The late great Wilt Chamberlain was known for his success with women and had a reputation of being quite a lady's man back in the day. Being an NBA legend definitely makes things easier in that department, but according to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, women genuinely liked Wilt, and he never understood how to obtain the same type of style Wilt had.
Wilt knew how to deal with women
Apart from being one of the best scorers and most dominant players in NBA history, another urban myth is associated with Wilt Chamberlain. His success off the court being an ultimate playboy and a womanizer was a reputation that followed him throughout his entire life. Wilt said he slept with 20,000 women in his life, and even though that seems hard to believe and is probably an excessive number, there is no question that number is pretty high nevertheless.
In his book "Becoming Kareem", another NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabar details where Wilt's success with women comes from and why he was never able to be so easygoing in approaching girls. According to Kareem, Wilt had a great personality and actual game in that aspect as well, which numerous women recognized and appreciated.
"One of his lessons that never quite took hold was how to deal with girls. Every time I visited Wilt, there was another beautiful woman. Not only were they gorgeous, but they were friendly, funny, and kind. It would have been easy to dismiss Wilt's success with women as merely the result of his wealth and celebrity, but the women I met seemed to genuinely enjoy his company."
Women genuinely liked Wilt
Wilt had a big personality and infectious energy that made people want to spend time with him, which Kareem admired very much. As someone he saw as an idol, Kareem naturally wanted to copy Wilt as much as possible but soon accepted he doesn't have the same swagger. His personality was much different than Wilt's since he was shy and somewhat an introvert that liked to keep to himself.
"He was outgoing and generous, loved to laugh, always knew what to say.… Basically, he was the exact opposite of me. I tried to copy Wilt's style, to be suave and sophisticated, but I didn't have it in me. I was shy and quiet, and I avoided the spotlight. I was respectful with girls, polite, nonaggressive to the point of never making any move."
It's great to hear someone like Kareem giving that type of respect to someone many considered his rival more than a mentor, which Wilt definitely was to Kareem before he came to the NBA. Wilt was indeed a unique personality that had an exciting life that wasn't solely related to basketball but other aspects of life. Whether that myth of 20,000 women is true or not, Kareem's story proves there was genuine interest from all those women towards Wilt, and he fully embraced the role of a playboy and lived it until he died in 1999.