No, it’s not the 11th hour, but it is the 11th edition of NBA Tuesday! We have reached the 1960s in pro basketball, and the times, they are a-changin’ … read on to see our analysis for the next award winner—and one who might win a lot of them in the next few months of our ongoing series.
When we think of the 1960s NBA, we think of the Boston Celtics winning a lot of titles, and we think of a single player scoring a lot of points (hint, hint).
1960 MVP: Wilt Chamberlain (original, confirmed)
Just like last year, this is a pretty simple analysis: Philadelphia Warriors rookie center Wilt Chamberlain led the NBA in both Win Shares (17.01) and Player Efficiency Rating (28.04), while also topping the lead in scoring average (37.6 points per game), rebounding average (27.0 rebounds per game), and minutes played per game (46.4).
How do you top that? You can’t, even though we will give the obligatory nod to Celtics center Bill Russell (13.84 WS) and Minneapolis Lakers small forward Elgin Baylor (25.17 PER), respective runners-up finishers in the sabermetric categories.
The Warriors finished second in the Eastern Division, 10 games behind the eventual-champion Boston. Philly posted 49 victories, the second-best total in the league, too, so Chamberlain had no peers even worth discussing in this debate.
Chamberlain earned 49 first-place votes in the award balloting, out of 79 total, which is surprisingly low. Like Babe Ruth in another sport and another era, the Stilt was a one of a kind player. It’s odd to think his peers didn’t recognize it right away.