Wilt Chamberlain Quick Info; Height: 7 ft 1 in: Weight: 125-136 kg: Date of Birth: August 21, 1936: Zodiac Sign: Leo: Eye Color: Dark Brown On October 12, 1999, Chamberlain died in Bel-Air, California, at the age of 63. [64] But as Cherry remarked, not only Chamberlain, but in particular Hannum deserved much credit because he had basically had taken the bad 31–49 squad of last year plus Thurmond and made it into an NBA Finalist. Collection of Wilt Chamberlain speed stories, Track and 40 times. [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. Seven foot? [86] Prior to Game 5, the Celtics seemed dead: no NBA team had overcome a 3–1 series deficit before. That's the reason why I was single. Owing to his strong start, he still managed to put up a season average 27.3 points, 18.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. [71], In the 1965–66 NBA season the Sixers experienced tragedy when Ike Richman, the Sixers' co-owner as well as Chamberlain's confidant and lawyer, died of a coronary. In his first NBA game, against the New York Knicks, the rookie center scored 43 points and grabbed 28 rebounds. Although he suffered a long string of NBA Finals losses during his career,[5] Chamberlain had a successful career, winning two NBA championships, earning four regular-season Most Valuable Player awards, the Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, and was selected to 13 All-Star Games and ten All-NBA First and Second teams. In the 1967–68 NBA season, matters began to turn sour between Chamberlain and the Sixers' sole surviving owner, Irv Kosloff. [114] After the season, Chamberlain retired from professional basketball. [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. [35], On October 24, 1959, Chamberlain finally made his NBA debut, starting for the Philadelphia Warriors. 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. There was also a great deal of bulk on his tall frame. In his second year with the Lakers, under new coach Joe Mullaney, Chamberlain began the season strongly, averaging 32.2 points per game and 20.6 rebounds per game over the first nine games of the season. [86] In Game 2, Philadelphia evened the series with a 115–106 victory, and won Games 3 and 4, with Chamberlain suspiciously often played by Celtics backup center Wayne Embry, causing the press to speculate Russell was worn down. [52] In 2002, writer Wayne Lynch wrote a book about this remarkable Sixers season, Season of the 76ers, centering on Chamberlain. He eventually reached his full height of a staggering 7'1" tall. [76] Fellow forward Billy Cunningham observed that Hannum "never backed down" and "showed who was the boss". [183], More hostile was Chamberlain's relationship with fellow center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, eleven years his junior. [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. West became the only player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP despite being on the losing team. Prior to the start of a game at Moscow's Lenin Central Stadium, they were greeted by General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev. [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. 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. 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. [52] However, Jack Kent Cooke was pleased, because since acquiring Chamberlain, ticket sales went up by 11%. [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. Chamberlain stood at a towering 7’1″. Wilt Chamberlain Net Worth $10 Million Chamberlain attended Overbrook High School where he became a successful player for the school basketball team the Overbrook Panthers. [31] Having lost the enjoyment from NCAA basketball and wanting to earn money, he left college and sold the story named "Why I Am Leaving College" to Look magazine for $10,000, a large sum when NBA players earned $9,000 in a whole season. 's western division title series with Milwaukee, he (Chamberlain) decisively outplayed basketball's newest giant superstar, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, eleven years his junior. [63] Backed up by valuable rookie Thurmond, Chamberlain had another good season with 36.9 ppg and 22.3 rpg,[52] and the Warriors went all the way to the NBA Finals. He once skipped a game to sign autographs for the book. With a staggering height of 7'1", Wilt became a towering figure in basketball, during and after his time. [77] Jerry West called him a "complex ... very nice person",[180] and NBA rival Jack McMahon even said: "The best thing that happened to the NBA is that God made Wilt a nice person ... he could have killed us all with his left hand. He was far more comfortable and effective at the foul line than he would later be during his pro career. [24] In his 2004 biography of Chamberlain, Robert Cherry described that Chamberlain wanted a change and therefore did not want to go to or near Philadelphia (also eliminating New York), was not interested in New England, and snubbed the South because of racial segregation; this left the Midwest as Chamberlain's probable choice. 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. Legendary NBA center who was a 13-time All-Star, 4-time MVP, and 2-time NBA Champion. 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. [2] Chamberlain immediately became the NBA's highest paid player, when he signed for $30,000 (equal to about $263,000 today)[note 1] in his rookie contract. [86] The loss meant that Chamberlain was now 1–6 in playoff series against the Celtics. [52] Powered by his defensive presence, the Lakers embarked on an unprecedented 33-game win streak en route to a then-record 69 wins in the regular season. "[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. [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. [91] Playing through his problems, Chamberlain averaged 20.5 points and 21.1 rebounds a game that season. [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. Most importantly, he was not afraid to stand up to the dominant Chamberlain, who was known to "freeze out" (not communicate with) coaches he didn't like. [29], In Chamberlain's junior year of 1957–58, the Jayhawks' matches were even more frustrating for him. "[155] Russell won 11 NBA titles in his career while Chamberlain won two. Russell never considered Chamberlain his rival and disliked the term, instead pointing out that they rarely talked about basketball when they were alone. [29] Teammate Monte Johnson testified to his athleticism: "Wilt ... had unbelievable endurance and speed ... and was never tired. [182] During most of his NBA career, Chamberlain was good friends with Bill Russell. "[171] However, Los Angeles Times columnist David Shaw claimed that during a dinner with Shaw and his wife, Chamberlain was "rude and sexist toward his own date, as he usually was", adding that at one point Chamberlain left the table to get the phone number of an attractive woman at a nearby table.[176]. [18] In his second Overbrook season, he continued his prolific scoring when he tallied a high school record 71 points against Roxborough. "[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. [39] In his third game, Chamberlain recorded 41 points and a then-career high 40 rebounds in a 124-113 win over the visiting Syracuse Nationals. In 1955, Chamberlain entered the University of Kansas. [52] It was, however, the first season in which he failed to reach 20 rebounds per game. In the first game, the Jayhawks played the all-white SMU team, and KU player John Parker later said: "The crowd was brutal. [135] Chamberlain is most remembered for his 100-point game,[136][137] which is widely considered one of basketball's greatest records. Of all his impressive statistics, the 20,000 women number seems the most far-fetched and least verifiable, and the book … 2. Wilt wasn't just a basketball player. In his defense, Warriors coach Frank McGuire said "Wilt has been simply super-human", and pointed out that the Warriors lacked a consistent second scorer, a playmaker, and a second big man to take pressure off Chamberlain. [note 2][166], Furthermore, Chamberlain damaged his reputation in an April 1965 article with Sports Illustrated. "[114] The players were split on Chamberlain, who was seen as competent, but often indifferent and more occupied with promotion of his autobiography Wilt: Just Like Any Other 7-Foot Black Millionaire Who Lives Next Door than with coaching. [94] Instead, the Lakers gave away their 13-point halftime lead and succumbed to the aggressive Knicks defense: L.A. committed 19 second half turnovers, and the two main scorers Chamberlain and West shot the ball only three and two times, respectively, in the entire second half. "[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. [187], American basketball and volleyball player, Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors (1959–1965). Height Wilt Chamberlain. [104] Furthermore, he told Chamberlain to use his rebounding and passing skills to quickly initiate fastbreaks to his teammates. [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. [38], In the 1959–60 NBA season, Chamberlain joined a Warriors squad that was coached by Neil Johnston and included Hall-of-Fame guards Tom Gola and Paul Arizin, plus Ernie Beck and his old rival, Guy Rodgers; remarkably, all five starters were Philadelphians. Wilt Chamberlain Height. In the third overtime, the Tar Heels scored two consecutive baskets, but Chamberlain executed a three-point play, leaving KU trailing 52–51. 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. He is also the only player to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game over the entire course of his NBA career. Rare interview with basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain on the power and problems of being tall. YouTube Chamberlain often criticized Abdul-Jabbar for a perceived lack of scoring, rebounding, and defense. [179] Chamberlain's sister refused to provide DNA evidence for testing, so Levi's claim is not conclusive. It is hard to believe that Wilt, who was 7'1", was conceived by parents who were of average height but that was the case. At the ages of 16 and 17, Chamberlain played several professional games under the pseudonym "George Marcus". By visiting Celeb Heights you agree to its. He was an incredible specimen of height, strength, agility, and leaping ability. [120], Chamberlain played a villainous warrior and counterpart of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film Conan the Destroyer (1984). Despite the Sixers' injury woes, coach Hannum was confident to "take the Celtics in less than seven games": he pointed out the age of the Celtics, who were built around Bill Russell and guard Sam Jones, both 34. [44], In his first NBA season, Chamberlain averaged 37.6 points and 27 rebounds, convincingly breaking the previous regular-season records. Nonetheless, Chamberlain, who scored 23 points and 14 rebounds,[29] was elected the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. 7 feet 1 inch (216 cm) Wilt Chamberlain was a famous American basketball. [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. Wilt could dunk on rims that are 1.2 size the height of what rims are today. Milwaukee closed out the series at home with a 116–98 victory in Game 5. [90] While he was on cordial terms with Jerry West, he often argued with team captain Elgin Baylor; regarding Baylor, he later explained: "We were good friends, but ... [in] black culture ... you never let the other guy one-up you. [3][160] Chamberlain, who reportedly had a 50-inch vertical leap,[161] was physically capable of converting foul shots via a slam dunk without a running start (beginning his movement at the top of the key). [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. Then he was a rebounder and assist man. Many of his nicknames were derived from his stature. [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. [80] In Game 3, Chamberlain grabbed 41 rebounds and helped the Sixers win 115–104. [111] Chamberlain averaged 13.2 points and 18.6 rebounds, still enough to win the rebounding crown for the 11th time in his career. [185] He accompanied Nixon to the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.[186] and considered himself a Republican. [46], In the 1962–63 NBA season, Gottlieb sold the Warriors franchise for $850,000 (equal to about $7.18 million today)[note 1] to a group of businessmen led by Marty Simmons from San Francisco, and the team relocated to become the San Francisco Warriors under a new coach, Bob Feerick. [6] In that season, the center again dominated his opposition by recording 33.5 points and 24.6 rebounds a game, leading the league in both categories. In the 1962 season, he averaged 50.4 points and grabbed 25.7 rebounds per game. Chamberlain demonstrated his growing arsenal of offensive moves, including jump shots, put-backs, tip-ins, and his turnaround jump shot. Having read Wilt Chamberlain's biography, he like many tall people, is very particular about his height, he says he was 7'1 1/16" technically, but 7'1" is good enough. A 1957 photographers flash reveals Wilt Chamberlain's incredible reach from a one-step gather during a regular season NCAA game. For the last play, Thurmond and Barry were assigned to do a pick and roll against Chamberlain and whoever would guard Barry. In retrospect, Gottlieb remarked: "My mistake was not getting a strong-handed coach. Russell apologized privately to him and later publicly. [89] Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke gave Chamberlain an unprecedented contract, paying him $250,000 after taxes (about $1.8 million in real value); in comparison, previous Lakers top earner Jerry West was paid $100,000 before taxes (about $740,000 in real value). [5][77], As a result, Chamberlain was less dominant, taking only 14% of the team's shots (in his 50.4 ppg season, it was 35.3%), but extremely efficient: he averaged a career-low 24.1 points, but he led the league in rebounds (24.2), ended third in assists (7.8), had a record breaking .683 field goal accuracy, and played strong defense. [27] Chamberlain's freshman debut was highly anticipated, and he delivered; the freshman squad was pitted against the varsity, who were favored to win their conference that year. After that I play defense and get the ball off the boards. [94] In Game 6, Chamberlain scored 45 points, grabbed 27 rebounds and almost single-handedly equalized the series in a 135–113 Lakers win, and with Reed out, the Knicks seemed doomed prior to Game 7 in New York. Chamberlain often invited Russell over to Thanksgiving, and at Russell's place, conversation mostly concerned Russell's electric trains. That is totally ridiculous."[33]. Wilt towered a mere three inches over the opposition. 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. At the time he claimed he had only been beaten in the high jump once, by Olympic champion Charles Dumas, and that he had never been beaten in the shot put, including beating Olympic legend Al Oerter. In response, Chamberlain "had everybody put all the pens in the middle of the floor and stepped on them. [147] For his feats, Chamberlain was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, ranked #2 in SLAM Magazine's Top 50 NBA Players of All-Time[148] and #13 in the ESPN list "Top North American athletes of the century"[149] and voted the second best center of All-Time by ESPN behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on March 6, 2007. Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain (August 21 1936–October 12 1999) was an American basketball player. [37] However, in 2015 a man named Aaron Levi came forward claiming to be Chamberlain's son based on non-identifying papers from his adoption and information from his biological mother. He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA); he played for the University of Kansas and also for the Harlem Globetrotters before playing in the NBA. In an interview entitled "My Life in a Bush League", he criticized his fellow players, coaches, and NBA administrators. I try to do them all, best I can, but scoring comes first. Yet the streak led to one strangely dissonant event. [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. The Sixers would post a 55–25 regular season record, and for his strong play, Chamberlain won his second MVP award. [2][5][23] After his last Overbrook season, more than two hundred universities tried to recruit the basketball prodigy. [46] On the other hand, he committed surprisingly few fouls during his NBA career despite his rugged play in the post. [52] The 76ers had the best record in the league for the third straight season. 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. [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. ... Yeah, you know the only thing that was not so nice was that I was this height at 14 years of age. He did not have the patience. 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