Wilt Chamberlain was dubbed a loser by Rick Barry: “No way…

Wilt Chamberlain was dubbed a loser by Rick Barry: “No way…

In the NBA, when Wilt Chamberlain’s name is brought up, it’s usually to discuss some record he broke during his prime in the 1960s. The 7’1” “Big Dipper” is regarded by many as the most dominant force the league has ever seen, and the astounding stats support this claim. As usual, though, there is an exception.

Despite scoring 100 points in a game, averaging 50 in a season, and winning nearly every individual award during his 15-year career, Wilt only has two championships to his credit: one with the Lakers in 1972 and the other with Philadelphia in 1967. Many would argue that this is a low total, particularly considering his individual output.

Wilt defeated his former team, the San Francisco Warriors, in 1967. Given that Rick Barry, the star of the Warriors, called Chamberlain a loser and someone who was afraid of the big moment in his book “Confessions of a Basketball Gyps,” it must have infuriated Barry.

It’s not often that we hear people disparage Wilt and his career, but Barry was uncompromising in his criticism. Throughout his career, Wilt made six trips to the Finals, losing four of them, primarily to Bill Russell and the dynasty Celtics. Because of this, even though Russell doesn’t have as impressive a personal record as Wilt, many still think he is the superior center. However, the eleven rings are quite expressive.

However, Jerry West, who is also mentioned, may be referred to as Mr. Clutch, but his 1-8 Finals record doesn’t support that claim. Nevertheless, he has a positive reputation among all NBA fans due to his ability to make clutch shots and his devotion to the Lakers. Ironically, he shared a 1972 championship ring with Wilt.

Regarding Barry’s remarks, it might be a little excessive to label Wilt as a loser. Someone who inflicted so much damage on rival players and achieved those kinds of stats, after all, couldn’t be a loser. However, the truth is that he isn’t the greatest winner thus far.

With a career free throw percentage of 51.1%, Wilt proved to be a liability in close games towards the end. His teams frequently lost those games because Wilt either hesitated to close the game or failed to do so.

For this reason, while Barry’s claim that Wilt isn’t quite as good as Bill Russell or Jerry West isn’t entirely absurd, labeling him a loser is going a bit too far. Those 1967 Finals must have hurt Barry a lot.

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