyes.

    Dream…man…shook, shake ya make ya girl hate ya because he’s giving it to ya something African.

    Chuck because I need my on court personality on the floor. That I don’t give a eff who is watching, playing, betting, hating, loving…all that.

    Webber for what he could have been. DC remix. Triple double tremendous athleticism. Matchup hell for anyone.

    Gary Payton…see Big O, Webber, Dream, Mike, Chuck. He’s just a basketball player that happened to be a point guard and was clutch.

    Spencer Haywood’s turnaround became Kobe Bryant’s name. Put up 30 and 20 as a rookie after leading the USA to the gold in Mexico City Black 1968. Youngest player in the world and averaged an Oscar Olympic doing it.

  39. Mizzo says:

    I was in Cleveland when Oscar said that. I wasn’t as cool with Cleveland’s pr as I am now and had no idea he and West were being honored until I covered the game that night.

    “West and Robertson were the Magic Johnson and Larry Bird of their day. Oscar might dispute the analogy, though. “John Wooden once told me Larry Bird was better than me,” said Robertson. “I told coach Wooden, ‘I’ll play him for lunch every day, and he’ll pay.’ “

    That’s the best right thurr.

    This is the reason why I’m really into this Wilt discussion because we can’t miss opportunities to speak to the greats. I have truly great access opportunities and I have to take advantage so an in depth history is highlighted right. Missing talking to Oscar in person pained me the entire time I was out there. I gotta get him and Bill Russell on the mic. It will happen.

  40. Temple3 says:

    Final Teams:

    Team Mizzo
    1 — Wilt Chamberlain
    2 — Michael Jeffrey Jordan
    3 — Julius Erving
    4 — Moses Malone
    5 — Oscar Robertson
    6 — Hakeem Olajuwon
    7 — Charles Barkley
    8 — Gary Payton
    9 — Chris Webber
    10 — Spencer Haywood

    Team T3
    1 — Shaquille O’Neal
    2 — Earvin “Magic” Johnson
    3 — Tim Duncan
    4 — Scottie Pippen
    5 — Dennis Rodman
    6 — Pete Maravich
    7 — Kevin McHale
    8 — Walt Frazier
    9 — Elgin Baylor
    10 — Elvin Hayes

    Team Grand Nubian
    1 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    2 — LeBron James
    3 — Larry Bird
    4 — Karl Malone
    5 — Kobe Bryant
    6 — Reggie Miller
    7 — Kevin Garnett
    8 — Dwyane Wade
    9 — Bill Russell
    10 — Isiah Lord Thomas

  41. GrandNubian says:

    Shaq just called it a career….

  42. Temple3 says:

    Long overdue.

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