[138][139][140] Decades after his record, many NBA teams did not even average 100 points, as fewer field goals per game were being attempted. Chamberlain was also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, where he was the president of his pledge class. After several Tar Heel turnovers, the game was tied at 46 at the end of regulation. 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. [5] Cherry has speculated, however, that this loss was a watershed in Chamberlain's life, because it was the first time that his team lost despite him putting up impressive individual stats. Bill Russell regularly feared being embarrassed by Chamberlain,[34] Walt Frazier called his dominance on the court "comical",[122] and when 6-ft 11-in, 250-pound (in his early years)[168] Hall-of-Fame center Bob Lanier was asked about the most memorable moment of his career, Lanier answered: "When Wilt Chamberlain lifted me up and moved me like a coffee cup so he could get a favorable position. [57] In the 1962 NBA Playoffs, the Warriors met the Boston Celtics again in the Eastern Division Finals, a team which Bob Cousy and Bill Russell called the greatest Celtics team of all time. [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. [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. Enraged and frustrated, the Seattle player ran up to Chamberlain swinging. The following season, 1965-66, Philadelphia posted the best record in the league, at 55-25, but for the second year in a row the 76ers fell to Boston in the Eastern Division Finals. [127][128] In 1999, his condition deteriorated rapidly. The Sixers charged their way to a then-record 68–13 season, including a record 46–4 start. [citation needed]) Chamberlain's outstanding all-around performance helped the Lakers win their first championship in Los Angeles with a decisive 114–100 win. 's western division title series with Milwaukee, he (Chamberlain) decisively outplayed basketball's newest giant superstar, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, eleven years his junior. In that Game 7, both centers were marvelous: Chamberlain scored 30 points and 32 rebounds, and Russell logged 16 points, 27 rebounds and eight assists. Jan 13, 2020 - Explore Rayvon Chapman's board "Big Dipper" on Pinterest. After taking the Eastern Division that season, the Sixers were eliminated in the Conference finals for the third time in four seasons by the Celtics. In Game 6, the Celtics won 99–90, and Chamberlain only scored 8 points; Cherry accuses him of choking, because if "Chamberlain had come up big and put up a normal 30 point scoring night", L.A. would have probably won its first championship. Every time Chamberlain went to bed with a different woman, he put a check in his Day-Timer. He hated the ones that called attention to his height, such as "Goliath" and "Wilt the Stilt". The next season he made a quantum leap in his performance. [6] By the time Chamberlain was 21 (even before he turned professional), he had already been featured in Time, Life, Look, and Newsweek magazines. #1 Wilt Chamberlain (48” Inches) Wilt Chamberlain, “The Big Dipper,” was 7’1 with a vertical of 48 inches, Wilt has a career average of 22.9 rebounds per game. The Big Dipper led the NBA every year he was associated with the Warriors' franchise. But when Greer attempted to inbound the ball, John Havlicek stole it to preserve the Celtics' lead. [167] Chamberlain later commented that he could see in hindsight how the interview could have been instrumental in hurting his public image. Chamberlain made his debut for the Jayhawks’ varsity squad in a game against Northwestern on Dec. 3, 1956. In his first NBA game, against the New York Knicks, the rookie center scored 43 points and grabbed 28 rebounds. [31] Teammate Bob Billings commented: "It was not fun basketball ... we were just out chasing people throwing the basketball back and forth. [51], Chamberlain surpassed his rookie season statistics as he averaged 38.4 points and 27.2 rebounds per game. NBA.com is part of Warner Media, LLC’s Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network. [9], Chamberlain was born in 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, into a family of nine children, the son of Olivia Ruth Johnson, a domestic worker and homemaker, and William Chamberlain, a welder, custodian, and handyman. 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. [42] On January 25, 1960, Chamberlain recorded a rare feat in the NBA: recording 50 points and 40 rebounds in an NBA game. It’s difficult to imagine now, with the seemingly continuing surge of bigger skilled players, the effect of playing against Chamberlain, who was not only taller and stronger than almost anyone he matched up against but remarkably coordinated as well. Cherry observed that Reed, a prolific midrange shooter, was a bad matchup for Chamberlain: having lost lateral quickness due to his injury, the Lakers center was often too slow to block Reed's preferred high post jump shots. [35], On October 24, 1959, Chamberlain finally made his NBA debut, starting for the Philadelphia Warriors. [110] But in that game, he fell on his right hand, and was said to have "sprained" it; it was actually broken. In his 1991 book A View From Above, Wilt Chamberlain claimed he'd slept with 20,000 women over the course of his career. [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. On October 12, 1999, Chamberlain died in Bel-Air, California, at the age of 63. Chamberlain and his perennial nemesis would grow to become one of the NBA's greatest on-court rivalries of all time. 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. Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as Alcindor would name himself later, would develop an intensely personal antipathy. Only Wes Unseld would duplicate Chamberlain’s feat of winning Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in the same season. Image of Wilt Chamberlain making a dunk during a Los Angeles Lakers vs Milwaukee Bucks game, 1971. [105] While no longer being the main scorer, Chamberlain was named the new captain of the Lakers: after rupturing his Achilles tendon, perennial captain Elgin Baylor retired, leaving a void the center now filled. The Celtics prevented a sweep by winning Game 4 with a 121–117 victory, but in Game 5, the Sixers simply overpowered the Celtics 140–116, which effectively ended Boston's historic run of eight consecutive NBA titles. Back to the house of the Big Dipper and Mr. [52] The 76ers had the best record in the league for the third straight season. "[91] In addition, Cherry observed that Chamberlain was neither a natural leader nor a loyal follower, which made him difficult to fit in. Again, the Lakers charged through the playoffs, and in the 1970 NBA Finals, the Lakers were pitted against the New York Knicks, loaded with future Hall-of-Famers Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley, and Walt Frazier. In his mid-forties, he was able to humble rookie Magic Johnson in practice,[125] and even in the 1980s, he flirted with making a comeback in the NBA. As his lawyer Seymour "Sy" Goldberg put it: "Some people collect stamps, Wilt collected women. Wilt Chamberlain, aka “The Big Dipper” is regarded by many NBA historians and erudites as the most dominant offensive player to ever play. [94], However, the hero of that Game 7 was Willis Reed. [175], Although Chamberlain was shy and insecure as a teenager, he became well known for his womanizing when he was an adult. [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. In that initial confrontation, Chamberlain outscored Russell by 81 points, but the Celtics took the series, four games to two. [41] On November 10, 1959, Chamberlain recorded 39 points and a new career-high 43 rebounds in a 126-125 win over the visiting New York Knicks. I had 40 or 42 points, about 30 rebounds, about 15 blocks. He was far more comfortable and effective at the foul line than he would later be during his pro career. [116][117] Starting in the 1970s, he formed Wilt's Athletic Club, a track and field club in southern California,[118] coached by then UCLA assistant coach Bob Kersee in the early days of his career. For the last play, Thurmond and Barry were assigned to do a pick and roll against Chamberlain and whoever would guard Barry. “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. "[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. Having never fouled out in his career – a feat that he was very proud of – he played aggressive defense despite the risk of fouling out, and blocked two of Lucas' shots in overtime, proving those wrong who said he only played for his own stats; he ended scoring a game-high 27 points. The Big Dipper is shaped like a bowl and a handle. 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. Additionally, he was on the hardwood for an average of 48.53 minutes, playing 3,882 of his team's 3,890 minutes. Chamberlain had a bad relationship with Allen's successor, Dick Harp, fueled by resentment and disappointment: Chamberlain biographer Robert Cherry has doubted whether Chamberlain would have chosen KU if he had known that Allen was going to retire. [129] After undergoing dental surgery in the week before his death, he was in great pain and seemed unable to recover from the stress. He was writing a screenplay about his life. Abdul-Jabbar accused Chamberlain of being a traitor to the black race for his Republican political leanings, support of Richard Nixon, and relationships with white women. [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. "[109], In the 1972 NBA Finals, the Lakers again met the New York Knicks; the Knicks were shorthanded after losing 6'9" Willis Reed to injury, and so, undersized 6'8" Jerry Lucas had the task to defend against the 7'1" Chamberlain. [174] Following his death, in 1999 Chamberlain's estate was valued at $25 million. Wilt Chamberlain once scored 100 points in a single NBA game. At one point he hoped to challenge Muhammad Ali to a world heavyweight fight. (Unseld did it in 1968-69.). [114] After the season, Chamberlain retired from professional basketball. 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. 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. "[183] Still, Chamberlain maintained a level of bitterness, regretted that he should have been "more physical" with Russell in their games and privately continued accusing his rival for "intellectualizing" basketball in a negative way. Chamberlain divided that number in half, to be conservative and to correct for degrees of variation. Spot the Big Dipper. "[34], After the trade Chamberlain found himself on a promising Sixers team that included guards Hal Greer, a future Hall-of-Famer, and talented role players Larry Costello, Chet Walker and Lucious Jackson. Chamberlain stood 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall, and weighed 250 pounds (110 kg) as a rookie[4] before bulking up to 275 and eventually to over 300 pounds (140 kg) with the Lakers. "[155] Russell won 11 NBA titles in his career while Chamberlain won two. Chamberlain, who loved the limelight, seemed to bask in those reports, but he never took up any team on its offer. At the 1965 All-Star break Chamberlain was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, the new name of the relocated Syracuse Nationals. [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). Los Angeles Lakers Wilt Chamberlain: Why the Big Dipper Would Dominate Today's NBA Jesse White Contributor III March 23, 2011 Comments [172] Chamberlain lived alone,[173] relying on a great deal of automated gadgets, with two cats named Zip and Zap and several Great Dane dogs as company. Loaded with several other players who could score, such as future Hall-of-Famers Hal Greer and newcomer Billy Cunningham, Hannum wanted Chamberlain to concentrate more on defense. [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. [187], American basketball and volleyball player, Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors (1959–1965). I think he'll be remembered as a great man. [162] When his dunks practically undermined the difficulty of a foul shot, both the NCAA[163] and the NBA banned his modus operandi. Chamberlain often invited Russell over to Thanksgiving, and at Russell's place, conversation mostly concerned Russell's electric trains. [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. [134] He was also responsible for several rule changes, including widening the lane from 12 to 16 feet, as well as changes to rules regarding inbounding the ball[133] and shooting free throws. In response, Chamberlain "had everybody put all the pens in the middle of the floor and stepped on them. 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. He could actually quote 100 reasons for that but let´s now move to the second tier of this Top 10… For Game 5, Chamberlain's hands were packed into thick pads normally destined for defensive linesmen in American Football; he was offered a painkilling shot, but refused because he feared he would lose his shooting touch if his hands became numb. Around this time, he has been quoted as saying: "There's been a lot of conversation, since people have been trying to get my jersey number retired, that I have some dislike for the University of Kansas. [110] In Game 3, Chamberlain scored 26 points and grabbed 20 rebounds for another Lakers win, and in a fiercely battled Game 4, the Lakers center was playing with five fouls late in the game. [21], In Chamberlain's third and final Overbrook season, he continued his high scoring, logging 74, 78 and 90 points in three consecutive games. [157] Russell and Chamberlain were friends in private life. [95] The Knicks led by 27 at halftime, and despite scoring 21 points, Chamberlain couldn't prevent a third consecutive loss in a Game 7. Sixers coach Alex Hannum once suggested he shoot his famous fadeaway jumper as a free throw, but Chamberlain feared drawing more attention to his one great failing. Chamberlain never fouled out of a regular season or playoff game in his 14-year NBA career. [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. During his prep years, he scored 2,206 points and had individual games in which he scored 90, 74 and 71 points. I hear people today talk about hard fouls. [75] Cherry is highly critical of Chamberlain: while conceding he was the only Sixers player who performed in the series, he pointed out his unprofessional, egotistical behavior as being a bad example for his teammates. "[73] Irv Kosloff, who now owned the Sixers alone after Richman's death, pleaded to him to move to Philadelphia during the season, but he was turned down. He was especially lauded for his good rapport with his fans, often providing tickets and signing autographs. Outwardly, Schayes defended his star center as "excused from practice", but his teammates knew the truth and were much less forgiving. [37] On March 9, 2000, his number 13 was retired by the Globetrotters. In all, he claimed 60 athletes with aspirations of expanding to 100. [67] In the following 1964–65 NBA season, the Warriors got off to a terrible start and ran into financial trouble. 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. Soon after, Chamberlain was traded to the Lakers for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark and Darrall Imhoff. Dominating the game as few players in any sport ever have, Chamberlain seemed capable of scoring and rebounding at will, despite the double- and triple-teams and constant fouling tactics that opposing teams used to try to shut him down. In Game 1, the Sixers beat Boston 127–112, powered by Hal Greer's 39 points and Chamberlain's unofficial quadruple double, with 24 points, 32 rebounds, 13 assists and (unofficially counted) 12 blocks. [154] The comparison between the two is often simplified to a great player (Chamberlain) versus a player who makes his team great (Russell), an individualist against a team player. [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. Cherry remarks that there was a certain tension within the team: Greer was the formerly undisputed leader and was not willing to give up his authority, and Jackson, a talented center, was now forced to play power forward because Chamberlain blocked the center spot; however, as the season progressed, the three began to mesh better. In 1955, Chamberlain announced he would play college ball at the University of Kansas. [68], Statistically, Chamberlain was again outstanding, posting 34.7 ppg and 22.9 rpg overall for the season. He could talk on any subject. The Sixers' center scored 29 points, 36 rebounds and 13 assists and was highly praised by Celtics Russell and K.C. Chamberlain claimed that he intentionally missed free throws so a teammate could get the rebound and score two points instead of one,[145] but later acknowledged that he was a "psycho case" in this matter. Reportedly, Chamberlain also broke Johnny Kerr's toe with a slam dunk.