Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest ATHLETE of all time, and it?s not even close. Before you look away and start commenting, let me explain.
Wilt Chamberlain is not the greatest basketball player ever, (he?s my third best) but he is a better athlete than any man, woman, or demigod who has ever done what he did.
For context, Wilt Chamberlain was 7?1?, and 236 lbs. He played basketball and ran track and field at the University of Kansas, played professional basketball with the Philadelphia Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers. He also played Volleyball after his NBA career, and became a star. He?s inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the Volleyball hall of Fame, and the Kansas Jayhawk Hall of Fame. His number is retired by Kansas, and in the NBA, his number is retired by the teams he played for. (Golden State, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, respectively)
Wilt Chamberlain Could Jump
- Wilt?s coach at Kansas, Dr. Phog Allen, was advocating for twelve foot rims while Wilt was in college. Since they were practicing on the rims, Wilt was able to use his God-given talent and dunk the basketball on those rims. To put that into perspective, if you go to an NBA game right now, you?re not going to see twelve foot rims, you?re going to see ten foot rims. Wilt could dunk on rims that are 1.2 size the height of what rims are today.
- Wilt also claimed to have been able to snatch change off of the top of the backboard. (I?m 99% sure he meant backboards for a ten foot rim) That height is about 13.5 feet from the ground and Wilt could clear it.
- There are game tapes of him going up for a block and his fingers are parallel to the top of the backboard.
- As a Kansas Track and Field athlete, Wilt won the Big 8 (which is now the Big XII) championships three years running by high jumping upwards of 50 inches on the high jump.
There are multiple stories of Wilt?s strength. So I?m going to attempt to keep them brief.
- Wilt was getting on an elevator while two delivery men were having trouble lifting a cart. The cart was so heavy that the elevator sunk a few inches under the floor. Wilt took the cart and lifted it on to the lobby floor. When asked about the incident, one of the men said that the cart weighed about 600 lbs. Yes. Six-Hundred Pounds.
- During a game against Boston, Wilt committed a hard foul on K.C. Jones. As told by K.C.,
?He stopped me dead in my tracks with his arm, hugged me and lifted me off the floor with my feet dangling. It scared the hell out of me. When I went to the free-throw line, my legs were still shaking. Wilt was the strongest guy and best athlete ever to play the game?
- During a game near the end of Wilt?s career against Boston, Paul Silas and Happy Hairston were about to get into a fight. Wilt picked up Paul and turned him around and said ?We?re not gonna have that stuff.? Paul was 6?7? and 235 pounds when it occurred.
- Before he was in the NBA, Wilt played for the Harlem Globetrotters. They were on a trip to Russia and they were assigned a tight locker room. For whatever reason the players started playfully shoving each other and two of them set for Wilt. Wilt picked the two men up by their shirts like ?two little crackers (not racially charged) in his hands.? Each man was about 200 pounds.
- Wilt used to work at a hotel as a bellhop and sometimes people would pull up with flat tires but had no jack. That was no problem for Wilt because he just went to whatever side was necessary and lifted the car up.
- As a Kansas Track and Field athlete, Wilt threw the shot put 56 feet, which probably lengthened as his career went on
- Wilt was mad that some guy wouldn?t stop trying to take Wilt?s spot for the next round of volleyball, so he takes the man, who weighs about 250 pounds, and shot puts him towards the net. He then asked who was next and the guy said ?You are, Wilt?
Wilt was fast
- Wilt was at a party with legendary NFL running back Jim Brown when they got into an argument about who is faster. So they did what any two athletes would do and they went outside, took their shoes off and raced. Wilt won. Jim was mad and raced Wilt again. Wilt won again.
- As a Kansas track and field athlete, Wilt ran a sub-eleven second 100m, a forty-nine second 400m in ?baggy sweats?, and a 1:58.3 second 800m. All while being a 7?1? Goliath of a man.
Wilt Chamberlain was an excellent basketball player
- Wilt was playing against a good player named Walter Bellamy. Walter and Wilt went to half court to shake hands. Walter said ?Hello Mr. Chamberlain. I?m Walter Bellamy.? Wilt responded with ?Hello Mr. Bellamy. You?re not going to get a shot off in the first half.? And he kept the promise blocking all nine of Walter?s shot attempts. They met back up at the start of the second half and Wilt told Walter ?Okay, Walter. Now you can play.?
- Wilt was told that he would make more money if he ?passed the ball more? so Wilt did what any good player would do in response and led the league in assists the following season.
- Wilt was playing pickup games against Magic Johnson and Norm Nixon in his mid-forties. Magic called a non-foul and Wilt declared that there would be no more shots from Magic. Wilt kept that promise and blocked all of Magic?s shots.
- He averaged 50.4 points per game in the 1962 season. And in that season he dropped 100 points against the New York Knicks. A record that still stands to this day.
Wilt was a great volleyball player. In his thirties, forties, and fifties
- Wilt must have been bored during the end of basketball, because the thought crossed his mind for him to think, ?Man, I should play pro volleyball? but it happened. He was with the Lakers when he asked Volleyball legend Gene Selznick how to play volleyball because he heard Gene was the best. He learned when he was 34 years old.
- He was at an All-Star Game in El Paso for Volleyball and a player on the East team (Wilt was in the West) was misquoted about Wilt?s imperfections on the court. Wilt went out and put on an Olympic-worthy performance. Needless to say the player in the East has the newsman write an apology letter to Wilt for misquoting him.
In total, I defy you to find an athlete and argue that he is a better athlete than Wilt.
Actually, let me help you.