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Wilt Chamberlain: Larger than life?


A lot has been said about Wilt Chamberlains’ career and his ability to dominate the record books in the NBA. Every basketball fanatic knows about the accomplishments he made during his career, when he scored 100 points in a single game or when he averaged 50 points per game for the entire season. Even to this day, Wilt The Stilt holds numerous records that will never be broken. Alongside his success on the basketball hardwood, came one outside of everything related to basketball. We all heard the stories about the 20000 women he supposedly slept with, however, these are not the topics of this article.

Little is known about Wilt’s intelligence and outspokenness about different subjects. We're talking about a man who wrote 3 different books in his lifetime and had opinions on various topics. During his retirement, he was often asked how would he fit in the game of basketball during the ’80s & ’90s which are considered to be the "Golden Eras" of basketball even to this day. We’re bringing some of the best quotes about players from that era but also thoughts on how he would fit in a game that was much more different than what he was used to.

Wilt when asked if he is better than MJ:

It’s different eras. I see MJ as someone who should get 10% of every guy's contract. He’s made basketball exciting and should get all the respect, especially from younger players. MJ deserves all the accolades. The man has done more for basketball than any other individual.

Wilt’s response to a question if he would choose Magic or John Stockton when starting a franchise.

"You won’t believe this but I love John Stockton. I think he is the most complete player in his position”. But Magic Johnson is still my favorite players because he is just bigger."

When asked how he would fit against centers in the ’90s:

"I’m happy I have a big mouth. I would love to play against today’s centers. Are you kidding me, it would be a joke. "

Wilt on playing MJ 1 on 1:

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"I run a 100 years dash in less than 11 seconds. I have a 52 inch vertical and bench press almost 600 pounds. Michael would probably be going in the basketball with the ball. And I have to say we all exaggerate a bit, but in this case, I’m going the other way."

Wilt’s comments on playing in the ’90s.

"There is no doubt in my mind I would dominate in today’s game. I think the game has evolved more to a showcase of athletes rather than the good playing of the game. With new rules, which all plan to help the offense, now that I get the ball inside I don’t have 2 or 3 people and Russ all at me at the same time. I’m all by myself. I would love it. It would be 50 or 60 points a game no doubt.

Wilt vs Shaq:

We are both terrible FT shooters. Other than that, it’s like comparing me to Clark Gable. In this case, I’m Clark Gable. He plays a totally different type of basketball. He uses his physicality and he’s a big, strong young man, and that works well in today's game. If he faced me and other guys from my time that wouldn’t work well for him. He could be thought to play much better.

Wilt on Kareem:

"Kareem is the greatest offensive force I have ever seen. He only had a problem with me being an obstacle for his true immortality. We were both centers and rivals so he spoke about me a couple of times that were not too complimentary.

Wilt on Larry Bird:

"He is so talented. I think he epitomizes how a small forward should play the game. He was technically correct and players today don’t play the game the right way."

Wilt also shared a funny story about him going to therapy for about a month, because of his FT situation — “After a whole month of therapy, the psychiatrist was a better FT shooter than I was.”

It would be pretty amazing to see Wilt go against some of the players he often spoke about. Who knows, maybe he would score 50 points a game in today’s NBA and break the record books as he once did. Unfortunately, those are things we’ll never find out, but the legacy he left behind is unquestionable and admiring every fan of the game.

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