Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, known as one of the true characters of the modern NBA, recently expressed his opinion about who was the greatest NBA player of all time. And his choice of someone other than Michael Jordan wasn’t so well-received by one of Jordan’s former teammates.
Appearing on The Ringer’s NBA Desktop video series last week, per YouTube, Embiid opined that the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) NBA player was not the conventional choice, Michael Jordan, but rather was Wilt Chamberlain.
“To me, you got Wilt Chamberlain,” Embiid said on the show. “He’s got all the records, and no one is ever gonna beat them. I don’t see anyone ever getting 100 points in a game. That’s it, he’s the G.O.A.T.”
Embiid was going with a fellow big man, as well as a player who played in Embiid’s city of Philadelphia. But Embiid’s choice drew some surprised reactions, including from Dennis Rodman.
Cornered by TMZ in a parking garage this week, per YouTube, Rodman was read the quote and expressed his disagreement.
“Joel Embiid, you’re doing a great job with your island, your country wherever you’re from, but shut the f*** up, do you g******* job, and do it Philly proud,” Rodman said. “That’s the one thing they need, is a championship.”
Rodman — who in his time in the league in the 1980s and 1990s was also considered one of the game’s characters — was Jordan’s teammate. He played with the Chicago Bulls for three years in the late 1990s, and the team won championships all three of those years. It was Jordan’s second cycle of championships, as he had already won three in the earlier part of that decade, prior to his temporary retirement.
In the time since he retired from basketball, Rodman has continued to be a controversial figure. He endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2016, and frequently visits North Korea in order to present basketball exhibitions. He entered the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
Chamberlain, who played in the ABA and NBA from the late 1950s until the mid 1970s, was nicknamed “Wilt The Stilt.” He holds numerous NBA records, per his Basketball Reference page. These include the most points in a season (4,029 in 1961–62), most points her game in a season (50.4 in the 1961–62 season), and most notably — most points in a game (100, in a 1962 game against the New York Knicks).
Chamberlain, who died in 1999, won only two NBA championships. Michael Jordan won six.