I agree that Wilt was far past his prime during Kareem's time in the league. However, Kareem starting out was the best Kareem there was, given that he was already around 23 as a rookie. His overall stats during the years both he and Wilt were in the league were around 31.4 points and 16 rebounds, which is the best statistical stretch of his career.
I also agree that Kareem's skyhook is his best chance of beating Wilt.
Already mentioned in the above two posts, Wilt's strength is much more profound.
I believe that you're forgetting players such as 20-20 machine Nate Thurmond (who's one of the best defenders ever,) 30-20 threat Walt Bellamy, (those are his rookie averages,) Bob Pettit (one of two players to never average less than 20 ppg,) Elvin Hayes, Willis Reed, Artis Gilmore, Dave Cowens, etc. The fact that none of these guys were ever considered his peers other than Russell is a testament to Wilt's unfathomable ability.
"I was lying! See? There's an Omniverse in the box. And that Omniverse died. But alot of the lives in it carried onto the new one. New broom--same handle."
Great post, fellas. Definitely see what yall saying. However, respectfully, as much as i support statistics for level of performance...i wouldn't say that he was at his best at the time. I feel he had those statistics at the time because....he had to. Later in his career, he had people that can relieve the pressure, so his stats are understandably lower. However, if you were to guage his actual game, percent-wise, his best stretches were perhaps 6-7 years into his career, which is typically the amount of time a player usually takes to be at their "prime". Rebound-wise, again i feel its a testament to his contemporary at the time. Later on in his career, as i mentioned before, he was going up against some heavy-hitters in term of centers so i can see why his statistics arent as active as his earlier stats.
Not to discredit the centers of the 50's/60's, but i feel 70's and 80's produced more effective centers. But excellent point on Thurmond and bellamy as those dude's were beasts! Petit was significantly smaller than Wilt so i felt his superiority over Petit is pretty reasonable. Reed also. Cowen, Gilmore and Hayes, i can say that Kareem also had to deal with them also. Again, not only that but Kareem had to go up against the centers of the 80's as well.
Of course i am not going to dispute Wilt's greatness, but two decades of high caliber opponents will prime Kareem's footwork, intelligence and overall game to a pretty high level. Still a very hard fought match but i think if BOTH were at their prime, Kareem will have a very slight upper hand. In term of size...you are right, Wilt size is much bigger but considering someone of Russell's stats was able to at least bother Wilt, i still don't see how Kareem who is even bigger than Russell can be as physically dominated as much as you guys are saying.