He then multiplied that number by the number of days he had been alive at the time minus 15 years. Reportedly, Chamberlain also broke Johnny Kerr's toe with a slam dunk. [146] In his two championship seasons, Chamberlain led the league in rebounding, while his scoring decreased to 24 and 15 points per game. 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%. [2] In addition, the formerly egotistical Chamberlain began to praise his teammates, lauding hardworking Luke Jackson as the "ultimate power forward", calling Hal Greer a deadly jumpshooter, and point guard Wali Jones an excellent defender and outsider scorer. [114] However, the Lakers sued their former star and successfully prevented him from actually playing, because he still owed them the option year of his contract. "[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. [37] On March 9, 2000, his number 13 was retired by the Globetrotters. There are 4 stars that make up the Big Dipper's bowl (it looks like an irregular square). However, the Sixers foiled it: when Barry ran past Thurmond's pick and drove to the basket, he was picked up by Chet Walker, making it impossible to shoot; Thurmond was covered by Chamberlain, which made it impossible to pass. [68], Statistically, Chamberlain was again outstanding, posting 34.7 ppg and 22.9 rpg overall for the season. Chamberlain dominated his older college players by scoring 42 points (16–35 from the field, 10–12 on free throws), grabbing 29 rebounds and registering four blocks. [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. [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. "[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). In the 1980–81 NBA season, coach Larry Brown recalled that the 45-year-old Chamberlain had received an offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Of the 14 years he played in the NBA, only twice did his teams emerge with the NBA title. [158] The two did not speak for two decades after Russell criticized Chamberlain after Game 7 of the 1969 Finals. It's pretty exhausting to think about it. Every time Chamberlain went to bed with a different woman, he put a check in his Day-Timer. He once skipped a game to sign autographs for the book. It was a small consolation that he was again named an All-American, along with future NBA Hall-of-Famers Elgin Baylor and Oscar Robertson plus old rival Guy Rodgers. He was a supreme athlete for his size, 7'1" and 265 pounds, and still holds the record, among others, for most points in a game with 100, amazing in any era but especially so because there … [71] However, contemporary colleagues were often terrified to play against Chamberlain. Subsequently, owners Milton and Helen Kutsher kept up a lifelong friendship with Wilt, and according to their son Mark, "They were his second set of parents. [47] But in Game 6, Heinsohn got the last laugh, scoring the decisive basket with a last-second tip-in. In 1962, Chamberlain moved with the franchise to San Francisco, and he led the league in scoring in both 1962-63 and 1963-64. In a closely contested Game 7, Chamberlain tied the game at 107 with 16 seconds to go, but Celtics shooting guard Sam Jones hit a clutch shot with two seconds left to win the series for Boston. In Game 2, the Bucks won again despite the Lakers center scoring 26 points, four more than his Milwaukee counterpart. He preferred "The Big Dipper", which was inspired by his friends who saw him dip his head as he walked through doorways. Sixers forward Chet Walker testified that on several occasions, players had to pull Chamberlain and Hannum apart to prevent a fistfight. "[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. [62], In the 1963–64 NBA season, Chamberlain got yet another new coach, Alex Hannum, and was joined by a promising rookie center, Nate Thurmond, who eventually entered the Hall of Fame. Winning the regular season with 66 wins, the Bucks were seen as favourites against the depleted Lakers; still, many pundits were looking forward to the matchup between the 34-year-old Chamberlain and the 24-year-old Alcindor. [74] In Game 5 itself, Chamberlain was superb, scoring 46 points and grabbing 34 rebounds, but the Celtics won the game 120–112 and the series. But midway through the following season, he was sent back home to Philadelphia. He was a Goliath", said Sy Goldberg, Chamberlain's longtime attorney. [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. [183] But as the championship count became increasingly lopsided, the relationship got strained, and turned hostile after Russell accused Chamberlain of "copping out" in the notorious Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals. 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. The series saw the first postseason confrontation between Chamberlain and defensive standout Bill Russell, a matchup that would grow into the greatest individual rivalry in the NBA and possibly any sport. What more needs to be said about the league's all-time leading rebounder? In three varsity seasons at Philadelphia’s Overbrook High, starting in 1952-53, Chamberlain led the team to records of 19-2, 19-0, and 18-1. [104] Furthermore, he told Chamberlain to use his rebounding and passing skills to quickly initiate fastbreaks to his teammates. “But it’s nothing,” Chamberlain said in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1991, “when you consider that the team we were playing against was trying to freeze the ball.”. [5] With their fixation on Chamberlain, the Jayhawks shot only 27% from the field, as opposed to 64% of the Tar Heels, and trailed 22–29 at halftime. [52] In one particular game, Chamberlain blocked a dunk attempt by Gus Johnson so hard that he dislocated Johnson's shoulder. [22] The Panthers won the Public League a third time, beating West Philadelphia 78–60, and in the city championship game, they met West Catholic once again. Russell apologized privately to him and later publicly. [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. [34] However, at that time, the NBA did not accept players until after their college graduating class had been completed. [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. [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. “I stopped shooting — coaches asked me to do that, and I did. [162] When his dunks practically undermined the difficulty of a foul shot, both the NCAA[163] and the NBA banned his modus operandi. On purpose. Chamberlain was one of the few players of his day who had the sheer strength to block a dunk. The record books are indeed heavy with Chamberlain’s accomplishments. [40] In his fourth game, Philadelphia met the reigning champions, the Boston Celtics of Hall-of-Fame coach Red Auerbach, whose offer he had snubbed several years before, and Bill Russell, who was now lauded as one of the best defensive pivots in the game. [5][45] Chamberlain capped off his rookie season by winning the 1960 NBA All-Star Game MVP award with a 23-point, 25-rebound performance for the East. "[108] Chamberlain performed so well in the series that Time magazine stated, "In the N.B.A. "[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. [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 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. According to Rod Roddewig, a contemporary of Wilt's, Chamberlain documented his love life using a Day-Timer. "[91] Ironically, Van Breda Kolff came to Chamberlain's defense, insisting the often-maligned Lakers center hardly was able to move in the end. [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. “I look back and know that my last seven years in the league versus my first seven years were a joke in terms of scoring,” he told the Philadelphia Daily News. [94] Game 3 saw Jerry West famously hit a 60-foot shot at the buzzer to tie the game at 102; however, the Knicks took the game 111–108. Wilt “The Big Dipper” Chamberlain was a tremendous athlete whose strength, speed, skill, and stamina made him the greatest offensive player to ever play the game of basketball. [2][6] He was subsequently enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, elected into the NBA's 35th Anniversary Team of 1980, and in 1996 he was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Here's something you should know: he owns the NBA record books. [3][130] His agent Sy Goldberg stated Chamberlain died of congestive heart failure. I think he'll be remembered as a great man. See more ideas about nba legends, basketball legends, basketball players. Meschery had the ball in the line and put up four fakes before attempting his shot. [67] In the following 1964–65 NBA season, the Warriors got off to a terrible start and ran into financial trouble. After the third swing, Chamberlain said, “That’s enough,” and Meschery stopped. The Lakers won 60 games in the regular season and reached the 1973 NBA Finals against the New York Knicks. Nonetheless, Chamberlain, who scored 23 points and 14 rebounds,[29] was elected the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. [103], In the 1971–72 NBA season, the Lakers hired former Celtics star guard Bill Sharman as head coach. Regardless of where you put The Big Dipper in the NBA pantheon, the fact of the matter is that he was a Hall of Famer, a four-time league MVP and … The veteran big man, who reached the NBA Finals with the Miami Heat before losing to the Lakers, ... the star constellation home to the Big Dipper — one of Chamberlain’s many nicknames. [35], On October 24, 1959, Chamberlain finally made his NBA debut, starting for the Philadelphia Warriors. His fouls per 36 minutes (a stat used to compare players that average vastly different minutes) was a remarkable 1.6 per game. In an interview entitled "My Life in a Bush League", he criticized his fellow players, coaches, and NBA administrators. [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. Chamberlain demonstrated his growing arsenal of offensive moves, including jump shots, put-backs, tip-ins, and his turnaround jump shot. [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. 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. "[29] KU won 73–65 in overtime, after which police had to escort the Jayhawks out. After attending the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr., Chamberlain called out to the angry rioters who were setting fires all over the country, stating Dr. King would not have approved. In the division semifinals, the Sixers ousted Cincinnati. 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. Los Angeles Lakers Wilt Chamberlain: Why the Big Dipper Would Dominate Today's NBA Jesse White Contributor III March 23, 2011 Comments When Chamberlain died in 1999, Chamberlain's nephew stated that Russell was the second person he was ordered to break the news to. After that season, coach Alex Hannum wanted to be closer to his family on the West Coast; he left the Sixers to coach the Oakland Oaks in the newly founded American Basketball Association. He was tired of being double- and triple-teamed, and of teams coming down on him with hard fouls. 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. [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. At the 1965 All-Star break Chamberlain was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, the new name of the relocated Syracuse Nationals. [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. “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. Wilt the Stilt, The Big Dipper, and Chairman of the Boards Which NBA player went by the nickname Big O? He retired as the all-time leader in career points with 31,419, which was later surpassed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Michael Jordan. “The Big Dipper”: Wilt Chamberlain One of the most dominant centers in NBA history, Chamberlain used his immense size (7-foot-1, 275 pounds) to torture opposing defenders. With three minutes to go the Lakers trailed 103–102. [37] Despite his foul line woes, Chamberlain set the NBA record (28) for free throws made in a regular season game in his 1962 100-point game. 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. [citation needed]) Chamberlain's outstanding all-around performance helped the Lakers win their first championship in Los Angeles with a decisive 114–100 win. Wilt Chamberlain once scored 100 points in a single NBA game. 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. [74], In the 1966 NBA Playoffs, the Sixers again met the Celtics, and for the first time had home-court advantage. "[181] Celtics contemporary Bob Cousy even assumed that if Chamberlain had been less fixated on being popular, he would have been meaner and able to win more titles. In 1955, the NBA created a special “territorial” draft rule that allowed a team to claim a local college player in exchange for giving up its first-round pick. This is a list of nicknames in the sport of basketball. At the ages of 16 and 17, Chamberlain played several professional games under the pseudonym "George Marcus". Chamberlain came away the victor only once. In response, Chamberlain "had everybody put all the pens in the middle of the floor and stepped on them. [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. [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 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. However, Chamberlain said he was "too tired" to attend, and even refused Schayes' plea to at least show up and shoot a few foul shots with the team. Missing from his time with the franchise is a ring. 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. [129] After undergoing dental surgery in the week before his death, he was in great pain and seemed unable to recover from the stress. After several Tar Heel turnovers, the game was tied at 46 at the end of regulation. He was born in 1936 in Philadelphia and grew up to be 7-1 and 275 pounds. [114] After the season, Chamberlain retired from professional basketball. Chamberlain would help lead the Lakers past Abdul-Jabbar and the Bucks in six games. The Sixers won the first two games, with Chamberlain and Greer taking credit for respectively defensive dominance and clutch shooting, but San Francisco won two of the next three games, so Philadelphia was up 3–2 prior to Game 6. In 1967-68, he was also chosen to the All-NBA First Team for the seventh and final time and selected league MVP for the fourth and final 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. [74], Prior to the 1966–67 NBA season, the friendly but unassertive Schayes was replaced by a familiar face, the crafty but firm Alex Hannum. In the NBA Galaxy, Big Dipper Lit Up the Sky By Tony Kornheiser Washington Post Columnist Wednesday, October 13, 1999; Page D1 . The 1972–73 NBA season was to be Chamberlain's last, although he didn't know this at the time. By Kevin Glew He dominated backboards and scoresheets and his popularity transcended his sport. Coach Schayes called timeout, and decided to run the last play over Hal Greer rather than Chamberlain, because he feared the Celtics would intentionally foul him because he was a poor foul shooter. Chamberlain didn’t think so. While Kobe Bryant may have brought to life the idea of someone scoring 100 points in a game again, the thought of a rookie averaging 37.6 points or any player averaging more … When Chamberlain was 50, the New Jersey Nets had the same idea, but were declined. [29] In the semi-finals, Chamberlain's Jayhawks handily defeated the two-time defending national champion San Francisco, 80–56, with Wilt scoring 32 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and having at least seven blocked shots. He was writing a screenplay about his life. [165] Frank Deford of ESPN said that Chamberlain was caught in a no-win situation: "If you win, everybody says, 'Well, look at him, he's that big.' [55], His extraordinary feats in the 1962 season were later subject of the book Wilt, 1962 by Gary M. Pomerantz (2005), who used Chamberlain as a metaphor for the uprising of Black America. The 10-year anniversary of 'The Decision' and the retirement of a YouTube pioneer makes for an opportune time to revisit the NBA's biggest game changers. Ex-Lakers teammate Jerry West remembered him as an utterly dominant yet friendly and humorous player, and fellow Hall-of-Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Johnny Kerr, Phil Jackson and Wes Unseld called Chamberlain one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. Wilt is easy to hate [...] people came to see him lose. [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. In the first game, the Jayhawks played the all-white SMU team, and KU player John Parker later said: "The crowd was brutal.

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