Wilt Chamberlin vs Bill Russell

Wilt Chamberlin vs Bill Russell

Who was the better basketball player?


Two basketball players defied the odds. Both apart of the first generation of African American basketball players, they were faced with many difficulties. They grew up in a time when segregation was overwhelming, and yet no matter how many things were thrown their way, they conquered every challenge. Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlin are two of the greatest basketball players that ever lived, and they both excelled in many different ways.

Bill Russell was born in Monroe, Louisiana on February 12th, 1934. His childhood was filled with challenges; his family was constantly abused by racial slurs and acts. Finally, when Russel was 10, his father decided he could no longer take the close-minded atmosphere of the south, so the family moved to Oakland, California. Life was still rough and Russell was extremely shaken by the death of his dearest advocate and supporter, his mother. Although he was heartbroken, he decided to religiously focus on his studies just as she would have wanted. At this time, he also began to participate in basketball. He was cut from his middle school team and finally, many years later, made the starting team as a senior in high school. At the end of his high school career, he only received the attention of one school: University of San Francisco. There he led his team to two NCAA titles (1955, 1956), and in 1956 he was invited to the 1956 Olympics where he achieved a Gold medal.

Wilt Chamberlin had a different upbringing. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 21st, 1936. At the time, Philadelphia was less segregated than Louisiana. Another thing that differed between the two players was that Chamberlin was a superstar in high school. He had already reached the height of 6 feet tall at the age of ten. He was highly recruited by all the top basketball schools, and he finally decided to go to the University of Kansas, a school still highly sought after today for its basketball program. Kansas made it to the finals in 1957, but they were defeated by the North Carolina. Although they did not win Chamberlin was still named the "Most Outstanding Player" of the tournament, which was unusual for the time because he was African American.

Moving on, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlin ended up making history once they entered the NBA. Wilt Chamberlin was in the league from 1959-1973, and Bill Russel was in the league from 1956-1969. Both had long careers, and both still hold records today that may never be broken.

Bill Russell was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1956 and got straight to work. In 1957, the team finished the year with the best record in the NBA. Not only did they finish with the most wins, they also battled the Hawks and finally beat them in game seven. This first win foreshadowed the destiny of the Boston Celtics. The 1956 Championship was the first of eleven Championships over the next thirteen years. Bill Russel finished his career with a total of eleven NBA Championships. He was named a five-time NBA MVP and a twelve-time NBA All-Star, and lastly, his number was retired soon after his departure from the Celtics. The top six players behind Russell on the list of most championships were all his teammates. Not counting his teammates, the next player with the most championships falls short four behind Russell.

Wilt Chamberlin came into the league three years after Russell. He was first apart of the Philadelphia Warriors. His first year he received the NBA Rookie of the Year award and also the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Clearly, Chamberlin was destined to make history. Chamberlin stayed with the Warriors for 5 years until he decided to return to his hometown of Philadelphia to join the Philadelphia 76ers, but before he left the Warriors he needed to make history first. In 1962, Chamberlin set an NBA record that still to this day has never come close to being touched: 100 points in a single game. The closest athlete behind Chamberlin is Kobe Bryant with a remarkable 81 points, but still, this does not come close to Chamberlin's mind-shattering 100 points. Wilt Chamberlin stayed with the Warriors when they moved to San Francisco, but in 1965 he went back to Philadelphia.

Both Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlin set records that have not come close to being conquered. There is conversation as to who is the greatest of all time. Some say Russell, and some say Chamberlin. In my opinion, the best of all time is Bill Russell. I believe Bill Russell is the best of all time simply because of his undoubted ability to lead a team. When people say "There is no I in team" they mean it. Wherever Russell went, he would win. In college, he won two consecutive NCAA titles at a school not particularly known for its basketball program. When a team wins an NBA title, they must have good teamwork and chemistry, but when a team wins 11 NBA titles in 13 years there has to be a secret behind it. The secret behind the Boston Celtics success was their leader. In a piece done by the famous Sports Illustrated writer Frank Deford, published on May 10th, 1999 Russell expressed how important it was for the Celtics to succeed as a whole " "To be the best in the world," Russell says, all but licking his lips. "Not last week. Not next year. But right now. You are the best. And it's even more satisfying as a team because that's more difficult. If I play well, that's one thing. But to make others play better...." He grins, savoring the memory." Bill Russell wanted everyone around him to succeed. When his teammates saw this, it only motivated them to give it their all as well. Bill Russell is the greatest of all time.

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Everything The Student Athlete Loses When They Move On From Sports

Enjoy it while it lasts.


We used to call it "flipping the switch." You would go through eight hours of school (somehow) and then your mentality would automatically change. The worries and stress from the school day would dwindle as you put on your cleats and begin to warm up. Anything that was going on in your life didn't matter when you hit the dirt. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your bests.

You develop a routine and superstitions. Hitting your bat on the inside of your cleat before you hit, chewing a certain type of gum on the volleyball court, how many times you spin the ball before you shoot a free throw, whatever your quirk was, you 100% believed it would make you play better. You practice in your free time with your dad, devote three to five months of your school year to a team, and play all summer long with your travel team as you live off hotel breakfast. Then one day, it's all over.

It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you'll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you're no longer an athlete. I forgot what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something that is bigger than myself. It has been two years since I've played my last softball game and not a day goes by when I don't miss it. I didn't play because I wanted to go pro or even to the collegiate level, but I played because it was an escape and helped me become who I am.

You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you as you stand alone on second base and see your family in the stands, to hear the metal spikes of your cleats on concrete when walking in the dugout. It's simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head. Batting practice was always mine. Focusing on nothing but the next pitch and how hard I could hit it.

When you have to watch the game from the other side of the fence, you realize how much pressure you put on yourself when you played. It's just a game. Make as many memories as you can and enjoy every inning because when you leave sports behind you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as I miss the sport, I am thankful for everything it brought me. It taught me how to be a good friend, respect others around me, and to push myself to discover what I was capable of.

So, enjoy it while it lasts.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo And Christian Yelich Have Put Milwaukee Back On The Map

Two small market teams making sure the world knows who they are


"MVP" is currently being chanted around the city of Milwaukee and the people of Milwaukee aren't just talking about one person. Giannis Antetokounmpo, a forward for the Milwaukee Bucks and Christian Yelich, an outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. Giannis is on the path to winning this year's NBA MVP and Yelich, who happened to win the NL MVP last year, is showing no doubts on potentially becoming this year's MVP as well.

Both the Bucks and the Brewers have struggled in the past few years. The Bucks finished their 2013-2014 season with a record of 15-67. On top of that, they have been playing in the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the past couple of decades. The Bradley Center was intentionally built for hockey and not basketball so attending games for the Bucks sometimes had you in the nosebleeds barely seeing what was going on on the court. The Bucks struggled after their 2013-2014 season with records of 41-41 (2014-2015) and 33-49 (2015-2016). Now, the Bucks have recently finished their regular season and moved to the playoffs. From 15-67 just five years ago, to now 60-22 which gave them the best record in the NBA, the number one seed in the East and home-court advantage, Giannis has proved himself as potentially one of the greatest players the NBA and the Bucks franchise will ever see.

The Bucks now have a new arena that opened this season, Fiserv Forum, which is built specifically for the Bucks (and Marquette) instead of hockey. Looking back on the Bucks in their previous years compared to now, the Bucks have sold out every single game this season. Something Milwaukee never thought they would see from being a small market team. From my experience, while working for the Bucks, you can see the difference in the crowd and feel their enthusiasm and excitement radiating off of the fans. And this is all thanks to Mr. Antetokounmpo who is making his mark here in Milwaukee. Giannis has won Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November, December, February and March/April and even earned his spot as Eastern Conference captain for the All-Star game this year. Giannis may be considered in his prime right now, but he is only 24-years-old which means he has plenty of time to only make himself better.

The Brewers had won the NL Central Divison back in 2011 but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. After that, they struggled a bit and haven't won the title since until last year in 2018. He brought the Brewers to the NLCS last season, but unfortunately, they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yelich had 36 home runs last season and already has eight (as of 4/16/19) this season. He happens to be a great right fielder as well. In last night's (4/15/19) game against the Cardinals, Yelich alone scored three home runs.

Miller Park has been filling up more and more each game of Brewers fans. Being a small market team like their cross-city friends, the Bucks, bringing home an MVP title as well as a division title, it makes everyone aware of their greatness and dedication. The season may have just started back up again, but there is no doubt, if Yelich and his teammates keep playing like they are right now, they will have another shot of making it to the World Series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Christian Yelich have brought and will continue to bring excitement and greatness to Milwaukee which is something the city hasn't seen in a while. This era of sports will surely be remembered for a long time by the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

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