Descended From A Forgotten Past: Wilt Chamberlain

Descended From A Forgotten Past: Wilt Chamberlain

What if you were told that there was a player who scored 100 points in a single basketball game. Your first reaction would be ‘it’s not possible’. It would seem like a myth to the ballers of this generation let alone a layman.

That was who Wilt Chamberlain was. He came into the league towering at 7 foot 1 and left with records that would players only dream of. Wilt was bigger than life and the things he did on the court would make anyone quiver in front of his dominance.

Wilt came into the league averaging 37.6 ppg and 27 rpg. No player has averaged that many points in their prime let alone as a rookie. It can be argued that the pace of the NBA was different in Wilt’s Era, so players get more shots than now. But during those times there were no Technical fouls and the paint is a hundred fold more lethal than it is now. So it’s still a marvel as to Wilt’s ability to score.

It was said that Wilt had a 50-inch vertical and clocked 4.4 seconds from end to end. He was an absolute beast of an athlete. But the most impressive part about him was his strength. In an interview, Arnold Schwarzeneggar who made a movie with Wilt said, “He came to the gym and he would do a tricep extension — the big guys, the strongest guys would do 120 pounds, let’s say — he would come and do 150, 170 pounds. That’s how strong he was.”

Now you will be wondering, if he was this big and strong then he must have used brute strength to bully players in the paint like Shaq did. That is a common misconception. Wilt would use variety of skills to score the basket. Fadeaways, hook shot, finger roll were a few of his weapons. His skills were in full display when he scored 50.4 ppg in a single season. 50 ppg! It is literally beyond the realms of human possibility.

On the contrary, it is not his offence but his defense that was mind blowing. Former NBA head coach, Larry Brown had this to say on NBA TV, “It was game point; Magic soars a skyhook and Wilt blocks it, Magic calls game [implying Wilt’s block was a goaltend]. And Wilt says, ‘that wasn’t goaltending, that was a clean block.’ and Magic took the ball and said, ‘game over, next.’”

“And Wilt said, ‘hey coach, was it goaltend?’ I said, ‘no, that was a clean block.’ Magic says, ‘what do you think he’s gonna say? they’re his kids.’ And Wilt says ‘alright, look we’re gonna play a game ‘till 12. We’ll do it again. Winners stay and there would be no more shots made at this basket.’ He blocked every shot. 43-years old. He was blocking everything. It was unbelievable.”

Such were the tales of the titan. His name is often not taken as the Greatest of All-Time because of him winning only 2 championships. Yet that should not be a reason to put a knock on the legacy he has left. His untouchable records are a testament of his greatness and let it be known that never ever will there be another Wilt Chamberlain.

“Ladies and gentleman you have witnessed the 2nd greatest performance in NBA history.” That’s the way Soham was introduced to the world of Basketball. He is an ardent fan of the game capturing every moment, whether it be the long and turbulent regular season or the nail-biting playoff series. His perspective as a player provides valuable insight to the game. A follower of Kobe Bryant, he brings his mamba mentality in gathering every piece of information of the NBA.

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