Wilt The Stilt

“If you have ability in a certain area, why not capitalize on it and improve it and use it.”
Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain was the most prolific scorer in NBA history. Chamberlain averaged better than 50 points per game during the 1961-62 season. In his 14 year NBA career, Wilt averaged 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Chamberlain led the NBA in scoring 11 times and he also led the League in rebounding 11 times.

Wilt Chamberlain was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player four times and was named to the All NBA First Team on seven occasions. On March 2, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain set an NBA record by scoring 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks.

Wilt Chamberlain was very concerned about statistics and he compiled the greatest individual statistics in NBA history. During the 1966-67 season, Wilt and the Philadelphia 76ers ended the Boston Celtics run of eight consecutive Championships.

While I admire Wilt because of how talented a player he was, what happened in the three years after the 76ers won the Championship, tarnished his legacy.

In 1968 and 1969 against the Boston Celtics and in 1970 against the New York Knicks, Chamberlain did not play well in the 7th game of a playoff series. In 1968 it was the Eastern Conference finals and in 1969 and 1970, it was in the NBA Championship Series.

Wilt and the Los Angeles Lakers did win the NBA Championship during the 1971-72 season.

The Wilt Chamberlain-Bill Russell rivalry was as great as anything I ever have seen in sports. Chamberlain was much taller and much stronger than Russell.

Wilt tried to help his team win by scoring as many points as he possibly could score. Wilt said, “It was a challenge to my teammates to help me.’

Bill Russell, on the other hand, did not care how many points he scored. He tried to help his teammates win by making everyone around him better. He blocked shots with great timing and quite frequently was able to deflect the ball to a teammate.

The last four years that Bill Russell played in the NBA, Wilt Chamberlain’s teams all had better regular season records. Russell’s teams won the Championship three of those four seasons.

Wilt Chamberlain deserves a great deal of credit for being a great scorer and a great rebounder.

To me, the essence of the game of basketball is to bring out the best in your teammates. Nobody did that better than Bill Russell and nobody won more Championships than Bill Russell.

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