This Or That?

  • Wilt Chamberlain never helped Kansas win a National Championship.

    Yet, Wilt is definitely recognized as one of the greats to ever play at Kansas, and also one of the greats of the game of all time. Many see him as the greatest basketball player of all time.

    So while we are on the topic of giving up things as a trade-off for another National Championship…

    Pick between the two… .no exceptions to these two choices:

    1. History remains the same. Wilt remains a great Jayhawk. And this March we fizzle out in the Sweet 16

    2. History is revised, and Wilt never played basketball for anyone. He ended up a school teacher in Philly. And this March, Kansas celebrates another National Championship.

    I am very curious how fans in here respond to this question.

  • NC this year all the way baby, and when it happens, we’ll be glad we can call Wilt one of our own!

  • @wissoxfan83

    If we win the NC, no one will have ever heard of Wilt, except some of his 3rd grade students.

    It’s all like Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

  • @drgnslayr

    Not a tough metaphysical choice here for me.

    I’m in it for three things: 1.) continuing and building the legacy Naismith started here; 2.) total wins; and 3.) total rings.

    I love Wilt with a passion and what he showed a player could be. And I love the way his story ended with KU: “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk.”

    But you gave me an out here by saying Wilt never played and became a teacher in Philly.

    Since this is another metaphysical question that won’t change reality a whit, and its about choosing between KU and Wilt, and since one option is him never having played hoops, I take Wilt as a teacher and KU with another ring.

    It would have been MUCH harder, had you said Wilt went to Pete Newell and Cal, or Fred Taylor and Ohio State, or UCinn, and won 3 rings in college; that I could not bear even in a metaphysical universe.

    But since it ostensibly costs us only the most painful loss in the history of NCAA basketball–the loss to UNC in KC in 1957–its almost merciful to let him become a teacher, which he would have been great at, and let KU never have had that loss, and let KU get a ring this spring. Sweeeeeeeet!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Better put it in a Frank Capra scenario… perhaps the loss to UNC was the biggest point loss in NC history. Or perhaps not.

    I think it will be interesting to read the responses.

    I bet we can all think of other scenarios… trading this for that.

    Perhaps this is a nice exercise for you…

  • 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

    That 1957 championship game was one of the greatest ever played. It’s painful to read about for KU fans, even for those of us who weren’t born yet. But what a story for any basketball fan. It’s a big part of NCAA lore. Would be a shame to lose that.

    Wilt brought a lot of attention and exposure to our school. He’s one of the greats, and the rules changes brought about just because of his tremendous athletic ability are fantastic to comprehend. Not to mention what he meant to civil rights in Lawrence. I’ll take Wilt and a national championship NEXT year.

  • How frickin cool is it that 17 years has passed since the greatest player (maybe athlete) to ever have played died, and we’re still talking about him in hypothetical scenarios?

    Fizzle in March, Baby - someone’s going to do it every year.


  • I would love another NC trophy and ring…

    But I could never stand to lose “The Big Dipper!”

    One vote… The Big Dipper!

  • @drgnslayr Capra was kind of a utopian director. I’m an antiutopian which comes from living in Louisiana!

  • I am very happy with the way the program has done and I would not change a thing. I root for one of the elite programs that is good year in and year out and more importantly, I can look at our record and history without having to hold my nose or look the other way…a lot more than UK or UConn or Syracuse or UNC fans, to name a few, can say.

  • Banned

    Sadly I understand your point.

    Yet outside of KU land. Kansas and it’s deep history is below Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, and even Duke.

    These are not my words. Just watch any sports show in America.

    I love our Jayhawks and their history. It’s one made of fairy tales.

    Yet sadly nobody cares. As KU doesn’t win National championships.

  • I’m not sure we will ever satisfy the east coast media.

    Just look how they have emaciated west coast basketball. There are a few teams west that do okay. Just a few.

    I am amazed we have been able to compete at a high level… Most people back east think Kansas is in the far west.

  • @DoubleDD I’m not sure what you mean by “deep” history but if you mean “long” then Duke doesn’t even belong in the conversation. Prior to coach K they only thing I would remember them for is being the first team to lose the NC to UCLA and their streak. If you are talking about current history then UCLA isn’t in the list. They currently suck and have for a few years. UNC has been very good since the mid 50s and Frank McGuire so they have a good history. Kentucky leads KU and the rest of the country in wins and have been relatively consistent for many years.

    I notice that you didn’t include UCONN and they have been hotter than anybody over the past 20 years. Before that NADA. They have won 4 NCs during that time while Kentucky has 3. They have won 2 in the past 5 years and Kentucky has won 1.

    From your point of view nobody in the country gives any part of a rat about any midwest team in any sport. That’s life.

  • Banned


    Fair enough. At least you understand what I’m saying.

    Yet my point is valid. Coach K has single handedly surpassed all of KU’s greatness. As he has not only taking his teams to final 4’s , has won more games than any single coach, but he wins championships. (Nobody knows how many conference championships Duke and K have won and nobody cares). Yet he is considered the best coach in the game.

    UCLA is a shell of what they once were yet they are still considered one of the best not because of their conference championships yet because they lead all comers in National championships. Even after all these years of average ball the name UCLA is still respected. And it isn’t because of their dominance of the PAC. It’s because they won the game that counted most. A lot.

  • Banned

    Put it into perspective.

    If UCLA never won another National Championship. It would take KU at the rate they win NC’s over a hundreds years just to catch them.

    You say well UCLA had a special run. OK

    If Kentucky never won another National Championship. It would take KU at the rate they win NC’s over a hundreds years just to catch them.

    Yet for some reason in Jayhawk land winning the big one is all luck?

    I guess UCLA and Kentucky are the luckiest programs ever? Hey might as well throw Duke in their too?

  • Banned

    My wish is that coach would have the same passion and desire at winning conference championships as winning National championships.

    If he did? We would have another Wizard in on our hands.

    We all know Coach is one of the best. I’m just not sure he knows it.

  • @DoubleDD

    I am confused. You talk about putting it into perspective but you don’t quite do it.

    Currently, UCLA is relevant only as a memory to older people that remember the details of the memorable years of Wooden and the unbeaten streak, but the younger generation is only vaguely aware of the streak since it is often mention when teams have long unbeaten runs, in the same way that Indiana is mentioned as being the last team to go unbeaten in college basketball or the Dolphins in football; most don’t have a clue about the details.

    We live in a time when the current younger generation only cares about what have you done for me lately and their concept of history extend only a few years back and most cannot name the last 3 presidents. To this generation KU is not as relevant as Duke and the East Coast hype or UK and all the celebrities and rap stars associated with the program.

    To the college basketball die hard fans, such as many member of this forum, which are in the minority, KU is the standard of continued excellence for the last 30 years. Keep in mind that to most, the Ted Owens years were very forgettable and the KU revival consists mostly of Coaches Williams and Self and most don’t even remember Coach Brown and his short stint at KU.

    All the big and small time analysts have mentioned KU’s current conference title streak in the past year, and without exception, they all consider it a huge achievement. If KU sets a new record in conference titles, it will remembered in the same way the as the UCLA streaks are remembered.

    As I mentioned before, if this would be KU’s 4th or 5th title I can see preferring a NC, but at this point when KU is moving into hallowed territory and if it breaks the record, it will be remembered a lot longer and by a lot more people than one single NC title would.

    Of course, this is just my opinion and as such, biased by my age and awareness and knowledge of the history of the sport.

  • KU basketball is ultimate for me, National Championship

  • @DoubleDD “My wish is that coach would have the same passion and desire at winning conference championships as winning National championships.”

    Baloney. To suggest that Self shows any less passion and desire in the NCAA Tournament than he does during conference is truly “Fools Gold”. If you wanted to rephrase your statement to : “We win conference every year, we should win the national championship every year”, then I could accept it as a KU fan with unrealistic expectations. If you want to blame Coach for his tactics, rotations, etc…I’m fine with that. But to say he doesn’t have the same passion and desire in the tourney is ludicrous.

  • @DoubleDD Throw in Indiana and U-Conn and that’s the total amount of teams in the history of the universe that have more NCAA Championships than KU. (and I’m not counting the Helms Athletic Foundation championships).

    KU DOES win National Championships. Just not as many as we’d all like. And lots of people care. Along with all the glowing remarks about Duke, NC and Kentucky - people (not counting east coast media, but real people - lol) have HIGH regard for KU basketball. ❤

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “We live in a time when the current younger generation only cares about what have you done for me lately and their concept of history extend only a few years back and most cannot name the last 3 presidents. To this generation KU is not as relevant as Duke and the East Coast hype or UK and all the celebrities and rap stars associated with the program.”

    Sad, but true.

    And today UCLA sucks. It feels strange for us old timers to see a UCLA team stink this bad. For decades, UCLA held up the pants of west coast basketball. I guess today that team would be Arizona, which is hardly considered a blue blood program.

  • @drgnslayr ![s-l1000.jpg](uploading 100%)

  • Why would you think there was any East Coast Bias?

    @drgnslayr s-l1000.jpg

  • @drgnslayr Just on reflex, I automatically pick having Wilt as a Jayhawk and a sweet 16 exit. I am proud to see his name associated with KU as one of the all time greats to step on the court, and what he did to change the sport and to change society… it wouldn’t feel right to lose that.

    But, I can see the arguments made for both choices have merit. Both of them I can identify with and say with absolute certainty that they are correct. There is no wrong answer here. We are all right in our opinions. Having another NCAA banner hang is absolutely ideal also.

    In the metaphysical world where Wilt never played here, then we would have never known the difference. Then, we get the celebratory euphoria of getting to hang another banner.

    Back to the real world. I truly believe that KU will at the very least, share the conference title and make a deep run in the NCAAs this season.

  • @Lulufulu

    My thoughts are there could be a split, based on age.

    Seems like us old f@rts would never abandon Wilt being a Jayhawk. We recall his game, and how dominant he was.

    Younger Jayhawks might not relate as well to Wilt, and some aren’t totally interested in the past and legacy. I can see why it would be a no-brainer for these people to pick the NC.

  • Being affiliated with the greatest player that ever lived has to carry more weight than ONE championship. Now if we were talking about multiple championships, I may reconsider…

  • Geez. I would trade a ring for an end to all these hypothetical “choose” questions!

  • @drgnslayr I understand the generational split. The way the question is phrased, though, we’re just taking about a NC this season only. We’ve already got three NCAA titles, and it’s not like this generation doesn’t know that KU is one of the nation’s top programs, even if they don’t know the details about our long and storied tradition from Naismith on down.

    Like Tiger, Ali and Jordan, Wilt is a legend whose fame goes well beyond the sports world. And no, he didn’t win us a title. But I’ll still take Wilt by association.

  • Wilt!

  • @ParisHawk

    I hear you… But after reading so many willing to trade our conference streak for one national championship, I thought it was time to test the waters in other areas. I want to know, is it the conference streak that doesn’t get enough praise, or is it the national champions that may get too much praise?

    Here is another one:

    Would you trade 2008 NC for 2016 NC?

    Or how about '88 or '52?

    Does “legacy” really mean anything anymore?

    It seems to mean less and less with the younger crowd.

    I think we can all learn something from this… especially getting a better understanding of how recruits think…

  • Wilt. No question. He’s a legend. He’s ours. He’s part of our great history. Naismith, Allen, Wilt. They are part of what makes us who we are.

  • @drgnslayr I’m all for anything that has any practical purpose at all.

    During the season, Self has to make choices. He makes them based on his priorities.

    Your question really has to do with priorities: must we keep the streak alive even if it wears down our key players and lessens our chances in March, or should we treat the season as a long preparation for the national tournament?

    In that sense, your question is meaningful, and many of the answers took it that way.

    Here’s a “trading” question: would Self trade his Adidas money for a Nike stack?

  • @drgnslayr It’s still early and I’m coffee deprived, but I guess I don’t understand the question. Why would you trade one championship for another? But I guess my answer would be no. To me, a championship is a championship.

    I wasn’t even born in 1952 (but close!), but that one means just as much to me as the 1988 and 2008 championships did, or this years championship will.

    From a sentimental point of view, 1988 was the best for me. I was 30 years old, had followed the team intently (like I always have!) and the fact that we were a HUGE underdog to a D-bag coached team - it was pretty sweet.

    But they’re all good. They’re ALL good.

  • @drgnslayr Can we make him a great teacher in Philly? As a retired teacher, I would like to believe that the ripple effect of that might have a greater influence on the world.

  • When people think of Wilt, do they think of KU? I am under the impression that being a Jayhawk is one of the least mentioned things about him. His 100 point game, averaging 50 and 22, sleeping with 20,000 woman, and not winning more championships are what people talk about.

  • @lincase

    Thanks for adding a wider perspective!

  • I would take the title.

    As @JhawkAlum says, Wilt is better known for his pro exploits than what he did collegiately. He is associated with KU most often by other KU people, not by the wider basketball world. I think part of that is that Wilt, unlike many elite college players of his day 1) did not win a college title and 2) did not play 3 years.

    So if Wilt were to have never played ball, it would not do much to affect the legacy that KU has currently, whereas a title would certainly have a profound affect on how KU is perceived.

  • Easy … gimme the title. Like now.

  • @drgnslayr

    The past Championships are an integral part of the KU program and helped make it what it is now…why in the world would we trade them?

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I wouldn’t, but then, I wouldn’t trade Wilt either! Wilt didn’t bring us a title, but he brought us Wilt.

    Pretty amazing to see the exhibit in AFH about Wilt.

    I’m just measuring the crowd who seems to care a lot more about this coming March over anything from the past.

  • @drgnslayr said:

    I’m just measuring the crowd who seems to care a lot more about this coming March over anything from the past.

    So every year let’s just trade last year’s title for this year’s. We’ll only ever have one title but it’ll be right now.

    After all, what’s so special about 2016? 8 years from now it will feel like 2008 does now.

    In other words, those who don’t care about the past shouldn’t care about the present or the future either, since they are just waiting to be pasts.

  • @ParisHawk

    “In other words, those who don’t care about the past shouldn’t care about the present or the future either, since they are just waiting to be pasts.”


    I read this line, and the first thing that popped out at me was the last word; pasts. My font is too small sometimes and I read it as “pasta”… People waiting to be pasta! That hit home to me, even more than “pasts”… guess I’m just getting hungry.

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