Despite loving Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain referred to him as a lousy.

Despite loving Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain referred to him as a lousy.

There was no greater rivalry between individuals in the 1960s than that between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. During the decade, Russell’s Celtics won nine titles, with Chamberlain’s 1967 run of success being the lone exception. Though they were fierce rivals on the court, Wilt and Russell were close friends off it. Older people frequently criticize the friendships displayed by today’s NBA players.

When Wilt Chamberlain and Russell faced off in the regular season, from Wilt’s rookie year in 1959–60 to Russell’s final season in 1968–69, the NBA was a much smaller league. They met 94 times. They added 49 more matches in the playoffs. Eight playoff collisions between the superstars occurred during those ten seasons. Seven of those series were won by Boston, giving Russell a significant advantage.

For better or worse, Wilt Chamberlain earned a reputation as a fantastic player who valued statistics more than victories. However, Bill Russell was seen as the epitome of a team player who put greater glory ahead of personal ambitions.

Wilt began his career with six consecutive scoring titles, and when he retired, his average of 30.1 points per game was the highest in NBA history. His record of 22.9 rebounds per game on average is probably unbreakable.

Russell, who averages 22.5 rebounds per night, is second only to Chamberlain on the all-time list and was a five-time rebounding champion. But the rings were with him. Chamberlain possessed the women. Although Chamberlain wasn’t treated fairly, that was the storyline of the day.

Many fans were unaware of the close bond between the two titans of the NBA at the time, since newspapers provided the majority of the coverage of the NBA (and all sports) at that time.

In the 1960s, there wasn’t much NBA coverage on television. The network aimed to showcase Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. That should have meant Wilt v. Russell. Typically, the two would be paired during the holiday season.

The year before the teams’ game, Chamberlain remembered having Russell over at his house for Thanksgiving. The friends went to war after eating together and spending the evening at home.

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