In the eyes of many, Michael Jordan might be the GOAT, but NBA legend Earl Monroe explained why Wilt Chamberlain is above MJ in his opinion.
When talking about who is the GOAT in the NBA, the consensus answer from the majority of the basketball world will be Michael Jordan. And with sound reasoning. But there is a couple of guys that have solid cases to challenge MJ, like Kareem or LeBron. Of course, one guy who is a sneaky candidate for that spot is Wilt Chamberlain.
Without a doubt, the most dominant and impressive individual the NBA has ever seen should have the GOAT label secured looking at his numbers and records. Still, people often discredit Wilt's legacy because of his lack of team success and competition. But one guy that views Wilt over everybody, and even Jordan, is a legend that had the chance to face Chamberlain in his playing days, and his name is Earl Monroe.
"Black Jesus" spent his entire career with the Baltimore Bullets and New York Knicks, being one of the fan favorites and flashiest players of the 60s and 70s. He won his only championship in 1973, with the Knicks, only a year after losing to the Lakers in 1972.
Monroe would be on the other end of Wilt winning his second championship at the tail end of his career. Wilt was playing amazing, despite a dominant hand injury. But the 35-year-old Wilt would close the Knicks with an amazing triple-double (24p,29r,10b), becoming the oldest Finals MVP in history, and doing it with a broken right hand.
Obviously, that inspiring display from Wilt was enough to convince Earl Monroe, this is the guy to beat, even to this day:
"To me, it's no real debate. We had great players with Michael and LeBron. Michael set the tone for the guys from the 80s' and up...I don't put him ahead of Wilt. Everybody's close, but you know, Wilt just did things that today is still a part of the game, where it's made the game what it is today."
Earl Monroe, The Universe Galaxy
We might all be skeptical towards Wilt, but if a legend that has seen him at his best thinks so highly of him, it must mean something. Sure, that won't change the mind of anyone who considers MJ or anybody else the GOAT, but Wilt has to at least be in the conversation.