Remembering Wilt Chamberlain

ESPN ran an article about Wilt Chamberlain, in commemoration of his birthday. And so I am running one myself. A tribute to one of the Legends of basketball.

He would have been 70 yesterday. This basketball legend died on October 12 1999. Wilton Norman Chamberlain was listed 7 feet 1 1/16 inches and weighed between 270 and 320 most of his playing days. Those vital statistics are of mythic proportions. No other player his size, his strength, his speed and his dominance came before and after him.

Only the big daddy, Shaquille O'Neal can compare to The Stilt in terms of size. And, amongst big men, only Bill Russel can say he got Wilt's number. Bill Russel collected NBA rings year in and year out while Wilt was busy braking individual records.

What the Big Dipper accomplished statistically is mind boggling. Averaging over 50 points a game in a season is unprecendented. Almost impossible to accomplish again. In his 14 seasons, he at least led the NBA in one of these categories: scoring, rebounding, assists, and field-goal percentage.

At one point in time, he was giving up sure 2 points just so he can get his assists and lead the NBA in that category. Saying Wilt was one of a kind is an understatement but I will say it still. He is really one of a kind.

People would say he was taller than his listed site, some would claim as tall as 7 feet 4 inches. Maybe true. Just look how he dwarfed his rival, equally great, if not better, Bill Russel. Of course he never challenged the height listing, knowing that, in his case, claiming he is bigger would even make him much less rooted for. He said once, "Nobody loves Goliath".

Shaquille learned this lesson early on. Just see how Shaq turned or packaged himself into. A fun loving, dorky, charitable 7-1 basketball Goliath. Result is, Shaq had and is having easier time with the press and the fans.

Along the way, he won 2 championships, one in Philly in 67 and the other one was in LA, 1972. He once rebounded 55 in game and of course, he once scored 100 points in a game. Only Kobe 81 last season comes close. Arguably the dominant sports figure of his time. But one statistic that probably stands (pun intended) out the most, he once claimed that he had sex with 20000 women during the course of his adult life. Did I say he is one of kind?

What a player on and off the court! Scored 100 points in game then later claimed to have sex with 20,000 women. Beat that, MJ! Beat that Magic!


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