Wilt Chamberlain

wilt1August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999

Whether referred to as “Wilt the Stilt” (a name he hated) or “The Big Dipper” (a name he liked) or any of the numerous other nicknames he had, Wilton Norman Chamberlain could be called one, simple word: “Dominant.”

The 7′ 1″ basketball superstar literally changed the way the game of basketball was played. Because of Wilt, offensive goaltending became a no-no. Because of Wilt, dunking a free throw from a standing position (yes, he could do that) became a no-no. Because of Wilt, inbounding the ball OVER the backboard to a dunking big man became a no-no. He forced rule changes so that others could keep him in check. In his collegiate debut for the Kansas Jayhawks, Chamberlain scored 52 points and grabbed 31 rebounds. And that was just the beginning. During his career in the NBA, he averaged 30 points and 23 rebounds per game. Some seasons, he averaged 40 and 50 points. No one else has done that. Ever. He is the only player in NBA history to score 100 points in a single game (1962 for the Philadelphia Warriors.) Wilt won two NBA Championships, earned four MVP awards and held countless single-season performance records. He played for the Warriors, his hometown Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers. He also played for the Harlem Globetrotters for a bit. Off the court, he was a shrewd business man and dabbled in acting. In his 1991 autobiography, he claimed to have slept with 20,000 women in his life. He never married, obvs.

Despite an entire life of being very fit – rumors of an NBA comeback well into his 40’s were persistent – Wilt died of congestive heart failure in his Bel-Air mansion at the age of 63. Many of his records stand to this day.




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