WILT IN THE NFL “He was faster than Rice and could catch a football like nobody.”

WILT IN THE NFL “He was faster than Rice and could catch a football like nobody.”

Wilt Chamberlain loved the mythology of Wilt Chamberlain. All the incredible stories that seem too good to be true. Heck, he wrote most of them in his autobiography.  According to it, Wilt was a master chef, a championship level pool player, an expert behind the wheel of a racecar, and probably would have been a high priced attorney if he ever had time for law school. Let’s not forget the 20.000 number as well. 

You may be skeptical about stories someone tells about themselves, but most of those had witnessed – for instance, famed football coach Hank Stram. When asked if Jerry Rice was the best wide receiver ever, coach Stram had someone else in mind. 

“Second best… I had a guy come to camp one year and ran a 4.4 sec 40yrd dash in dress shoes. He was faster than Rice and had huge hands that could catch a football like nobody I ever saw. He was the greatest leaper I ever saw and he could go up and get a pass that nobody could defend.”

Hank Stram, “They’re Playing My Game”

When asked what was unguardable about this player, Stram had a simple answer. He was over 7 feet tall. Stram wanted to sign the guy, but he wasn’t interested in playing wide receiver. 

“Why didn’t you sign him?”
“He wanted to play QB.”
“What was his name?”
“His name was Wilt Chamberlain”

Hank Stram, “They’re Playing My Game”

This wasn’t just a media stunt. Stram wanted to sign Wilt and offered him to play for the Chiefs. Stram was very impressed when Chamberlain was able to beat running-back Curtis McClinton in a short sprint. Wilt never considered Stram’s offer to join the Chiefs, as pro-football receivers were not paid anything close to what Wilt was making in the NBA. Chamberlain was the first player to break $200.000 per year. The only position he would seriously consider would be QB. 

We consider LeBron to be the greatest athlete that ever played in the NBA. Next time you get into a discussion about that, give Wilt Chamberlain a closer look. He might not have had cryo chambers and versa climbers, and still dominated in a way no one ever did.