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Wilt Chamberlain once accidentally punched his teammate: "The Stilt’s punches are even less accurate than his free-throw shooting"

During the 1960 Playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Wilt Chamberlain lost his cool and took a swing at an opposing player. He ended up hitting his teammate instead.
Wilt Chamberlain once punched his temmate during a game

Wilt Chamberlain with the Philadelphia Warriors

There was no way of stopping Wilt Chamberlain. The only guy who came close was Bill Russell, but even he never shut him down completely -- Wilt was always going to get his points. 

Everyone else's safest bet was to go the fouling route and force Wilt to beat them from the free-throw line. And even with Russell on the team, that was the Celtics' go-to plan during their 1960 Playoffs matchup against the regular season MVP and Rookie of The Year. 

Chamberlain still scored in bunches -- he averaged 30.5 points throughout the series -- but Boston made it hard on him, so much so that at one point, Wilt lost his cool. 

"Bring your lunch"

After Chamberlain's 42-point performance in Game 1 -- the Celtics won 111-105 -- Red Auerbach told Boston's power forward Tommy Heinsohn to "stand in Chamberlain’s way whenever the Warriors scored, thereby preventing Chamberlain from getting back to defend his basket while Russell rushed down to take an open shot."

The first time Heinsohn did it, Wilt was astonished -- very few dared to put their bodies in front of him; no one ever did it off the ball. But Tommy did it again and again. And every time he would do it, Chamberlain was growing frustrated. At one point, he couldn't take it anymore. 

“You do that again and I’ll knock you on your ass,” Chamberlain warned. "Bring your lunch,” Heinsohn replied.

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Wilt decked his own teammate

The two continued going at each other under the basket -- the area sometimes referred to as “the butcher shop." Wilt taught he was getting fouled, but nothing was called. Then, after one of their many exchanges, the Warriors big man lost his temper and shoved Heinsohn. 

"Chamberlin struck out with his fists for the first time in his career, swinging a roundhouse right at Heinsohn, but missing Heinsohn’s chin by inches and landing the punch squarely on the head of his own teammate Tom Gola."

"Believe it or not, the Stilt’s punches are even less accurate than his free-throw shooting,” Celtics radio announcer Johnny Most told his listeners. “He just decked his own teammate!”

By halftime, Wilt's hand was so swollen that he only scored nine points throughout the rest of the game -- the Warriors won 115-110. The next game was even worse; injured Chamberlain only dropped 12 points in a 120-90 blowout loss in Boston. 

The Celtics also took Game 4, before Wilt pulled himself together and delivered an all-time great postseason performance. With his hand still injured, he put up 50 points and 35 rebounds to lead the Warriors to a 128-107 victory. 

The win put the series at 3-2 and made the Warriors feel they could turn it around. But their hope was short-lived, and the Celtics closed out the Eastern Division Finals with a 119-117 Game 6 victory. 

They also showed everyone else the best way to deal with Wilt. Not contain him, though. 30.5 points and 27.5 rebounds per game, playing half of the series with an injured wrist, prove that was never a possibility


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