Wilt Chamberlain Rumors
Who caused the Big Dipper to lose his composure? Clyde Lovellette. The former University of Kansas forward established a notorious reputation during his 11 seasons in the NBA, Meschery insisted. “He was a mean son of a bitch,” he said of Lovellette, “and always was, and dirty. I mean a truly dirty (expletive) player. I really disliked him . . . “Anyway, Clyde threw one too many elbows at Wilt, and Wilt knocked him out with one punch. And the punch traveled no more than one foot maybe at most. It was just a jab, but the fiercest jab I ever saw.”
Meschery started throwing punches at the 216-cm Wilt, a scene described in Sports Illustrated as “like right out of a comic book.” I asked Meschery if he agreed with that description. “It was,” he says now. “Looking back at it, I don’t think I was thinking that at the time, but as I was being interviewed and as I’ve kind of come to think of it all my life as . . . it was like a comic book. “Wilt was literally holding my head. I was trying to hit him and I was of course moving towards him, and so my forward motion was impeded by his hand. So he had his hand on my forehead, so imagine the pictures. “His hand on my forehead and me wildly swinging and because of course his arm was so long I couldn’t hit him,” Meschery added with a chuckle. “He had a little sort of chagrin smile on his face (as if to say), ‘Really, are you kidding me?’ But I thought I was being very brave.”
At 32 years old, James will be the youngest player to reach 50,000 career minutes. Kobe Bryant was 33 when he reached this threshold, and the next-youngest was Wilt Chamberlain, who reached 50,000 at 35 years old. Although James has sat out regular-season games, he has played 77.2 percent of all possible minutes in his career. That’s a higher percentage than Michael Jordan (74.7 percent) and Bryant (65.1 percent).
Sears led the Knicks in scoring for two seasons, averaging 18.6 points per game in 1957-58 and 21.0 in 1958-59. He was chosen as an All-Star in 1958 and 1959, and twice led the N.B.A. in field-goal percentage, shooting .490 in the 1958-59 season and .477 in the next. But the Knicks struggled during the mid- and late 1950s, and Sears’s only playoff appearance with the team was in 1959, when it lost in the first round to the Syracuse Nationals. “Playing a team like Boston, who we played, like, a dozen times, we just couldn’t compete with them,” Sears said in an article on the Knicks’ website in 2015. “And then when Chamberlain came in the league, we were nowhere.”