Friday Fire: A Tribute to the ’61-’62 Season of Wilt Chamberlain and Who Is Your First Half NBA ’11-’12 MVP?

Scored 4,029 points (50.4), grabbed 2052 rebounds (25.7) and shot .506% from the field (2nd to Walt Bellamy’s .519%. Bellamy was a rookie …my goodness)
Let’s get this outta the way…here are stats for the 1961-1962 NBA season and a more comprehensive list of league leaders. The reason this isn’t two separate posts because I have something more in depth coming on Wilt very soon. There’s context here and it will be interesting to see who will make the distinction and why. Given the standings, otherworldly disparity in individual stats and makeup of respective teams, how in the hell didn’t Wilt not win MVP? Bellamy, Baylor and Robertson had incredible years as well but somehow Russell snatches the award? Yes, being a winner should factor tremendously, but Wilt’s Warriors lost to Russell’s much more gifted Celtics in the ECF 3-2 and also finished second to Boston in the regular season. Take either Russell off Boston and Wilt off Philadelphia and see what happens. Boston would still win and this bs about Russell making his Hall of Fame teammates better should stop….look at the Warriors roster and where it sits historically and then hide your eyes to the diamond shine of Boston’s. Great player and arguably the greatest defensive player ever, but honestly, to compare him favorably to Wilt is absolutely ludicrous even when considering Wilt seemed to falter in big games vs. Boston. I need to know more and because there is little footage from the era, I’m gonna research to find out what went down that year in more encapsulated fashion. Dig through the links above and judge 1961-1962 accordingly.
I question everything.
Now let’s shoot 50 years later to this season…
Kind of early to do this because of the lockout shortened season, but it’s fun right? I wanted the discussion to be pure and without my input so below I merely post stats for the players I feel should be candidates. One will surprise,  but when you really think about it, why shouldn’t he be a candidate? Public perception? Whatever man. In your first comment, rank the candidates and let the conversation flow from there. Let’s go…

Chris Paul

2011-12 STATS
PPG
18.2
REB
3.7
ASST
8.8
FG%
49.2

Chris Bosh

2011-12 STATS
PPG
18.6
REB
8.1
ASST
2.1
FG%
49.5

Kevin Durant

2011-12 STATS
PPG
27.0
REB
8.1
ASST
3.2
FG%
50.4

LeBron James

2011-12 STATS
PPG
28.0
REB
8.2
ASST
6.8
FG%
54.5

Derrick Rose

2011-12 STATS
PPG
22.0
REB
3.4
ASST
7.8
FG%
46.2

Kobe Bryant

2011-12 STATS
PPG
28.7
REB
5.8
ASST
5.0
FG%
43.6

Tony Parker

2011-12 STATS
PPG
19.0
REB
2.8
ASST
7.8
FG%
45.4

Dwight Howard

2011-12 STATS
PPG
20.1
REB
15.1
ASST
2.0
FG%
55.0
photo credit

16 Responses to “Friday Fire: A Tribute to the ’61-’62 Season of Wilt Chamberlain and Who Is Your First Half NBA ’11-’12 MVP?”

  1. Origin says:

    Its Jeremy Lin…………………….Joke.

    On the real its Lebron and its not even close. But with the hate the media and many of these simple minded fans have for him as a basketball player. Durant will be considered the half way mark MVP. Plus the MVP is nothing more then a popularity contest and thats why Kobe and Shaq only have 2 MVPs together.

  2. CDF says:

    After looking at the stats (and what Origin stated), I’d have it as Durant, James, and Bryant. I’m definitely not touching that Bill vs. Wilt argument…O_o

  3. Origin says:

    CDF I agree with you list I would just flop Lebron and Durant.

  4. Destiny says:

    Kobe Bryant

  5. eric daniels says:

    I would say Lebron, but Kevin Durant has led Oklahoma City to the best record in the league on it’s way to I think is a finals berth.

  6. ks says:

    Lebron and it shouldn’t even be close. Followed by Durant, T. Parker (who might be the most underrated, or unnoticed great player out there), C. Paul, Kobe, Howard, Rose and Bosh

  7. Rank ‘em people :)

    CDF why not touch Bill vs. Wilt. I don’t know your age but none of us saw either play in real time. I think history distorted and undervalued Wilt. I spoke to a couple of the Mavericks tonight and they both were shocked Wilt didn’t win MVP that year. This is coming from NBA players. I’ll have a report up later when I get home.

    I asked Dirk and JKidd of Wilt as well regarding legacy and evolution of the big man.

  8. Ron Glover says:

    In regulation and overtime games that season he played all but EIGHT minutes! (unless I overlooked)

  9. Vinny Hardy says:

    Just started reading this. Couldn’t help but notice that Bellamy averaged 31 and 19 as a rookie and those were the highest averages of his career. Never quite reached those numbers again. Not a knock in any way, just interesting.

  10. Vinny Hardy says:

    Both of these guys had retired before I was born. I’m not a fan of either team and never have liked the Celtics although I kind of like Russell, especially as he’s gotten older. Had I been alive at that time I think I would have been a Wilt guy. Russell’s “Wilton Norman Chamberlain this is William Felton Russell” and “Norman, this is Felton” quotes at Wilt’s funeral were classic though.

    Outside of a 34 point game in the season finale against Chicago, and a 32 point game against L.A. (on New Year’s Day no less) the only team to hold Wilt under 35 was the Celtics and it happened 4 times. I know it’s a team game and Russell played on better teams, but it’s human nature to look at the game within the game that went on among the two big men. Maybe this is what fueled the argument and added to Russell’s legend as a great defensive player. Just my thoughts after looking at the numbers.

    As for the MVP:

    1. Kobe
    2. D-Rose
    3. LeBron
    4. KD
    5. CP3
    6. Dwight
    7. Tony P
    8. Bosh

  11. CDF says:

    @Michael Tillery

    LOL…yeah, both were out of the league by at least a couple of years when I was born! Looking at both Bill’s and Wilt’s stats, obviously Wilt had the edge (a slight height advantage, too) while Bill has the jewelry. The thing is, Wilt didn’t really have solid teams (may have influenced stats) while Bill had several HOF’ers as teammates for extended periods. I’m a Lake-Show fan, so I have a habit of choosing Wilt, but can’t forget the work Bill did during and after his playing years (the Real Sports interview w/ Bill and Jim Brown is a decent/recent look).

  12. TheLastPoet says:

    Question: were Russell’s teammates HOFers BEFORE they suited up with him, or after? If the answer is “after” (and like the rest of you, I wasn’t alive to see it either) then maybe Russell DID “make his teammates better, thus leading to mutliple chips, meanwhile maybe the Stilt just went for delf?

  13. Temple3 says:

    Question: How many championships did the Boston Celtics win BEFORE Bill Russell? None. How many first place finishes did the Celtics have BEFORE Bill Russell? None.

    Who was the Celtics center before Russell? Ed McCauley. Was McCauley a bum or a stud? Six-time All-Star, won championship in 1958. Inducted into HOF at 1960. Definitely a STUD.

    McCauley averaged 14, 7, and 3 in the post-season. Bill Russell averaged 16, 25 and 5. In ’61-’62, Wilt took about 40 shots per game, plus he averaged 17 FTs. 57 attempts for 50 points. Russell scored about 19 points on 23 shots (6 FTs).

    There is no question that Bill Russell made his teammates better than Ed McCauley did. Any player that blocks shots, runs the floor and snares 25 rebounds a game makes their teammates better. He’s doing the DIRTY WORK they don’t have to do. Tyson Chandler is making the Knicks better and he’s not even scratching the surface of what Russell did.

    Boston’s offense was basically a fast-paced, passing styles reminiscent of the Harlem Rens. It wasn’t an offense dominated by a single player. They were harder to guard because they had 7 or 8 guys who often TOUCHED the ball and SHOT the ball.

    I can’t say how many points Russell would have scored if he took 40 shots per game, but I don’t know that that was his style.

    Wilt was clearly dominant in his head-to-head matchups with Russell…but it’s funny that the only times anyone beat Boston during their great run — Alex Hannum was the coach: once with McCauley, once with Wilt…and that was it.

  14. Temple3 says:

    I think it’s difficult to make the argument that Wilt’s teammates sucked.

    His rookie season — he played with Arizin, Gola, and Woody Sauldsberry. Arizin and Gola are both in the Hall of Fame. He played with a few serviceable guys on the Warriors — Al Attles, Tom Meschery. He even played with Nate Thurmond.

    In Philly, Wilt played with Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Chet Walker, even an old Johny “Red” Kerr.

    You know what bomb squads he had with the Lakers.

    Maybe you can blame the coaches….maybe you can blame something else — like his shooting percentage. When he won his first title, he averaged a career low 24 ppg and shot almost 70%. Back in ’61-’62, he only shot 52% — and it must be hard to shoot a high pct off of 40 shots per night.

    In many respects, his legacy reminds me of LeBron James.

    The injury in the Finals with the Lakers reminds me of LeBron’s WTF Fourth Quarters last year vs. Dallas.

  15. Temple3 says:

    Oh yeah….Wilt should have clearly won MVP in ’61 and just about every other year he played. You know the deal. But I wouldn’t make it about Russell. The media didn’t like his ass either.

    If anyone is trying to make an argument that Russell simply wasn’t all that and a bag of chips, they don’t appreciate that he put the Celtics on the map and entirely redefined the history of the league. Wilt might have been the best – most dominant player ever, but I dare say that Bill Russell was the most important.

    And, I’d venture to say that if you switched the teams and took the ball out of Tommy Heinsohn’s hands and Sam Jones’ hands and KC Jones’ hands (and on and on) and simply fed the ball to Wilt in a green Celtics jersey, you’re probably going to lose to a team of Bill Russell, Tom Gola, Paul Arizin and company — and you’re probably going to lose to a team of Russell, Cunningham, Greer, and Walker.

  16. Temple3 says:

    Ok…from the source:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=173M7ApCNKw&feature=related

    Check out the Question at :37

    Russell’s acknowledgment at :51

    And Wilt’s admission at 1:05

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