I was wrong. Chamberlain often invited Russell over to Thanksgiving, and at Russell's place, conversation mostly concerned Russell's electric trains. The Sixers were a .500 ballclub in Chamberlain’s initial year on the team. In the third overtime, the Tar Heels scored two consecutive baskets, but Chamberlain executed a three-point play, leaving KU trailing 52–51. [156] Chamberlain was named All-NBA first team seven times to Russell's three, but Russell was named league MVP—then selected by players and not the press—five times against Chamberlain's four. “We went for his weakness,” Heinsohn told the Philadelphia Daily News in 1991, “tried to send him to the foul line, and in doing that he took the most brutal pounding of any player ever. [46], In the 1962–63 NBA season, Gottlieb sold the Warriors franchise for $850,000 (equal to about $7.18 million today)[note 1] to a group of businessmen led by Marty Simmons from San Francisco, and the team relocated to become the San Francisco Warriors under a new coach, Bob Feerick. [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. 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. These rules changed included widening the lane, instituting offensive goaltending and revising rules governing inbounding the ball and shooting free throws (Chamberlain would leap with the ball from behind the foul line to deposit the ball in the basket). The Big Dipper led the NBA every year he was associated with the Warriors' franchise. He won seven scoring, eleven rebounding, and nine field goal percentage titles and led the league in assists once. [12] Instead, he was an avid track and field athlete: as a youth, he high jumped 6 feet, 6 inches; ran the 440 yards in 49.0 seconds and the 880 yards in 1:58.3; put the shot 53 feet, 4 inches; and long jumped 22 feet. [2] Celtics forward Heinsohn said: "Half the fouls against him were hard fouls ... he took the most brutal pounding of any player ever". Chamberlain didn’t think so. Also known as Wilt the Stilt and The Big Dipper, Chamberlain was one of the greatest scorers in NBA history -- on and off the court, apparently. [157] Russell and Chamberlain were friends in private life. The league agreed, marking the only time in NBA history that a player was made a territorial selection based on his pre-college roots. "[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. Sixers forward Chet Walker testified that on several occasions, players had to pull Chamberlain and Hannum apart to prevent a fistfight. The Lakers won 60 games in the regular season and reached the 1973 NBA Finals against the New York Knicks. Posting a phenomenal average of 50.4 points per game, he became the only player in history to score 4,000 points in a season. But the most outstanding figures are his scoring records; Most games with 50+ points, 118; Most consecutive games with 40+ points, 14; Most consecutive games with 30+ points: 65; Most consecutive games with 20+ points: 126; Highest rookie scoring average: 37.6 ppg; Highest field goal percentage in a season: .727. [52] Countless suggestions were offered; he shot them underhanded, one-handed, two-handed, from the side of the circle, from well behind the line, and even banked in. Going ahead 3–2, the Sixers defeated the Knicks 115–97 in Game 6 after Chamberlain scored 25 points and 27 rebounds: he had a successful series in which he led both teams in points (153), rebounds (145) and assists (38). [37] On March 9, 2000, his number 13 was retired by the Globetrotters. Chamberlain and his perennial nemesis would grow to become one of the NBA's greatest on-court rivalries of all time. [82] Although there is no written proof for or against, ex-Sixers coach Dolph Schayes and Sixers lawyer Alan Levitt assumed Chamberlain was right;[80] in any case, Kosloff declined the request, leaving Chamberlain livid and willing to jump to the rival ABA once his contract ended in 1967. The Lakers center himself was criticized for his inability to dominate his injured counterpart, but Cherry pointed out that his feat – coming back from a career-threatening injury himself – was too quickly forgotten. [28], On December 3, 1956, Chamberlain made his varsity debut as a center. [74], In the 1966 NBA Playoffs, the Sixers again met the Celtics, and for the first time had home-court advantage. "[37], Chamberlain was the first big earner of basketball; he immediately became the highest paid player upon entering the NBA. He simply endured the punishment and learned to cope with it, bulking up his muscles to withstand the constant shoving, elbowing and body checks other teams used against him. [8], In 1976, Chamberlain turned to his interest in movies, forming a film production and distribution company to make his first film, entitled Go For It. [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]. According to Flynn Robinson, after the record-setting streak, Lakers owner Cooke sought to reward each of his players—who were expecting perhaps a "trip to Hawaii"—with a $5 pen set. [129] After undergoing dental surgery in the week before his death, he was in great pain and seemed unable to recover from the stress. [133] He led the NBA in scoring seven times, field goal percentage nine times, minutes played eight times, rebounding eleven times, and assists once. Barry botched his shot attempt, and the Sixers won the championship. In the 1980–81 NBA season, coach Larry Brown recalled that the 45-year-old Chamberlain had received an offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Chamberlain promoted the sport so effectively that he was named to the Volleyball Hall of Fame: he became one of the few athletes who were enshrined in different sports. [2], As the star player for the Overbrook Panthers, Chamberlain averaged 31 points a game during the 1953 high school season and led his team to a 71–62 win over Northeast High School, who had Guy Rodgers, Chamberlain's future NBA teammate. He was a Goliath", said Sy Goldberg, Chamberlain's longtime attorney. [29] Teammate Monte Johnson testified to his athleticism: "Wilt ... had unbelievable endurance and speed ... and was never tired. [86] Prior to Game 5, the Celtics seemed dead: no NBA team had overcome a 3–1 series deficit before. Kosloff and Chamberlain worked out a truce, and later signed a one-year, $250,000 contract. [citation needed] When he became a Laker, Chamberlain built a million-dollar mansion he called the "Ursa Major" in Bel-Air, as a play on his nickname "The Big Dipper" (jazz composer Thad Jones also named the music composition Big Dipper after the basketball star). [29] In the first overtime each team scored two points, and in the second overtime, Kansas froze the ball in return, keeping the game tied at 48. As part of our series on the 10 Greatest NBA Players of all-time, we turn our attention to the man himself, Wilt Chamberlain. 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. He was a lifelong bachelor and became notorious for his claim of having had sexual relations with as many as 20,000 women. [29] By this time, he had developed several offensive weapons that became his trademarks: his finger roll, his fade-away jump shot, which he could also hit as a bank shot, his passing and his shot-blocking. And with many of these, the player in second place is far behind. Chamberlain came away the victor only once. He happened to make a living playing basketball but he was more than that. "[91] Ironically, Van Breda Kolff came to Chamberlain's defense, insisting the often-maligned Lakers center hardly was able to move in the end. This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. Cherry described how Celtics coach Red Auerbach ordered his forward Tom Heinsohn to commit personal fouls on Chamberlain: whenever the Warriors shot foul shots, Heinsohn grabbed and shoved Chamberlain to prevent him from running back quickly; his intention was that the Celtics would throw the ball in so fast that the prolific shotblocker Chamberlain was not yet back under his own basket, and Boston could score an easy fastbreak basket. "[178] In a 1999 interview shortly before his death, he regretted not having explained the sexual climate at the time of his escapades, and warned other men who admired him for it, closing with the words: "With all of you men out there who think that having a thousand different ladies is pretty cool, I have learned in my life I've found out that having one woman a thousand different times is much more satisfying. In a game against New York in 1968, Walt Bellamy, the Knicks’ 6-11, 245-pound center, attempted to dunk on Chamberlain. When Abdul-Jabbar published his autobiography in 1990, he retaliated by writing a paper titled "To Wilt Chumperlane [sic]" in which he stated "Now that I am done playing, history will remember me as someone who helped teammates to win, while you will be remembered as a crybaby, a loser, and a quitter." He is also the only player to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game over the entire course of his NBA career. He was the league’s top rebounder in 11 of his 14 seasons. 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. I had 40 or 42 points, about 30 rebounds, about 15 blocks. Soon after, Chamberlain was traded to the Lakers for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark and Darrall Imhoff. Chamberlain divided that number in half, to be conservative and to correct for degrees of variation. He later faced Unseld, Abdul-Jabbar, Dave Cowens, and Elvin Hayes. Unfortunately, the 7-foot-1 center also played in an era (1959 to 1973) when few basketball cards were produced, tickets to his games were ripped at admission gates and much of his game-worn apparel was discarded. "NBA's Greatest Moments – "Havlicek Stole the Ball! When he dunked, he was so fast that a lot of players got their fingers jammed [between Chamberlain's hand and the rim]." With three minutes to go the Lakers trailed 103–102. [52] Powered by his defensive presence, the Lakers embarked on an unprecedented 33-game win streak en route to a then-record 69 wins in the regular season. 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. "[17] It was also in this period of his life when his three lifelong nicknames "Wilt the Stilt", "Goliath", and his favorite, "The Big Dipper", were allegedly born. The pass was intercepted, however, and the Tar Heels won the game. Hall-of-Famers who played with Chamberlain—Warriors: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, one of the NBA's greatest on-court rivalries, all-time record for rebounds in a single game, List of career achievements by Wilt Chamberlain, rivalry between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, List of National Basketball Association career scoring leaders, List of National Basketball Association career rebounding leaders, List of National Basketball Association career free throw scoring leaders, List of National Basketball Association career minutes played leaders, List of National Basketball Association career playoff scoring leaders, List of National Basketball Association career playoff rebounding leaders, List of National Basketball Association career playoff free throw scoring leaders, List of National Basketball Association franchise career scoring leaders, List of National Basketball Association players with most points in a game, List of National Basketball Association single-game playoff scoring leaders, List of National Basketball Association players with most rebounds in a game, List of National Basketball Association players with most assists in a game, List of National Basketball Association top individual scoring season averages, List of National Basketball Association top rookie scoring averages, List of National Basketball Association top individual rebounding season averages, List of National Basketball Association top rookie rebounding averages, List of National Basketball Association top individual field goal percentage seasons, List of NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 30 or more rebounds in a game, List of basketball players who have scored 100 points in a single game, List of National Basketball Association annual minutes leaders, List of National Basketball Association annual rebounding leaders, "Sexual claim transformed perception of Wilt", "Chamberlain, Wilt(on) Norman – Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Thematic Series: Sports Figures-HighBeam Research", "Chamberlain rated greatest in court game", "Helen Kutsher, Pampering Matriarch of a Grand Borscht Belt Resort, Dies at 89", "Syracuse Nationals at Philadelphia Warriors Box Score, November 4, 1959", "New York Knicks at Philadelphia Warriors Box Score, November 10, 1959", "Philadelphia Warriors vs Detroit Pistons Box Score, January 25, 1960", "New York Knicks at Philadelphia Warriors Box Score, February 25, 1960", "Players to have recorded 50 points and 30 rebounds in the playoffs", "Philadelphia Warriors at Syracuse Nationals Box Score, October 22, 1960", "Boston Celtics at Philadelphia Warriors Box Score, November 24, 1960", "Philadelphia Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers Box Score, November 29, 1960", "Anthony Davis breaks Wilt's All-Star scoring record, earns MVP honors". ... [Johnston] wasn't ready for big time. [86] In Game 2, Philadelphia evened the series with a 115–106 victory, and won Games 3 and 4, with Chamberlain suspiciously often played by Celtics backup center Wayne Embry, causing the press to speculate Russell was worn down. In that year, Wilt set several all-time records which have never been threatened. "[74] In Game 3, Chamberlain scored 31 points and 27 rebounds for an important road win, and the next day, coach Schayes planned to hold a joint team practice. [14] Because Chamberlain was a very tall child, already measuring 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) at age 10[15] and 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) when he entered Philadelphia's Overbrook High School,[3] he had a natural advantage against his peers; he soon was renowned for his scoring talent, his physical strength and his shot blocking abilities. But midway through the following season, he was sent back home to Philadelphia. [53] Cherry noted that Chamberlain was "difficult" and did not respect coach Neil Johnston, who was unable to handle the star center. [6] Nevertheless, the two also became friends off the court, similar to later rivals Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. In May, 1958 Chamberlain decided to forego his senior season at Kansas, opting instead to turn pro. "[20] Red Auerbach, the coach of the Boston Celtics, spotted the talented teenager at Kutscher's and had him play 1-on-1 against University of Kansas standout and national champion, B. H. Born, elected the Most Outstanding Player of the 1953 NCAA Finals. Chamberlain later reminisced about the game in the Philadelphia Daily News: “We whipped ’em, 81-71. Soon, the young Lew Alcindor was allowed into his inner circle, and quickly idolized the ten-year older NBA player. During his first seven years Chamberlain scored an average of 39.4 points per game and led the league in scoring all seven seasons, a string matched only by Michael Jordan two decades later. The All-Star center from Pennsylvania cherished dunks, NBA championships, NBA history, and besting Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Milwaukee Bucks as much as he cherished a love life. [8] He played occasional matches for the IVA Seattle Smashers before the league folded in 1979. 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=998187803, 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, Pages using Sister project links with hidden wikidata, 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 4 January 2021, at 06:11. [111] In that series, the Lakers won Game 1 115–112, but the Knicks won Games 2 and 3; things worsened when Jerry West injured his hamstring yet again. It was also during this time that one of his nicknames, “the Stilt,” was coined by a local newspaper writer. Chamberlain demonstrated his growing arsenal of offensive moves, including jump shots, put-backs, tip-ins, and his turnaround jump shot. Every time Chamberlain went to bed with a different woman, he put a check in his Day-Timer. In that game, Tar Heels coach Frank McGuire used several unorthodox tactics to thwart Chamberlain. His name appears so often in the scoring record books that his name could be the default response any time a question arises concerning a scoring record in the NBA. "[31] Nevertheless, Chamberlain averaged 30.1 points for the season and led the Jayhawks to an 18–5 record, losing three games while he was out with a urinary infection:[31] because KU came second in the league and at the time only conference winners were invited to the NCAA tourney, the Jayhawks' season ended. Wilt the Stilt, The Big Dipper, and Chairman of the Boards Which NBA player went by the nickname Big O? "[107], In the post-season, the Lakers swept the Chicago Bulls, then went on to face the Milwaukee Bucks of young superstar center and regular-season MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (formerly Lew Alcindor). However, it also became evident that he was an atrocious free-throw shooter, making hardly half of his foul shots. He is famous for being the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game. [91] In Game 7, the Lakers trailed 91–76 after three quarters. [29] Later, North Carolina led 40–37 with 10 minutes to go and stalled the game: they passed the ball around without any intention of scoring a basket. His coaches there took full advantage of his gifts. [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. [52] On March 2, 1962, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Wilt scored 100 points, shot 36 of 63 from the field, and made 28 of 32 free throws against the New York Knicks. [2][3] He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). By conventional wisdom, Chamberlain now should have dominated against little-used Knicks backup centers Nate Bowman and Bill Hosket or forwards Bradley and DeBusschere, who gave up more than half a foot against the Lakers center. 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. In 1978, his first year of eligibility, Chamberlain was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 1996-97 he was selected to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. His stellar performance led Kansas to an insurmountable lead, and he rested on the bench for the final 3:45 remaining in the game. [71] Chamberlain later commented that he could see in hindsight how the interview was instrumental in damaging his public image. Meschery got it again, faked again, and got it blocked again. [86] The loss meant that Chamberlain was now 1–6 in playoff series against the Celtics. Tom Heinsohn, the great Celtics forward who later became a coach and broadcaster, said Boston was one of the first clubs to apply a team-defense concept to stop Chamberlain. He scored 32 points and led Overbrook to a 19–0 season. [18] In his second Overbrook season, he continued his prolific scoring when he tallied a high school record 71 points against Roxborough.