HoopsHype Wilt Chamberlain rumors

October 24, 2012 Updates

Three weeks later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stopped by the suite at L’Ermitage and formally welcomed Howard into the pantheon of Lakers centers. Abdul-Jabbar showed Howard a championship ring and gave him a jersey. “He told me I had athleticism like Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell,” Howard says. “He said, ‘You’ve put in a lot of work for the last eight years, you’ve sowed your seeds, and now it’s time to reap the benefits.’ ” When Abdul-Jabbar left, Howard wept, and not simply because he’d gained the acceptance he always sought. “With everything I was going through, all the pain,” Howard says, “I was just so happy someone understood how hard I had worked.” SI.com

August 23, 2012 Updates

Wilt Chamberlain’s birthday was August 21st. He would have been 76 this year. Wilt Chamberlain once claimed to have had sex with 20,000 women – a very exact number that was probably accurate at that time. Ever wonder how many women he would have had to have slept with to make that number true? I’ve racked my brain and can’t come up with anything, but luckily The Atlantic did the math for us. If Wilt started at the age of 15, from then up to the age of 55 (when the book was published) he would have had 40 years to sleep with 20,000 women, or 500 different women a year-easy math. That works out to roughly 1.4 women a day. The Big Lead

March 3, 2012 Updates

The 50th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game is not only an occasion to remember the accomplishment, but also the man. What better way to reflect on Chamberlain’s signature moment than through the eyes of his friend and most bitter rival? So I called Bill Russell, the 11-time champion of the Celtics, and asked if he’d be so kind as to share his thoughts about the occasion 50 years ago Friday. I’ll provide his response, followed by the context. The response from Russell: “Not really.” “Is it a bad time, or is it a topic you don’t really want to talk about?” “A little of both,” he said. And that was that. I apologized for the intrusion and wished Russell the best. “No intrusion,” Russell said. “And thank you.” CBSSports.com

I shared the conversation with Sy Goldberg, Chamberlain’s longtime friend and attorney. On the phone from Los Angeles, Goldberg was neither surprised nor particularly offended by Russell’s reaction. “There was a love-hate relationship between these two guys,” Goldberg said. Let it be noted that Russell, who turned 78 last month, harbors no grudges or animosity toward Chamberlain – nothing different than they ever did, anyway. Goldberg said in the old days, the NBA used to schedule the Sixers and Celtics on Thanksgiving Day, and when the game was in Philadelphia, Russell was a guest at casa de Chamberlain for Thanksgiving dinner. “Russell was there all the time,” Goldberg said. “They were close friends.” CBSSports.com

During the pregame warm-ups, the fourth-quarter radio broadcast of the 1962 game was played over the public-address system. Philadelphia managing owner Joshua Harris and Warriors owner Joe Lacob made a pregame presentation, and members of Chamberlain's family were honored at halftime. "As a basketball junkie, I'm well aware of what Wilt meant to the game," Jackson said. "I'm shocked that when we talk about the greatest ever, we don't automatically include him in the conversation. When you average 50 (points) and 25 (rebounds) for a season and do some of the things that he was able to do for his career, it's mind-boggling. "I would much rather have him starting for me." San Francisco Chronicle

March 2, 2012 Updates

Here's Attles on: The achievement itself "There's two things that I always talk about when I talk about that game. One is that we won the game. So many people I've talked to over the years say, 'You played in the game where the guy scored 100 points and you lost the game.' We won the game, so that's a fact. It bothers me -- it shouldn't, but it does -- that a lot of people want to put a losing tag on it and say Wilt scored 100 points and they lost the game. We didn't lose the game. "The other thing is that Wilt tried to come out of the ballgame before he got 100 points. A lot of people thought he was being selfish or trying to rub it in. No. He wasn't trying to do that. He tried to come out, but [then-Warriors coach] Frank McGuire would not take him out. He had driven up from New York [that day], and he was tired. He tried to come out because the game was won, but Frank wouldn't listen. But the thing I'm happiest about is that he didn't score another point after 100. One hundred points sounds a lot better to me than 102 or 104 or whatever it is." ESPN.com

Why Wilt was allowed to live in New York during the season and drive to a game separately from the rest of his teammates "Think about what you just said. There were a lot of things allowed back then that aren't allowed now. How about playing 18 games in 21 days? A lot of things went on back then that wouldn't be allowed today, but you have to understand that the league was in a different place. He followed all the rules he was supposed to follow. They knew that he would get to the game on time. You have to understand that we're talking 1962. There was a lot of that going on back then. For instance, I lived in Newark. If I wanted to go home during the season, I could. "There's so many things that Wilt never did that people thought he did. He was the star of the team, but he still adhered to all the rules everybody else adhered to. It was kind of a loose business back then. He didn't get on the bus to Philadelphia from Hershey because he came from New York. He was the owner of Small's Paradise -- that's mainly why he lived in Harlem during the season [to run his nightclub] -- but he never missed a practice. ESPN.com

Chamberlain's postgame mood: "He was very disappointed in the locker room. Teammates were going crazy, but he had a mad look on his face. So I asked him, 'Big Fella, what's the matter? He had just gotten the stat sheet in his hand, and he used to sweat profusely. Water was coming down just like he was in a rain shower. Wilt was looking at the stat sheet and he said, 'I never thought I would take 63 shots in a game.' So I said, 'But you made 36.'" ESPN.com

Chamberlain's 28-for-32 showing at the free throw line and the role that the famously forgiving rims at Hershey Arena played in making history "Evidently you've talked to somebody about that arena. Because we used to say that those rims were like sewers. As long as you got it up on the rim, there was a great chance that it was going in. But you can make any judgment you want. Both teams had to play with those rims, and both teams had to play in that arena. Unless you denigrate it for everybody, you don't denigrate it for him. He just had an incredible night. [Going] 28-for-32 was obviously what got him over the hump, but I feel badly when people try to poke holes in it. Both teams had to play in that gym." ESPN.com

Even Wilton Norman Chamberlain himself didn't have it right, telling stories years later of taking a game-day nap at the team hotel (the team didn't stay in a hotel); playing pinball with business manager Ike Richman (Richman wasn't there); and traveling back to Philadelphia on the team bus through Amish country. Actually, Chamberlain had driven back to New York, where he lived, in Richman's Cadillac with Willie Naulls of the Knicks. "He had places to go and things to do and ladies to see," said Chamberlain's longtime attorney and friend, Sy Goldberg. "He wasn't going to stay around Hershey and eat a chocolate bar." CBSSports.com

March 1, 2012 Updates
February 8, 2012 Updates

Bryant and Chamberlain have already been linked through their penchant for points in the past, as Bryant broke Chamberlain's Pennsylvania high school scoring record by finishing with 2,883 points to Chamberlain's 2,252. Bryant's 81-point game on Jan. 22, 2006 also happens to be the second-highest single scoring game in league history, trailing only Chamberlain's 100 scored on March 2, 1962. "It's a lot of points. It's a lot of points," Bryant said, looking back on Chamberlain's feat as the 50th anniversary of The Big Dipper's historic game approaches next month. "I think it was just one of those nights for both of us where there was really no explanation for it. You just kind of get into one of those zones and one of those moments and things happen. ... I was doing mine on jump shots, though. I didn't have to bang with too many guys down low. I was just catching and shooting." ESPN.com

January 13, 2012 Updates

Al Attles’ favorite memory of Wilt Chamberlain is the most obvious: The legendary 100-point game Chamberlain produced for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962. But Attles also remembers being on hand just days earlier when Chamberlain – his former teammate – set an NBA record with 34 free-throw attempts on Feb. 22, 1962. Attles never expected either record to be broken in his lifetime. But there he was Thursday night, watching at Oracle Arena as Dwight Howard stepped to the foul line time and again in the Orlando Magic’s 117-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors. When Howard was done, he had taken an astounding 39 free throws, smashing Chamberlain’s 50-year-old regular-season record. “I knew he was shooting a lot of free throws,” said Attles, who now works as an ambassador for the Warriors. “But I didn’t know he had that many.” Yahoo! Sports

November 25, 2011 Updates

Considering Bill Sharman is 85, and two stars from that team (Wilt Chamberlain, Happy Hairston) are deceased, while two others (LeRoy Ellis, Flynn Robinson) are battling cancer — and taking into account the team’s impressive imprint — you would think David Stern would have headed lickety-split to the appropriate location and personally unlocked the league’s film archives. Every living player on the team was interviewed, Joyce Sharman said. Many others, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (whose Bucks squad convincingly shattered the streak on national TV on a Sunday afternoon), Bill Russell and Phil Jackson, also provided insight. Lakers players figured 33 games without a loss would earn them some type of reward from infamously frugal owner Jack Kent Cooke, maybe a Hawaiian vacation or a monetary gratitude for a job spectacularly done. New York Post

October 15, 2011 Updates

It’s happy 40th birthday to the shootaround. Back up a minute. The non-basketball junkie might want to know what in the name of James Naismith is a shootaround and why is it having a birthday. Well, back in 1971, when Bill Sharman took over as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, he proposed that his players show up at the arena on the morning of game days for a very loose practice that he dubbed a shootaround. The Lakers ended up winning the NBA title by going 69-13, which was then the best mark in NBA history and included a record 33-game winning streak. With those results, that’s why all NBA teams have been taking the lead from Sharman since the 1970s. It was on Oct. 15, 1971 that the Lakers’ regular season began and the shootaround started to become an NBA staple. So that seems as good of a birthday as any. FOXSports Florida

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