When talking about some of the biggest names of the NBA in the 60s and 70s, you have to mention the likes of Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West. The two stars even teamed towards the end of their careers and won a championship, but there was still a rumor floating that the two didn't really get along. But in a recent interview, West dismantled those claims.
Wilt was not who people perceived him to be
When talking about Wilt Chamberlain and his legacy, the first thing that comes up is the astronomical numbers on and off the court. Wilt was a beast, and his character and demeanor followed, as Chamberlain was never shy on confidence. That also sometimes gave him a reputation of being a tough guy to play with and a bit of a diva who wasn't interested in winning basketball.
But when Wilt joined the Lakers with Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, Wilt finally had some Hall-of-Fame teammates and a system he had to respect, and many wondered if the stars would clash. But West welcomed him with open arms and built a good relationship despite the rumors of the two not getting along.
West would explain in a recent interview what kind of person Wilt actually was:
"He(Wilt) was really unique. A lot of people thought I didn't get along with him, which is not true. During our last years together, he and I would have dinner together before or after a game...I got to know him differently. He was very misunderstood. I don't think people ever really knew him. He would be really friendly. I really enjoyed being around him. It's too bad I didn't meet him earlier. He and I could have been friends instead of teammates."
Jerry West, The Universe Galaxy NBA
It's obvious that West had great respect for his Wilt and that his off-court personality was much friendlier than expected. That was definitely a huge boost in their 1972 championship run that finally gave Jerry West his first championship after 8 Finals losses and Wilt his second ring.
The two would spend five years together in Los Angeles, and despite being at the very ends of their careers, older and riddled with injuries, they were still considered the first super-team the NBA has ever seen.