HoopsHype Wilt Chamberlain rumors

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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

But when you’ve got a guy like Wilt Chamberlain involved, it sounds a lot better to say that shootarounds really started with the 1971-72 Lakers. “It was a funny story," said Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay, who coached Philadelphia that season after having been general manager of the 76ers five years earlier, when they won the NBA title with Chamberlain. “Wilt was not a shootaround guy. So Bill sent his assistant to get Wilt and Wilt said, ‘Tell Bill I play once a day. Does he want me to play at 10 o’clock in the morning or at 7:30 at night? That’s his decision."’ Another story goes that the shootaround was started to get Chamberlain, notorious for going to bed very late and sleeping until noon, out of bed. FOXSports Florida

Chamberlain, who died in 1999, is not around to offer his take. But Sharman says those stories are not true. “I’ve heard that story so many times but Wilt never said that," Sharman said about Chamberlain vowing to show up just once a day at the arena. “But when I did start shootarounds with the Lakers everybody said, ‘You’ll never get Wilt Chamberlain to do it.’ Wilt had a reputation of sleeping late. “So I took Wilt to lunch and put on my best pitch. I told him that I thought having shootarounds really could get the team loose and help. He was real nice and kind. But when he got done listening to me, he said, ‘Bill, I’ve known you for a number of years and I respect you but I don’t think it will help. I just don’t feel good when I get up too early in the morning.’ I said, ‘Wilt, let’s just try it out and see.’ So he kind of went along with it." FOXSports Florida

July 21, 2011 Updates
July 17, 2011 Updates

About the comparison between Shaq and him: “It’s happened to a lot of players. They compared Kobe to Jordan and Shaq to Kareem and Wilt Chamberlain. It happens in every generation. They find a player and they say ‘Hey, you play just like him so must want to be like him’. I think it’s a great comparison. We’re both dominant and we both like to have fun of the court and we both enjoy some of the same things. We’re both just funny, silly, we like to dance… We have a lot of the same characteristics. I don’t have a problem with it, being compared to somebody that great, but I’m my own man. I never looked at Shaq to make him a part of my life. This is who I am. I’ve been the same way my whole life before I even knew who Shaquille was.” BasketSession.com

June 12, 2011 Updates

Memories from your days as visiting ballboy before you were Knicks ballboy? Marv Albert: Being in the locker room when Red Auerbach would talk to and inspire his Celtics. And I’ll never forget how Wilt Chamberlain would arrange this with me before the game — he would ask me to go out and get him four hot dogs for halftime. I’d get them late in the second quarter at the concession stand. I’d give them to Wilt and he would just engulf them. New York Post

June 8, 2011 Updates

At that, Hall of Fame guard Oscar Robertson, who may have been every bit as good as Jordan in his day, just rolls his eyes and shakes his head. “I didn’t hear the comments,” Robertson told the Dan Sileo Show on WDAE in Tampa Wednesday morning. “Let me tell you about what being great is. Ever hear of Elgin Baylor? Never mention his name, do we? Great basketball player. You know what you have today? Michael Jordan was a great player, but he won after Chicago got Pippen, Grant and those other players to go along with him, because for a while they couldn’t beat Detroit. “Everybody looks at what you’ve done. Sure he won six championships, Russell won eleven. There are other players on these teams when they play. They don’t play by themselves. Michael Jordan is a great player. Was he the greatest? Ask Kobe that. Ask Bill Russell. Ask Oscar Robertson. Ask Wilt Chamberlain. Ask Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, ask those guys.” Sporting News

April 18, 2011 Updates

Q. Do you mind sharing your list? A. Sure. In chronological order it was Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. There are two players today, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, who have a chance to join that list. Q. Compare your son Luke’s talents to yours. A. He’s a much better player than I was. He’s in his eighth season as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, the best team in basketball, and he plays for Phil Jackson. New York Times

April 2, 2011 Updates

SLAM: By then, the Lakers were a different team than the one you’d left, largely because of the arrival of Wilt. How big of a presence was he? Gail Goodrich: Huge. He was a leader. I liked Wilt, and we got along very well. I think in many ways he was misunderstood by the media, who didn’t do justice to some of the things that he accomplished and instead focused on his rivalry with Bill Russell. Wilt never really hung out with his teammates. At the end of the day, he went his own way, as did Jerry West, though he and I were good friends. But we were a very close team on the court. It took us a year to get used to each other and overcome some injuries. Then Bill Sharman became the coach and changed the offense, putting the ball in Jerry’s hands, where it belonged, because he was the best. Then we just came together in a remarkable way in ’72. SLAM

SLAM: The team went 69-13 and won 33 straight games. Every game must have felt like the greatest game you’d ever played. GG: We played with a tremendous confidence that borders on cockiness. We walked on the court feeling like no one could beat us, and that grew from game to game. That was very characteristic of our teams at UCLA also, and you see it today in the Spurs and Pistons. Teams like that do not panic in the fourth quarter. You know you will be tested and figure out how to win. And it’s also characteristic of how I played the game. Elgin once said to me, “Gail, you would drive against King Kong.” SLAM

April 1, 2011 Updates

Before he died in 1999, Wilt Chamberlain, the NBA legend, claimed to have shared the intimate company of 20,000 women. This week Sonny Weems, the not -yet-legendary Raptor, appeared to be seeking the companionship of one. “Think (it’s) time for me to get a girlfriend,” Weems wrote on his Twitter page Sunday. In the wake of that transmission Weems said he has received “fifty-something” responses from Twitter users claiming to be girlfriend material. That number, like Chamberlain’s infamous self-count of the notches on his bed post, has not been independently verified. Toronto Star

Why, then, would Weems, at age 24, bother seeking a relationship via Twitter? Evans wondered aloud if Weems has grown tired of being a soloist while one of his closest friends on the team, 21-year-old DeMar DeRozan, spends quality time with a steady girlfriend. “DeMar’s been having a girlfriend for a while — it’s probably taking a toll on Sonny,” Evans said, a mischievous smile ever in place. “He probably thinks he needs someone.” Toronto Star

Evans — who, at age 30, amounts to the club’s street-wise philosopher — took some time after a recent practice to offer his best amateur diagnosis of the condition of a teammate’s heart. “Sonny’s just going through mixed emotions. Want a girlfriend, don’t want a girlfriend. Want that lifestyle, don’t want that lifestyle,” Evans said. “We should do a poll on Twitter, see who wants to go on a date with him. We could make a Canadian reality show, Who Wants to Date Sonny Weems? “There’s plenty of girls out here in Toronto that can be a good candidate for him. He’s a very nice guy, good guy to be around . . . I guess he needs somebody to keep his pillow warm. I guess his other pillow must be getting cold.” Toronto Star

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