No. 2: Wilt Chamberlain
The career accomplishments of Wilt Chamberlain defy understanding. His statistical accomplishments are so far outside the realm of modern basketball, or honestly, any era of basketball, that it boggles the mind and makes comparing him to peers or current players an exceedingly difficult task.
Wilt Chamberlain once scored 100 points in a game. He once averaged 50.4 points and 25 rebounds over an entire season, playing 80 games. His Basketball Reference page is covered in bold numbers, indicating that he led the league in a specific statistic: seven-time scoring champion (including in each of his first six seasons in the league), 11-time rebounding leader, nine-time field-goal percentage leader, and nine times led the league in minutes per game. In fact, for his career, he averaged 45.8 minutes per game, a number that would be unthinkable today.
Chamberlain was a territorial pick of the Philadelphia Warriors in 1959, technically the No. 3 pick, and he was not only Rookie of the Year but MVP in his first season in the league. He would play the next 5.5 seasons with the Warriors, accomplishing extraordinary statistical feats but not finding the team success he craved.
The Warriors moved to San Francisco during his time with the team, and he moved back to Philadelphia to join the newly formed 76ers in 1965. Playing on a much more talented team, Chamberlain finally won a title in 1967. He would win another late in his career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
All told, Chamberlain’s career spanned 14 seasons and included 13 All-Star appearances, 10 All-NBA selections, four MVPs, two championships and the most prolific game and season in NBA history. It also contained a lot of postseason heartache, often to Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics, but in the end, it was enough for Chamberlain to land at No. 2 on our list.