30.1 points per game
22.9 rebounds per game
4.4 assists per game
??? blocks per game
??? steals per game
45.8 minutes per game
1 FINALS MVP ('72)
4 MVPS ('60,'66,'67,'68)
1960 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
2x NBA CHAMPION ('67,'72)
4x NBA FINALIST ('64,'68,'70,'73)
13x NBA ALL-STAR ('60-'69, '71-'73)
7x ALL-NBA ('60-'62,'64,'65-'68)
2x ALL-DEFENSIVE ('72,'73)
1 of NBA's 50 GREATEST PLAYERS
7 SCORING TITLES ('60,'61,'62,'63,'64,'65,'66)
11 REBOUNDING TITLES ('60-'63,'66-'69,'71-'73)
9x, LED LEAGUE IN FG% ('61,'63,'65,'66,'67,'68,'69,'72,'73)
9x, LED LEAGUE IN MINUTES ('60,'61,'62,'63,'64,'66,'67,'68,'69)
1x, LED LEAGUE IN ASSISTS ('68)
LOS ANGELES LAKERS #13 RETIRED
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS #13 RETIRED
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS #13 RETIRED
HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS #13 RETIRED
31.8 highest single season PER ('63)
Keep in mind PER is flawed when it comes to Wilt's era. PER rewards heavily players for blocks, steals, and 3 point shots. No blocks or steals were recorded during Wilt's career. 3-point line did not exist til the early 80s.
In essence his and many others of his generation PER's should be higher!)
100 points (3/2/1962 vs. Knicks)
5 70-point games (Elgin 1, Kobe 1, David Robinson 1, David Thompson 1)
32 60-point games (Kobe Bryant 5, MJ 5)
118 50-point games (MJ 34)
271 40-point games (MJ 173)
7 consecutive 50-point games (12/16/61-12/29/61)
14 consecutive 40-point games TWICE (12/8/61-12/30/61, 1/11/62-2/1/62)
65 consecutive 30-point games (11/4/61-2/22/62)
126 consecutive 20-point games (10/19/61-1/19/63)
37.6 points, 27.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game as a rookie
58 points as a rookie (1/25/60, also had 42 rebounds)
45 rebounds as a rookie (2/6/60)
8 career 40 point 40 rebound games
132 career 30 point 30 rebound games (Russell 7, Bellamy 3, Thurmond 3)
590 career 20 point 20 rebound games (Elgin Baylor has 118)
227 consecutive double-doubles from 64-67 (also holds the 2nd and 3rd spots)
9 consecutive triple doubles (3/8/68-3/20/68)
3 highest "perfect" games in NBA history
18-18 from the field (2/24/67)
16-16 from the field (3/19/67)
15-15 from the field (1/20/67)
Some of Wilt's best regular season games
11/16/1962 San Francisco Warriors at New York Knicks, MSG
Wilt goes for 73 points, 29 rebounds
Highest scoring output in New York City history, MSG history
1/21/1962 San Francisco Warriors vs. Chicago Packers
Wilt goes for 56 points, 45 rebounds
2/2/1968 Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons
Wilt goes for 22 points, 25 rebounds, 21 assists
the only double-triple-double in league history!
3/18/1968 Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Wilt goes for 53 points, 32 rebounds, 14 assists (unofficially has 24 blocks, 11 steals)
Led the league in assists that season but had the 4 highest scoring games (68,53,53,52)
12/25/1968 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns (nationally televised Christmas Day Game)
Wilt has 15 points, 23 blocks
blocks were not an official statistic at this point but (23) would shatter Elmore Smith's record of 17.
2/9/1969 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns
Wilt scores 66 points (29-35, 82.9 FG%)
It was 1 of his 4 games of over 60+ points on .700+ shooting
3rd highest Laker point total behind Kobe's 81, Elgin's 71
Most points scored by any player in '69 season
the oldest player in NBA history (32 years old) to go for 60+
Some of Wilt's best postseason games
1960 Philadelphia Warriors vs. Syracuse Nationals
1st round EC playoffs
most by a rookie in the playoffs
1962 Philadelphia Warriors vs. Syracuse Nationals
1st round EC playoffs
56 points (22-48), 35 rebounds
3rd highest point total in the playoffs behind MJ's 63, and Elgin's 61
1964 San Francisco Warriors vs. St. Louis Hawks
1st round EC playoffs
50 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists
Also held Pettit to 19 points, 45-15-5 on 65% FG, wasnt duplicated again til LeBron in 2012 Game 5 vs. Celtics
1967 Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston celtics (game 1)
2nd round EC playoffs
24 points, 32 rebounds, 13 assists, 12 blocks
unofficial quadruple double, since blocks & steals were not counted
1967 Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics (game 3)
2nd round EC playoffs
20 points, 41 rebounds
Also held Russell to 10 points, most rebounds in a playoff game ever
1970 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns (game 7)
1st round WC Playoffs
30 points, 27 rebounds, 11 blocks
unofficial triple double, since blocks & steals were not counted
1970 Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks (game 6)
45 points (20-27), 27 rebounds
Wilt is the only player to average 20-20 in the Finals (7 games)
23.2 PPG, 24.1 RPG, on 62.5% shooting in 1970
1972 Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks (game 5)
24 points (10-14), 29 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 blocks
Wilt Chamberlain's resume
Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:56 AM
Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:58 AM
Wilt Chamberlain dominated the league from the moment he stepped on a NBA court until he left it. From all of those seasons, he stood out most in the course of the 1966-67 season, where he was just on a level that no other player has ever been.
Coach Alex Hannum asked from Wilt to cut down his scoring and to pass more and play aggressive defense more. In other words, he was asked to use his skills, physicality and intelligence in a way that would make him dominant on both sides and make damage to opposing teams in a team way. The result?
He didn’t win the scoring title after seven years of dominance, but instead led the league in two several categories (rebounds, assists), made excellent impact, led Philly to the best record and easily won his second consecutive MVP award in a row.
However, it was really in the playoffs and finals where he showcased why his peak was arguably the greatest of any time. Here’re some numbers:
’67 Eastern Division Semifinals (vs Oscar’s Cincinnati)
28.0 points, 26.5 rebounds, 11.3 assists on 61% field goal percentage (WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!)
’67 Eastern Division Finals (vs Bill Russell)
21.6 points, 32.0 rebounds, 10.0 assists on 56% field goal percentage (WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!)
’67 Finals (vs Nate Thurmond)
17.6 points, 28.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists on 56% field goal percentage (HE DISAPPEARED IN THE FINALS!!!)
These are indeed quite impressive efforts by the Big Dipper and a truly legendary peak which is still discussed even after all those years.
To show his incredible versatility, I will point out several stat lines:
1959-66: 39.6 points, 24.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists on 51.1% field goal percent, 54.8% free throw percent, 52.9% true shooting percent in 47.0 minutes a game.
1966-68: 24.2 points, 24.0 rebounds, 6.6 assists on 59.0% field goal percent, 41.0% free throw percent, 59.4% true shooting percent in 46.1 minutes a game
1969-73: 16.7 points, 16.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists on 61.7% field goal percent, 48.9% free throw percent, 60.1% true shooting percentage in 43.2 minutes a game.
Throughout his career, Chamberlain had three roles on three different teams: a high volume scorer (similar to Kobe), triple double machine (similar to Magic, Oscar etc) and a defensive anchor (similar to Russell). In this way, he showcased his full basketball abilities like arguably no ever else has and literally did it all out there.
Granted, you can say that those stats are inflated due to fast pace, but when the fact that Wilt faced a Hall of Fame opponent nearly 60% percentage of the time is taken in consideration, they still look very impressive to say the least.
Additionally, it’s worthy to mention that the Big Dipper went on to do consistently amazing feats like having multiple triple doubles in a row, high scoring performances which may not be approached and so on. To sum it, regardless of the role he was asked to full fill, Wilt produced and did more than the needed.
Wilt Chamberlain excelled at variety aspects in basketball, but the one in which he kept his consistency at a really high level throughout his entire career was rebounding. He was arguably the greatest rebounder to step on a NBA Hardwood.
Chamberlain is the NBA’s all time leader in total (23,924) and average (22.9) rebounds. Of course, topping the 20 boards mark in a single season is now an impossible mission due to slow pace. However, numbers can’t be used well against him because he dominated them like no one else.
The Big Dipper won record of 11 rebounding crowns, and led eight times in the postseason too. He kept his dominance consistently despite playing in an era with the likes of Russell, Thurmond, Lucas, Unseld and so who are regarded high in this facet of the game. Impressive feat for sure.
Additionally, The Stilt outrebounded all of the above named rivals in head to head match ups. He set new records and was always at the top when it came to most grabbed boards in a game, per game etc while being superior to his peers.
(of course this doesnt mean much to people who only care about volume shooting)
To sum it up, Wilt had all the tools to dominate on the glass and did so better than anyone else.
Despite having a reputation today as a choker and loser, Wilt Chamberlain was one of the greatest clutch players in NBA History. What makes people think that the 7’1 giant shrunk when it mattered are actually his statistics.
However, that’s not the case. As I mentioned in the article previously, Wilt had three different roles through his career. The majority of his playoff games happened to be when either he was a triple double machine or a defensive anchor which explains his scoring drop compared to his regular season.
So, based on this, Chamberlain PLAYOFF stats look this:
- Volume Scorer: 32.8 points, 26.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists on 50.5% field goal percent, 52.3% free throw percent and 52.0% true shooting percent in 47.8 minutes
-Triple Double Machine: 22.6 points, 27.1 rebounds, 7.9 assists on 55.7% field goal percent, 38.4% free throw percent and 53% true shooting percent in 48.2 minutes.
-Defensive Anchor: 15.8 points, 22.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists on 53.1% field goal percent, 44.8% free throw percent and 53.0% true shooting percent in 46.8 minutes.
For a note is the fact that Wilt during his years as a high scorer was asked to play more from the high post after 1963 up to the 1966. Chamberlain additionally played most playoff games as a defensive minded player which explains his overall scoring drop.
These stats are pretty outstanding considering the competition he faced every year. He had several dominant playoff runs, such as ’67 where he played on a whole new level.
A 7’1 center who weighted at least 250 lbs with elite athleticism, strength and a terrific offensive arsenal of moves, Wilt Chamberlain had all the needed tools to be an amazing scorer. And he was. He was actually one of the greatest scorers in NBA History.
He was tough to stop in one on one situations due to his physicality, skills and footwork. Wilt led the league seven consecutive years in a row in scoring, a feat only matched by Jordan before he was asked to do other things too. During that period, he set some unbreakable feats such as the 50 points in average, 100 points in a single game etc.
Quite amazing, isn’t it? Chamberlain, for a player that was pounded by teams like no one else, was incredibly efficient. He led all four times in efficiency while he was leading all in scoring. The Big Dipper’s efficiency was on pair with anyone’s overall.
“He can score anything he wants. There is no way to stop him. How can you defense him? The only way I know is to lock the door to the dressing room before he comes out.” —— ‘Easy’ Ed MacAuley
“Wilt is playing better than I used to–passing off, coming out to set up screens, picking up guys outside and sacrificing himself for team play.” ——–Bill Russell
“Once Wilt got upset with me and dunked the ball so hard it went through the rim with such force that it broke my toe as it hit the floor.” ——-Johnny Kerr
“He (Wilt) stopped me dead in my tracks with his arm, hugged me and lifted me off the floor with my feet dangling. \It scared the hell out of me. When I went to the free throw line, my legs were still shaking. Wilt was the strongest guy and best athlete to ever play the game.“—– KC Jones
“I said ‘Wilt isn’t such a tough guy. I can guard him.’ He backed me down and dunked the ball. And I was so far under the basket, and he dunked it so hard, that the ball came through the net and hit me in the forehead twice. Bang! So I said, ‘You know, I think he is great.’ ”——–Spencer Haywood
Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:59 AM
from WILT: Just like any other 7-foot black millionaire who lives next door
"In the pre-season predicitons, no one picked the Lakers to go anywhere. Jerry and Elgin and I were all old, by basketball standards-and all coming off major leg injuries. The rest of the etam was an unknown commodity. Happy Hairston, who figured to start opposite Elgin at forward, was very underrated-a solid rebounder and a good man on the fast break-but he had a tendency to get into foul trouble, and he had a reputation for causing dissension by talking about his teammates behind their backs. Gail Goodrich, our other starting guard, had averaged 17.5 points a game for us the previous year, but he had a well-deserved reputation as a spoiled kid-a selfish gunner who dribbled too much and shot too much and sulked when things didn't go his way. Jim McMillian had good potential as a shooter and on defense, but he had only been in the league on year, and he didn't look like he'd ever be much of a rebounder. Some of the other guys figured to help in spots-particularly Flynn Robinson (a dead eye outside shot) and Keith Erickson (an erratic but versatile swing man who hustle and quickness gave us a spark that often made up for his poor shots and wild passes). Overall, though, the experts just didn't think we were strong enough to pose much a threat to the reigning powers in the league-defending champion Milwaukee and the polished, experienced New York Knicks.
The season began in Hawaii, where we practiced and played a few exhibition games. Bill (Sharman)'s practice sessions were smooth and logical and well coordinated, and he began right off by passing out notebooks and diagramming plays, and tellings us he wouldnt' accept the stories that we were an old team that couldn't run.
'I believe in running, fast break basketball,' he told us. 'That's the kind of basketball I played with the Celtics, and that's the kind of basketball I coach.'
I've always liked fast-break basketball, too. It's what I'd played in high school, and I'd missed it ever since. The other Lakers were equally enthusiastic, and when the season began, it quickly became apparent that the the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers were going to be something special. We won our first four games-by an average of 20 points a game-lost three of our next five, then didn't lose again for more than two months. From November 5 to January 9, we won 33 consecutive games. And we did it without Elgin Baylor.
On November 4-after a conference with Bill Sharman-Elgin announced his retirement. He was 37, his knees were shot, and Bill didn't feel we could afford the luxury of starting Elgin every night. Bill knew Elgin would be embarrassed as a benchwarmer, so he suggested Elgin retire and make way for Jim McMillian. When Elgin agreed, Jim stepped into the lineup, and we were on our way.
The night of the game that began our winning streak, the coach asked Jerry and me if we would like to be co-captains now that Elgin was gone. Jerry said he felt that he could be more valuable to the team if he could concentrate on playing, not leading. I'd been captain in Philadelphia, and I'd liked the responsibility, so I accepted the Laker captaincy.
We continued winning. Seattle, Portland, Boston, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee...like tenpins they fell before us. Everyone was contributing. Jerry and Gail and Mac were all scoring. Happy and I were rebouding. Leroy Ellis and Flynn Robinson and Pat Riley were giving us good spot play off the bench. We were not just winning, we were winning big-by scores like 130-108, 139-115, 129-99, 132-106, 154-132. On December 12, we beat Atlanta to set an all-time record of 21 straight wins. Then someone checked the record books, and found that the all-time winning streak for any professional sports team was 26-by the 1916 New York baseball Giants. On December 22, we broke that record.
It was almost Christmas time-by then, and the players began speculating about what kind of super gifts Jack Kent Cooke might give us for our great record. A few days later, when he gave us each a pen-and-pencil set, we all started bitching and grumbling about what a cheapskate he was. Then I realized he'd given us more for Christmas than any of us had given him. I stopped bitching.
Surprisingly, there weren't any close friendships on the Lakers. You might have expected Jerry and Gail to be close, for example-the two small, white, high-scoring guards who'd lived in Los Angeles a long time. Or maybe me and Mac-both black bachelors who had spent considerable time in New York. That wasn't the case, though. But neither were there any cliques or any real tensions on the team. Just victories. And the more we won, the more superstitious some of the guys became. Jerry refused to change his ratty old sneaks. Gail always made sure his last shot in warmup was a layup. Bill Sharman always switched his pens from his inside coat pocket to his shirt pocket just before the tip-off at each game. Fred Schaus, the general manager, always parked in the same spot before every game.
But neither voodoo nor victories go on forever.
On January 9, in a nationally televised game, Milwaukee beat us, 120-104, to end our 33-game win streak. We lose three of our next five games, then regained our momentum and won our next eight straight.
On March 11, I had a party to celebrate the completion of my house. A year earlier, when Jerry had had a housewarming party, I had been the only member of the team he hadn't invited. Jerry never had given me a satisfactory explanation for that, and I thought about leaving him off my invitation list, too. But that would've been childish. I invited him, and he came, and so did everyone else on the team.
The party lasted all night. It didn't seem to hurt us, though. The next night, we destroyed Buffalo, 141-102, and we went on to win 15 our last 17 games.
We broke every record in the book that year-most wins, most wins at home, most wins on the road, most wins in a row, most 100-point games, highest winning percentage; you name it, we broke it. Our overall record of 69 wins and 13 losses broke the all-time record of 68 and 13 set by my Philadelphia 76ers team in 1966-67, and-not surprisingly-everyone wanted me to compare the two teams. I tried to be diplomatic. I said the two teams had different styles and different personnel, and it was difficult to compare them. Comparisons between players and teams from different years can never be fair to either side; there are just too many variables and too many imponderables. The performance of the Laker team was more satisfying to me than the performance of the 76er team, simply because the 76ers were picked to win the championship, and the Lakers weren't picked to win anything. But if I had to say which team was better, I'd take the 76ers. For one thing, they had a better center-I was five years younger in 1967. The Laker guards-Jerry West and Gail Goodrich-were definitely better, as a pair, than any combination of the 76ers Hal Greer, Wali Jones, and Larry Costello. But the 76er forwards-Billy Cunningham, Chet Walker, and Luke Jackson-were all far superior to either of the Laker forwards, Jim McMillian and Happy Hairston. And the 76ers had more depth than the Lakers.
I'm not saying the 1971-72 Lakers weren't a great team; they were. But all things considered, I don't think they were as great as the 76er team I played on in 1967"
Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:01 AM
from WILT: Just like any other 7-foot black millionaire who lives next door
"The decision to build a house-or even just to own one-was probably the single most uncharacteristic act of my entire life. I've always been nomadic by nature-a gypsy-and from the time I'd left home to go to college in 1955 until that summer of 1971, I'd never lived in one place for longer than two years. For me to build a $1 million house that would probably take almost two years to complete was quite a gamble. I might want to move out before I could even move in.
I thought about that a lot before I made my decision to go ahead with the house. Finally, I just decided I loved Los Angeles, and would always want to come back here, even if I traveled extensively and lived elsewhere temporarily on occasion.
Actually, I had almost built a house six or seven years earlier, in San Francisco. I bought three-fourths of an acre there for $65,000, but I got traded to Philadelphia before I could get the house started.
When I first came to the Lakers, I tried again. I found a great old house in Trousdale Estates, the most exclusive section of Beverly Hills. It was owned by some movie tycoon who was about to split up with his wife, and it had high, vaulted ceilings and a big movie theater in the living room, and it was just a really fine house. They were asking $465, 000 for it, and no one was interested in buying. I finally negotiated them down to about half that price.
I gave them a deposit and was ready to move in.
The next thing I knew, a television crew was traipsing through the place-without my permission-to do a show about "Wilt Chamberlain's house."
I demanded my deposit back, and forgot about the house.
A couple of years later, when I started looking for land to build on in Los Angeles, I looked primarily along the beach. But most beachfront property is so valuable that it's been divided into small lots, and the streets are congested. That meant I'd have neither the spaciousness nor the privacy I wanted; there would always be sightseers gawking at me and watching my every move. I was renting a home in Trousdale then-a place owned by Billy Rose's sister, Polly-and with neighbors like Elvis Presley, Groucho Marx, and Danny Thomas, I already knew what that was like. People carrying cameras and maps and autograph books were always riding up and down our street and banging on doors and peering in through windows. I wanted no part of that in my house.
If I wanted to live at the beach, then, it seemed the only solution was to live in one of the fashionable oceanside colonies up the coast a bit, where the lots are big enough to provide some protection and insulation. I found a great piece of land in one of those colonies-right behind Governor Ronald Reagan's mansion in Pacific Palisades, about 20 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the owners wanted $500,00 just for the raw land! There was no way I could afford that-not with what I knew it would cost to build the kind of house I wanted.
Then I found the land I live on now-a beautiful three-acre site in Bel Air, in the Santa Monica Mountains, about seven miles inland from the ocean and 12 or 13 miles from downtown.
I'm only a mile or so off the freeway, so I can drive to the beach in ten or fifteen minutes-and I don't have the congestion and sightseers and high prices I'd have if I lived right on the ocean.
Sightseers occasionally wander by, and try to look in my windows, but I have a large iron fence surrounding my property, and I have closed-circuit TV trained on the electronically controlled front gate to discourage them from trespassing.
My house sits on a peak, with a panoramic, 360-degree view of the entire metropolitan area. On one side, I can see from downtown to the ocean (a magnificent sight on a clear day); on the other side, I can see the sprawling suburbs of the San Fernando Valley (a gorgeous, glittering sight on almost any night).
Because I love the view-and the feeling of freedom that the outdoors gives me-my house is almost completely encased in sliding glass doors. With the glass and the high ceilings-a minimum of nine feet and a maximum of twenty-you almost feel like you're outdoors in every room of the house. You can feel the sun and see the moon and the stars and the surrounding hillside and the city below. I've even brought the outdoors indoors. The swimming pool that curls around the corner of my house flows under one end of the living room, and you can acutally step right into it through a good-sized hole I had cut in the living room floor"
Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:02 AM
from WILT: Just like any other 7-foot black millionaire who lives next door
"The Lakers had never won a championship with Elgin Baylor and Jerry West and all those great teams they had, but no one had ever called either of them a "loser." They were tragic heroes; people felt sorry for them. I was the "loser"-the scapegoat-and I knew damn well that I'd be blamed again if we lost this championship, even though I'd played well and jerry should've been the goat for his rotten shooting.
As soon as we got home from New York after the fourth game, I started soaking my hand in the special whirlpool I had built at my new house. I must have soaked it for 30 hours, and every hour or so, I'd try to flex it, you know, close the hand, and at first, I couldn't do it all and it hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. But I kept trying. I'd take my big Great Danes for a walk between treatments, to force myself to close the hand round their leash. I even tried to work a little with a basketball. No damn good.
Then, that night, Saturday night, I had a couple of friends from the Knicks' front office over. I was in the whirlpool when they came, but I got out and played host, and I really believed it when I told them I didn't see how I could play the next night. One of them, Frank Blauschild, watched me pour him some whiskey and just laughed. 'Bullshit!' he said. 'I've been watching you pour. You'll play.' I honestly didn't think so, but the hand was getting gradually better. I could close it a little more, with a little less pain each time.
With Coach Sharman calling those crazy morning practices of his every damn day, I'd been sleeping less than ever all season, maybe just five or six hours a night. But that night, I only slept two, maybe three hours. I was hurting and thinking and worrying, and mostly I was taking turns packing my right hand in ice and soaking it in the whirlpool.
When I got to the Forum for the game Sunday night, I still didn't think I could play. Even after Dr. Kerlan gave me a shot of Celestone, I didn't think I'd make it. The Celestone was only to stop inflammation, not pain. Just in case I could play we didn't want my hand so numb from painkillers that I couldn't feel the basketball.
Dr. Kerlan threw a basketball to me. I caught it-awkwardly, more trapping it between my two padded mitts than actually catching it. But I held it. I threw it back. Well, I didn't really throw it. I sort of pushed it. But it got there.
Ironically, as it turned out, I couldn't have asked for a better start-or finish-to the game. We broke fast, jumping ahead 10-0 before the Knicks knew what hit them, and that took some of the pressure off me. I even jammed in a couple of slam-dunks early.
But, like anything worth waiting for, that championship game didn't come easy. The Knicks closed to 26-24 at the end of the first quarter, and tied us at 53-all at halftime. We got the lead back in the third quarter, then blew them out with a 13-2 blast in the fourth quarter, and won going away, 114-100.
I suppose I could make like a martyr and tell you how much my hand hurt me every minute I was on the floor, but in all honesty, once the game was a minute or two old, I forgot all about the pain and the bandages and everything but winning that game. I played 47 of the 48 minutes, and even I was surprised later that night, in the locker room, when someone showed me the final statistics. I'd hit 10 of 14 shots from the field, got 24 points and 29 rebounds (along with 4 assists & 6 blocks), and held my man, Jerry Lucas, to just 14 points and 9 rebounds. He hit only 5 out of 14 shots from the floor against me, and after the way he'd torn us apart in the first game of the series, a couple of my teammates told me I should always break both my hands before we play the Knicks.
I guess it wasn't really that funny, but I laughed and laughed. When you win, you laugh at anything and everything. And we had won-we, the Lakers, as a team, and me, Wilt Chamberlain, as an individual. I even got a new car for being the most valuable player in the series.
Obviously, I didn't beat New York all by myself. Far from it. We had set records as a team all year, and we won the championship as a team that night. Gail Goodrich, who had eaten Earl Monroe alive at both ends of the court in every game, got 25 points and held Monroe to miserable 4 for 15 from the floor. McMillian got 20 points. Happy got 14 rebounds. Even Jerry-who again hit only 10 of 28 shots would up with a dismal 32 percent from the floor for the entire series-scored 23 points and had nine assists in the championship game.
But defense had been the key to our success all season-particularly in the playoffs, against Milwaukee and New York-and even though I was pleased to have won the MVP award in the (Finals), I have to admit I was a little surprised that I didn't also win it for the regular season. During all those years I was outscoring Bill Russell like crazy, he often won the MVP because people said defense was more important than scoring, and he was the defensive genius. But in 1972, I was the defensive genius and Kareem was the big scorer. In effect, I was Russell, and Kareem was me. So who won the MVP? Kareem. Suddenly, defense wasn't all-important.
Bill Sharman got most of the credit for "transforming" me into a great defensive player-especially after I played so well against Kareem in the Western Division championships.
But it wasn't quite that simple.
I had experience and strength going for me against Kareem. I also had an intangible-the gut-it-out toughness I'd picked up playing schoolyard ball as a kid. Kareem had never done that, and it's hurt his game-as great as he is.
Joe Mullaney was probably more responsible for my success against Kareem than anyone, though. I'd always been a good defensive player-it just wasn't noticed until I stopped scoring-but it was Joe who first talked to me about really stressing defense. And it was Joe who showed me how to play Kareem and force him to take his shots out of position.
Joe was also responsible for about half the key personnel on our championship team. He was the coach who traded for Happy and Gail and Pat Riley, and he was the coach who drafted McMillian.
Unfortunately, he didn't have the opportunity to reap the fruits of his labors.
I'm not trying to downgrade Bill Sharman, though. There's no question about how good he is; he's the man who coached us around some. Coaching, at the pro level, isn't really coaching in the true sense anyway. A big part of coaching is teaching fundamentals, and you just don't do that in the NBA. Sharman doesn't teach Jerry how to dribble, or tell Happy not to expose the ball to the defense for so long when he's driving for a layup. Sharman, like most NBA coaches, is really more a manager or a coordinator than a coach, and-like all managers, in any business-he benefits from the work of his predecessors."
Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:21 AM
Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:30 AM
He was taller, longer, stronger, quicker, & faster than Dwight Howard or Javale McGee (the 2 most athletic centers in the league today). Not to mention much better touch round the basket and much higher bball IQ. Wilt was in track & field at Kansas and cleared 6 feet 6 (Michael Jordan's height) inches in the high jump. He would have no problem dominating these dudes today.
Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:43 AM
Put it in perspective.
At age 35, Shaq averaged 28.7 minutes per game.
At age 35, Hakeem The Dream averaged 34.7 minutes per game.
At age 35, Kareem averaged 32.3 minutes per game.
At age 35, David Robinson averaged 29.6 minutes per game.
At age 35, Tim Duncan averaged 28.2 minutes per game.
At age 35, Alonzo Mourning averaged 20.0 minutes per game.
At age 35, Patrick Ewing averaged 32.6 minutes per game
Wilt's other averages for the historic '72 season:
14.8 Points Per Game (on less than 10 attempts a game, 9.3)
64.9% from the field led the league
19.2 Rebounds Per Game or 1,572 total rebounds (more than Rodman ever grabbed in a single season)
4.0 Assists Per Game
None of the big men above shot better or rebounded more than "Dippy" as an "old man".
Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:44 AM
Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:54 AM
Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:50 AM
Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:57 AM
from WILT: Just like any other 7-foot black millionaire who lives next door
"So it was No. 1 North Carolina, 31-0, against No. 2 Kansas, 24-2, for the 1957 NCAA championship. McGuire, a shrewd strategist and psychologist, had his smallest player, 5 foot 11 Tommy Kearns, jump center against me for the opening tipoff. Tommy and I have snice become such good friends that we always try to have dinner together at least once anytime I'm in New York, but we didn't know each other at all then, and a lot of people said McGuire made the surprise move to confuse me and throw me and my teammates off stride, wondering what the hell he was up to. But that was only part of it. Coach McGuire knew he didn't have anyone who could outjump me, so why waste a tall guy in the jump? Why not stick a little guy in there, and have all your tall guys outside the center circle where they could grab the tip when I hit it? We got the tip, but North Carolina immediately put their 6-9 center Joe Quigg in front of me and damn near everyone else on their team behind me and alongside me. Coach McGuire, who later coached me on the Warriors, said he told his team, "We're playing Wilt, not Kansas; just stop him and don't worry about those other guys on his team; they're not all that good."
I didn't get many shots off against that kind of defense, and I did'nt hit my field goal until above five minutes into the game. By that time, North Carolina was ahead, 9-2. They hit their first nine shots, and jumped ahead 19-7 before we knew what hit us. It seemed like everything they threw up there went in. They didn't miss a shot for the first ten minutes of the game!
My teammates, meanwhile, coudn't put a pea in the ocean. With North Caroilna surrounding me, they were all wide open, but they just couldn't buy a basket. At halftime, North Carolina was hitting 64.5 percent from the field, and we were hitting 27.3 percent.
North Carolina stalled in the second half, but we came back and actually went ahead, 40-37, with about ten minutes left in the game. Then we stalled. With 1:43 left, we were ahead 46-43-and North Carolina's big star, Lennie Rosenbluth, commited his fifth foul. It looked like we had the championship in the bag. This was in Kansas City, and I remember looking up in the stands at some friends and thinking how groovy it was going to be to celebrate with them later. I mean, one of our best free-throwers, Gene Elstun, was at the line, and if he made it, we'd be ahead by four points; even if they scored again, we'd get the ball back with a two-point lead and less than a minute to go. I was sure we could stall the game out.
Well, Elstun misses the free throw, and the ball bounces damn near all the way to midcourt where they have a guy standing. They get a layup, and a few seconds later one of our other guys blows an in-bounds play and they get a free throw, and the game goes into overtime.
The first overtime is scoreless. We each get a basket in the second overtime. Now it's 48-all, and we're going into triple overtime.
We go ahead, 53-52, with just a few seconds left when their center hist a jump shot from the corner to put them ahead, 54-53. We call time, and Coach Harp gives us the obvious play: "Pass it in high to Wilt right under the basket, and let him dunk it."
Good idea-except that the guy who takes the ball out, Ron Loneski, hands while I'm standing there under the basket, completely helpless, and we lose the national championship.
I've always been more bitter about that loss than almost any other single game in my whole college and professional career. I guess it's because that's the game that started the whole "Wilt's a loser" thing that's been thrown at me for more than (56) years now.
For most of those years, people have been writing that Kansas was the preseason favorite to win everything my sophomore year-and my junior year, as well-and taht we, I, blew it both times. That just isn't true. But people only remember what Phog Allen said when I enrolled at Kansas. He told everyone:
'Wilt Chamberlain's the greatest basketball player I ever saw. With him, we'll never lose a game; we could win the national championship with Wilt, two sorority girls and two Phi Beta Kappas.'
That was ridiculous, of course, but it gave the public an image of me that has endured to this day-the image of Wilt Chamberlain as Superman, a guy who should never lose. So when my team does lose, it must be my fault right? I'm not performing up to expectations. Or I'm choking. Or I'm blowing free throws. Or I'm letting Bill Russell psyche me out. Or I'm being selfish. You certainly can't blame my teammates. After all, Phog Allen said I didn't really need teammates.
Anyway, the myth is that Kansas was supposed to win the national championship that year, and I lost it for us. Never mind that I got 23 points against North Carolina-high for that game. Never mind that I was named most valuable player in the tournament. Never mind that I had three or four men guarding me all night. Never mind that the rest of the team couldn't hit when they were left wide open. Never mind that Ron Loneski threw that pass away in the third overtime. Never mind that North Carolina-No.1, undefeated, with a great coach and great players-was actually favored going into the championship game. The people who were there know what happened, but by the time I'd been a pro a few years, and we'd lost to Boston a few times, everyone was pointing back to that North Carolina game as proof that I was a loser.
Here are more pics of Big Wiltie's experience as a Kansas Jayhawk in 1950's America.
Posted 29 March 2013 - 11:55 AM
Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:42 AM
didn't he claim to have banged over 10,000 women?!!! that's a stat that won't be beat either!
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