Bill Walton: Jordan “average” athlete, Abdul-Jabar was better player

walton-kareemLegendary NBA center Bill Walton believes the arguably best player in NBA history, Michael Jordan, was just an average athlete.

“What I loved about Michael Jordan was his commitment to the team, his emphasis on physical fitness, footwork, fundamentals and his ability to figure out how how they’re going to get the job done,” Walton said during a college game broadcast, Huffington Post reported.

Walton went on with his point of view.

“Because Michael, face it – the guy was basically average in terms of size, strength, speed, jumping ability, all the things that you seem to think make a great player,” he said.

“That guy was just a tremendous visionary like Thomas Edison — he turned the lights on,” Walton said.

Walton said Jordan, who is almost unanimously regarded as the best basketball player of all time, wasn’t even a top-three player, claiming Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time). Statistics wise, Walton has a point, take a look below:

On the other hand, if Jordan was really “average”, no vision or killer instinct or will to win would’ve made him the player he’s known today. Jordan is regarded by many as the GOAT for a reason: he was way above average both in terms of tangibles and intangibles.

Despite being one of the best white big men of his time, Walton’s NBA career was ruined by injuries. Walton once called himself the “most injured athlete in the history of sport”. Walton played 10 years in the NBA, for Portland TrailBlazers, San Diego (LA) Clippers, and Boston Celtics.

He was a 2-time NBA All-Star, and won two NBA championships, one with Portland (1976-1977), one with Boston Celtics (1985-1986). He holds career averages of 13.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 2.2 bpg in 28.3 minutes of playing time. Walton was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on May 10, 1993.

Meanwhile, Jordan, a six-time NBA champion, played in total 1072 NBA games (1039 started), averaging 30.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg in 38.3 minutes per contest. Jordan earned fame and fortune on the basketball court, as well as through endorsements and movies.

The Hall of Fame player won six National Basketball Association championships with the Chicago Bulls. He won the NBA Most Valuable Player award five times and was named an all-star 14 times. His on-court success and commercial endorsements have made him one of the most recognizable and prosperous athletes in the United States.


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