[38], In the 1959–60 NBA season, Chamberlain joined a Warriors squad that was coached by Neil Johnston and included Hall-of-Fame guards Tom Gola and Paul Arizin, plus Ernie Beck and his old rival, Guy Rodgers; remarkably, all five starters were Philadelphians. [43] His 58 points were a then-career high for him. After losing Elgin Baylor to an Achilles tendon rupture that effectively ended his career, and especially after losing Jerry West after a knee injury, the handicapped Lakers were seen as underdogs against the Milwaukee Bucks of freshly crowned MVP Lew Alcindor, and veteran Hall-of-Fame guard Oscar Robertson in the Western Conference Finals. [36] In later years, Chamberlain frequently joined the Globetrotters in the off-season and fondly recalled his time there, because he was no longer jeered at or asked to break records, but just one of several artists who loved to entertain the crowd. In what Cherry calls a tumultuous locker room meeting, Hannum addressed several key issues he observed during the last season, several of them putting Chamberlain in an unfavorable light. [Editor Rob: this guy wasn't really measured on a stadiometer :) More of a tape measure being used...I think there is room for error in how he was measured though. [49] On November 24, 1960, Chamberlain grabbed an NBA-record 55 rebounds to go along with 34 points and 4 assists in a game against the Bill Russell led-Boston Celtics. Wilt Chamberlain was the greatest player in NBA history, bar none—no offense meant to Michael Jordan. [91] After the game, many wondered why Chamberlain sat out the final six minutes. [69] In the final minute, Chamberlain hit two clutch free throws and slam dunked on Russell, bringing Boston's lead down to 110–109 with five seconds left. [5][77], As a result, Chamberlain was less dominant, taking only 14% of the team's shots (in his 50.4 ppg season, it was 35.3%), but extremely efficient: he averaged a career-low 24.1 points, but he led the league in rebounds (24.2), ended third in assists (7.8), had a record breaking .683 field goal accuracy, and played strong defense. [42] On January 25, 1960, Chamberlain recorded a rare feat in the NBA: recording 50 points and 40 rebounds in an NBA game. [64] But as Cherry remarked, not only Chamberlain, but in particular Hannum deserved much credit because he had basically had taken the bad 31–49 squad of last year plus Thurmond and made it into an NBA Finalist. [2][3] He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He needed only 56 games to score 2,102 points, which broke the all-time regular season scoring record of Bob Pettit, who needed 72 games to score 2,101 points. The Midwest regional was held in Dallas, Texas, which at the time was segregated. In the 1980–81 NBA season, coach Larry Brown recalled that the 45-year-old Chamberlain had received an offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Owing to his strong start, he still managed to put up a season average 27.3 points, 18.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. [124] Even far beyond his playing days, Chamberlain was a very fit person. He became the first player to break the 3,000-point barrier and the first and still only player to break the 2,000-rebound barrier for a single season, grabbing 2,149 boards. I must score—understand? In that Game 7, the Sixers could not get their act together: 15,202 stunned Philadelphia fans witnessed a historic 100–96 defeat, making it the first time in NBA history a team lost a series after leading three games to one. [127][128] In 1999, his condition deteriorated rapidly. It's pretty exhausting to think about it. [77] Cherry finally adds several personal reasons: the center felt he had grown too big for Philadelphia, sought the presence of fellow celebrities (which were plenty in L.A.) and finally also desired the opportunity to date white women, which was possible for a black man in L.A. but hard to imagine elsewhere back then. Scoring 35 points, Chamberlain led Overbrook to an easy 83–42 victory. [146] In his two championship seasons, Chamberlain led the league in rebounding, while his scoring decreased to 24 and 15 points per game. In that series they succumbed to Russell's Boston Celtics yet again, this time losing 4–1. Wilt Chamberlain Height. Initially, Sharman wanted Chamberlain and West to share this duty, but West declined, stating he was injury-prone and wanted to solely concentrate on the game. [65], In the summer of 1964, Chamberlain, one of the prominent participants at the famed Rucker Park basketball court in New York City,[66] made the acquaintance of a tall, talented 17-year-old who played there. and the most dominant ( for his era) player in NBA history. [88], On July 9, 1968, Chamberlain was the centerpiece of a major trade between the 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers, which sent center Darrall Imhoff, forward Jerry Chambers and guard Archie Clark to Philadelphia, making it the first time a reigning NBA Most Valuable Player was traded the next season. [3] "First he was a scorer. "[5] Like later superstar Shaquille O'Neal, Chamberlain was a target of criticism because of his poor free throw shooting, a .511 career average, with a low of .380 over the 1967–68 season. In his first game, he scored 52 points and grabbed 31 rebounds, breaking both all-time Kansas records in an 87–69 win against Northwestern, who had Chamberlain's future NBA teammate Joe Ruklick. [122] When million-dollar contracts became common in the NBA, Chamberlain increasingly felt he had been underpaid during his career. "[54], In Chamberlain's third season, the Warriors were coached by Frank McGuire, the coach who had masterminded Chamberlain's painful NCAA loss against the Tar Heels. As Chamberlain often said, quoting coach Alex Hannum's explanation of his situation, "Nobody loves Goliath. Chamberlain would help lead the Lakers past Abdul-Jabbar and the Bucks in six games. National Basketball Association's 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Player Award, 1957 NCAA Men's Basketball Consensus All-Americans, 1958 NCAA Men's Basketball Consensus All-Americans, The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul, NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wilt_Chamberlain&oldid=991401587, All-American college men's basketball players, American Basketball Association broadcasters, Basketball players at the 1957 NCAA Men's Division I Final Four, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductees, National Basketball Association All-Stars, National Basketball Association broadcasters, National Basketball Association players with retired numbers, Track and field athletes from Pennsylvania, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia pages semi-protected against vandalism, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2015, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Career statistics and player information from, This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 21:40. In the scuffle, Wilt injured his hand, and Philadelphia lost the next two games. [106] Chamberlain accepted his new roles and posted an all-time low 14.8 points, but also won the rebound crown with 19.2 rpg and led the league with a .649 field goal percentage. After his frustrating junior year, Chamberlain wanted to become a professional player before finishing his senior year. [76] When emotions cooled off, Hannum pointed out to Chamberlain that he was on the same page in trying to win a title; but to pull this off, he – like his teammates – had to "act like a man" both on and off the court. [8] As a testament to his importance, the IVA All-Star game was televised only because Chamberlain also played in it: he rose to the challenge and was named the game's MVP. Seven foot? His fouls per 36 minutes (a stat used to compare players that average vastly different minutes) was a remarkable 1.6 per game. [122], Chamberlain is regarded as one of the most extraordinary and dominant basketball players in the history of the NBA. [76] Off the court, the center invited the team to restaurants and paid the entire bill, knowing he earned 10 times more than all the others. From Gratiot, Ohio. [177] In response to public backlash regarding his promiscuity, Chamberlain later emphasized that "the point of using the number was to show that sex was a great part of my life as basketball was a great part of my life. Despite the Sixers' injury woes, coach Hannum was confident to "take the Celtics in less than seven games": he pointed out the age of the Celtics, who were built around Bill Russell and guard Sam Jones, both 34. In 1961–62 when Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points per game, he noted that Boston did not rely on Russell's scoring, and he could concentrate on defense and rebounding. [86] But then, national tragedy struck on April 4, with the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. With eight of the ten starting players on the Sixers and Celtics being African-American, both teams were in deep shock, and there were calls to cancel the series. [114] However, Chamberlain was not pleased by the Qs' meager attendance: crowds averaged 1,843, just over half of the Qs' small San Diego 3,200-seat sports arena. "[80] He contributed with 17.7 ppg and 28.7 rpg against fellow future Hall-of-Fame pivot Nate Thurmond, never failing to snare at least 23 rebounds in the six games. Chamberlain became a member of the Globetrotters team that made history by playing in Moscow in 1959; the team enjoyed a sold-out tour of the Soviet Union. As time progressed, Chamberlain grew even worse, and acknowledged he was simply a "psycho case" on that matter. [150] During his career, Chamberlain competed against future Hall of Famers including Russell, Thurmond, Lucas, and Walt Bellamy. [185] He accompanied Nixon to the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.[186] and considered himself a Republican. Among the members of the team were: Florence Griffith, before she set the current world records in the 100 meters and 200 meters; three time world champion Greg Foster;[119] and future Olympic Gold medalists Andre Phillips, Alice Brown, and Jeanette Bolden. [46] On the other hand, he committed surprisingly few fouls during his NBA career despite his rugged play in the post. [91] Among others, Bill Russell didn't believe Chamberlain's injury was grave, and openly accused him of being a malingerer: "Any injury short of a broken leg or a broken back is not enough. By the way, Wilt Chamberlain was a legit 7'1", 275 lbs and Andre the Giant was billed as 7'4", 525 lbs. "Wilt Chamberlain 1966-67 Game Log - Basketball-Reference.com", "Use Extension On Operating Table As Wilt Chamberlain Undergoes Tendon Surgery", "Achilles Heel Advertising: Repositioning the Competition", "5 Things You Didn't Know About Wilt Chamberlain", "Wilt spoke of regrets, women and Meadowlark", "Ali vs. Wilt Chamberlain: The Fight That Almost Was", "Jim Brown Talks Ali vs. Wilt Chamberlain // SiriusXM", "Chamberlain's feats the stuff of legend", "Flynn Robinson, 72, Scorer on Dominant N.B.A. Wilt Chamberlain was a giant on and off the court. [7] After his professional basketball career ended, Chamberlain played volleyball in the short-lived International Volleyball Association, was president of that organization, and is enshrined in the IVA Hall of Fame for his contributions. Other vital statistics like weight or shoe size measurements have been sourced from newspapers, books, resumes or social media. Wilt Chamberlain. Sixers forward Chet Walker testified that on several occasions, players had to pull Chamberlain and Hannum apart to prevent a fistfight. Having read Wilt Chamberlain's biography, he like many tall people, is very particular about his height, he says he was 7'1 1/16" technically, but 7'1" is good enough. [133] He led the NBA in scoring seven times, field goal percentage nine times, minutes played eight times, rebounding eleven times, and assists once. [31] In two seasons at Kansas, he averaged 29.9 points and 18.3 rebounds per game while totaling 1,433 points and 877 rebounds,[17] and led Kansas to one Big Seven championship. [52] After defeating the Cincinnati Royals led by Oscar Robertson in the 1965 NBA Playoffs, the Sixers met Chamberlain's familiar rival, the Boston Celtics. [91] Playing through his problems, Chamberlain averaged 20.5 points and 21.1 rebounds a game that season. [6] Nevertheless, the two also became friends off the court, similar to later rivals Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. In comparison, the previous top earner was Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics with $25,000; in fact, Eddie Gottlieb bought the whole Warriors franchise for $25,000 seven years earlier. Chamberlain never fouled out of a regular season or playoff game in his 14-year NBA career. Chamberlain changed the game in fundamental ways no other player did. [80] He said: "It is wonderful to be a part of the greatest team in basketball ... being a champion is like having a big round glow inside of you. [94], However, the hero of that Game 7 was Willis Reed. The Lakers won 60 games in the regular season and reached the 1973 NBA Finals against the New York Knicks. [86] In a game called "unreal" and "devoid of emotion", the Sixers lost 127–118 on April 5. In his first year, he played for the Jayhawks freshman team under coach Phog Allen, whom he admired. In the first game, the Jayhawks played the all-white SMU team, and KU player John Parker later said: "The crowd was brutal. Darral Imhoff, the center against whom he … [86] Prior to Game 5, the Celtics seemed dead: no NBA team had overcome a 3–1 series deficit before. Chamberlain divided that number in half, to be conservative and to correct for degrees of variation. [152] Russell's Celtics won seven of eight playoff series against Chamberlain's Warriors, 76ers, and Lakers teams, and went 57–37 against them in the regular season and 29–20 in the playoffs. [125] However, he would continue to epitomize physical fitness for years to come, including participating in several marathons. Wilt Chamberlain is a professional American Player. After that I play defense and get the ball off the boards. We were spat on, pelted with debris, and subjected to the vilest racial epithets possible. Probably fastest 7 footer ever, possibly just plain one of the fastest NBA players ever regardless of his height as testimony indicates faster than any players from his era: In 1957, 23 teams were selected to play in the NCAA Tournament. [74], In the 1966 NBA Playoffs, the Sixers again met the Celtics, and for the first time had home-court advantage. However, Boston easily won the first two games on the road, winning 115–96 and 114–93; Chamberlain played within his usual range, but his supporting cast shot under 40%. Their relationship remained mostly strained until the end. [24] In his 2004 biography of Chamberlain, Robert Cherry described that Chamberlain wanted a change and therefore did not want to go to or near Philadelphia (also eliminating New York), was not interested in New England, and snubbed the South because of racial segregation; this left the Midwest as Chamberlain's probable choice. [44], In his first NBA season, Chamberlain averaged 37.6 points and 27 rebounds, convincingly breaking the previous regular-season records. [35] One particular Globetrotter skit involved Globetrotter captain Meadowlark Lemon collapsing to the ground, and instead of helping him up, Chamberlain threw him several feet high up in the air and caught him like a doll. [126] According to those close to him, he eventually began taking medication for his heart troubles. He scored 34 points as Overbrook won the Public League title and gained a berth in the Philadelphia city championship game against the winner of the rival Catholic league, West Catholic. On October 12, 1999, Chamberlain died in Bel-Air, California, at the age of 63. [37] Chamberlain also sponsored his personal professional volleyball and track and field teams, and also provided high-level teams for girls and women in basketball, track, volleyball and softball,[115] and made money by appearing in ads for TWA, American Express, Volkswagen, Drexel Burnham, Le Tigre Clothing and Foot Locker. [16] According to ESPN journalist Hal Bock, Chamberlain was "scary, flat-out frightening ... before he came along, very few players at the center position possessed his level of athleticism, stature, and stamina. It is hard to believe that Wilt, who was 7'1", was conceived by parents who were of average height but that was the case. According to Rod Roddewig, a contemporary of Wilt's, Chamberlain documented his love life using a Day-Timer. [29] As he did at Overbrook, Chamberlain again showcased his diverse athletic talent. [48], Chamberlain again failed to convert his play into team success, this time bowing out against the Syracuse Nationals in a three-game sweep. In 1965, Chamberlain had consulted his father, who had seen Ali fight, and finally said no. He later tied that on February 21, as he recorded 58 points to go along with 24 rebounds in a 131-121 over the visiting Knicks. [23] Chamberlain likened his assist title to legendary home run hitter "Babe Ruth leading the league in sacrifice bunts", and he dispelled the myth that he could not and would not pass the ball. [6] Another landmark was his 25,000th point, making him the first ever player to score these many points: he gave the ball to his team physician Dr. Stan Lorber. [187], American basketball and volleyball player, Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors (1959–1965). Wilt Chamberlain Biography Wilt Chamberlain is best known as Former Pro Basketball Player, Actor, Writer, Producer who has an estimated Net Worth of $10 Million. [99] In a 1999 interview, Chamberlain stated that boxing trainer Cus D'Amato had twice before, in 1965 and 1967, approached the basketball star with the idea, and that he and Ali had each been offered $5 million for the bout. His lifelong on-court rival and personal friend Bill Russell stated "the fierceness of our competition bonded us together for eternity", and Celtics coach Red Auerbach praised Chamberlain as vital for the success of the entire NBA. [108] Jerry West called it "the greatest ball-busting performance I have ever seen. "[5] Gottlieb coaxed Chamberlain back into the NBA, sweetening his return with a salary raise to $65,000[48] (equal to about $562,000 today). No, he didn’t stick to steamed and boiled meat, he just ate whatever he wante… Wilt had a special passion to fried chicken. Wilton Norman Chamberlain was an American basketball player who played as a center and is considered one of the greatest players in history. Robert Allen Cherry, journalist and author of the biography Wilt: Larger than Life, describes his house as a miniature Playboy Mansion, where he regularly held parties and lived out his later-notorious sex life. He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA); he played for the University of Kansas and also for the Harlem Globetrotters before playing in the NBA. I think he'll be remembered as a great man. Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain (August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999) was an American basketball player. In retrospect, Gottlieb remarked: "My mistake was not getting a strong-handed coach. For the tip-off, he sent his shortest player, Tommy Kearns, in order to rattle Chamberlain, and the Tar Heels spent the rest of the night triple-teaming him, one defender in front, one behind, and a third arriving as soon as he got the ball. In that year, Wilt set several all-time records which have never been threatened. [134] He also had a signature 'Dipper' move, whereby he would fake a hook shot, and extend his arm to a short-range finger roll to shoot under a block attempt. [24] In the end, after visiting the University of Kansas and conferring with the school's renowned college coach Phog Allen, Chamberlain proclaimed that he was going to play college basketball at Kansas.[24]. In his last season, the Lakers lost substance: Happy Hairston was injured, Flynn Robinson and LeRoy Ellis had left, and veteran Jerry West struggled with injury. [76] Greer, who was considered a consummate professional and often clashed with the center because of his attitude, spoke positively of the new Chamberlain: "You knew in a minute the Big Fella [Chamberlain] was ready to go ... and everybody would follow. [3] Among others, UCLA offered Chamberlain the opportunity to become a movie star, the University of Pennsylvania wanted to buy him diamonds, and Chamberlain's Panthers coach Mosenson was even offered a coaching position if he could persuade the center. Chamberlain trained with Cus d'Amato, but later backed out, withdrawing the much-publicized challenge,[98][23] by way of a contractual escape clause which predicated the Chamberlain-Ali match on Ali beating Joe Frazier in a fight scheduled for early 1971, which became Ali's first professional loss, enabling Chamberlain to legally withdraw from the bout. Dr. Jack Ramsay recalled that Chamberlain regularly took walks in downtown Philadelphia and acknowledged honking horns with the air of a man enjoying all the attention. [6] There were three NBA Finals matchups in the rivalry between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, but they played different positions and did not guard each other. 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