Wilt Chamberlain Rumors

NBA Central: “Look at all his statistics. You’re talking about a player at the level of Michael Jordan or Wilt Chamberlain.” -Hakeem Olajuwon on James Harden (Via SportsTalk790.com) pic.twitter.com/JSSDlq2Gan

More than 20 years after Drexler and MJ last laced it up against each other, Drexler has his own opinion on the GOAT debate. Clyde the Glide believes neither Jordan nor LeBron James should be the only two automatically pegged as the NBA’s greatest player of all time: “I have a real problem with that, because out of all the guys that played the game, for you to have a conversation of these two guys as the GOAT when you’ve got Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two of the greatest players to ever live – I think you start with those two.”
However, one former player who had his fair share of success during his career, believes that the conversation being limited to only LeBron and Jordan is a mistake. Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was a household name during his storied career with the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets, and he thinks other players deserve to be in the “GOAT” conversation. “I really have a problem with that. Because out of all the guys that played the game, you’re only having a conversation with these two guys as the GOAT,” Drexler said in an interview on The A-Team, a Houston-area sports podcast. “When you got Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two of the greatest players who ever lived, I think you should start with those two. You got guys like Larry Bird, Dr. J, George Gervin, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West all of those guys are in the conversation. I love both Michael and LeBron but let’s not take something away from the other guys who played.”
Storyline: GOAT Debate
However, one former player who had his fair share of success during his career, believes that the conversation being limited to only LeBron and Jordan is a mistake. Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was a household name during his storied career with the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets, and he thinks other players deserve to be in the “GOAT” conversation. “I really have a problem with that. Because out of all the guys that played the game, you’re only having a conversation with these two guys as the GOAT,” Drexler said in an interview on The A-Team, a Houston-area sports podcast. “When you got Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two of the greatest players who ever lived, I think you should start with those two. You got guys like Larry Bird, Dr. J, George Gervin, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West all of those guys are in the conversation. I love both Michael and LeBron but let’s not take something away from the other guys who played.”
Storyline: GOAT Debate
Last week, ESPN came up with the all-time starting five for every NBA team. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Wilt Chamberlain made the cut for the Warriors. Hey Rick Barry — does that bother you at all? “Everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” the Hall of Famer said Tuesday on 95.7 The Game. “And that’s all it is — the opinion of some people. It is what it is. I know who I am. I know who I was as a player, and that doesn’t change. Who cares. “Bottom line is — I have my championship ring sitting on my finger that I’m looking at right now.”
In 1975, Barry helped bring the franchise its first NBA title since it relocated from Philadelphia to the Bay Area in 1962. He averaged 29.5 points, 5.0 assists and 3.5 steals in the NBA Finals that year, as the Warriors swept the heavily-favored Washington Bullets. “We won as a team. We didn’t win because of any one individual,” Barry explained. “We won because we made a commitment to playing the game the right way, and everybody was a major contributor. “That’s what made it so very special. We were like a family.”
During our conversation, I asked Wilt, “Since we’re in Cleveland, would you mind if I asked you a few questions about the time you almost became a Cavalier?” The 7-foot-1 Chamberlain paused, then let out a huge laugh and said, “You remember that, huh?” Wilt didn’t want to talk specifics, but confirmed the team did indeed want him to come out of retirement and play for it in November 1979. “The Cavs did want me (to return to the NBA), but they weren’t the only ones,” he said. “They weren’t the first team, nor the last, to talk to me (about playing again).” “Bulls, Cavaliers, Nets, Knicks twice, Sixers twice, Mavericks, Suns, Clippers — those are all the teams who tried to get me in the last decade,” Chamberlain said before accepting the Living Legend Award from the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association at its annual dinner in 1991.
While his contractual obligations with the Lakers prevented Chamberlain from playing for the Conquistadors in the ABA in 1974, they were no longer a roadblock to him returning to the NBA with the Cavaliers in 1979. Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss said his team would not ask Cleveland for compensation for signing Chamberlain, should it take place. “I think it would be great for the NBA if Wilt were to play and I do not want to put anything in the way of this happening,” Buss told the Associated Press on Nov. 20, 1979. “I would enjoy seeing him play again, so I am sure would thousands of basketball fans.”
“Cavs GM Ron Hrovat, a basketball neophyte, was entrusted with the responsibility of hand-delivering the contract to Chamberlain’s palatial home in Bel Air,” the Hall of Famer wrote. “Nobody was there when Hrovat arrived, so he stuck the contract in the gate. By the time Chamberlain showed up, the papers were strewn around his yard.” Which did not sit well with Wilt. “Chamberlain immediately got Albeck on the phone,” Vecsey wrote. “‘Forget it, Little Man,’ he said, using his endearing nickname for Albeck. “I can’t play for a team that handles its business like that.” Albeck lamented how the Cavaliers’ pursuit of Chamberlain concluded. “He was this close to coming back,” he told Vecsey, holding his thumb and index finger an inch apart.
NBA’s Twitter account recently hosted a Q&A with the 22-year-old, and Chriss spoke highly of the legendary Basketball Hall of Famer. “I’ll go with Wilt Chamberlain,” he said. “I want to see all that in person. You hear about it and you hear about the crazy games, but I don’t think you really understand it until you see it in person. So, I think I would love to see that in person and see the skill set he had and the way he dominated the game. I just think he’s a different breed.”
Frazier also cited rule changes designed to limit Chamberlain, who famously dumped 100 points on the Knicks. “There were only two players they ever changed the rules for in pro basketball – George Mikan, and Wilt Chamberlain — widening the lane for them,’’ Frazier said. “The two guys they had to neutralize by changing some aspect of the game. If not for Chamberlain, nobody would’ve heard of any of us. I don’t know if there would’ve been an NBA. If not for Wilt and Bill Russell. I don’t know if the NBA would’ve made it. “I would find it hard to say Mike. Mike is right there with those guys, but if I had to pick, it would be Chamberlain.’’
Asked if he now considers Jordan the greatest of all time, Frazier stopped short. “I always ask what’s the criteria when you say the greatest ever,’’ Frazier said. “If it’s Superman, it’s Wilt Chamberlain. I have (Kareem) Abdul-Jabbar as a career-leading scorer. Versatility is Oscar Robertson. Winning is Bill Russell. Those are the four guys. Actually I’d say Wilt Chamberlain because when we played in the 70s and flied commercial, you go through the airport and people would say either ‘Are you a Globetrotter or Wilt Chamberlain?’ That’s all the people knew.’’
Storyline: GOAT Debate
Justin Kubatko: Zion Williamson recorded the 15th 20-point game of his young career last night. Fewest games needed to reach that mark: 15 – Wilt Chamberlain, 1959-60; 16 – Elvin Hayes, 1968-69; 17 – George Mikan*, 1948-49; 17 – Williamson, 2019-20. * Played in the NBL the previous season. pic.twitter.com/Yija01Zu3N
Erving knows Irving — if not well, certainly enough to have taken on a role as a mentor or extended fatherly figure. “I’ve seen him from the beginning,” Erving said. “A couple occasions I’ve been in the same room, chatted a little bit. But like Kobe Bryant situation, he’s another generation, or in some cases multiple generations removed from me in terms of my playing days. I’m more of a father figure or even a grandfather figure to those guys who are playing now. And I accept that. I looked at Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain in that regard. These are the giants of the game. I made it my mission to chase that bar. It’s very high.”
Up to 15 important items worn or used by Kobe Bryant will be featured at Julien’s Auctions’ annual sale—Sports Legends—set for April 30 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Leading the group is Bryant’s full Los Angeles Lakers No. 8 home uniform, worn during the 1999-2000 NBA Finals, with an estimate of between $10,000 and $20,000. The uniform includes a black armband that Bryant wore in memory of NBA player Wilt Chamberlain, who died that season.
Justin Kubatko: Zion Williamson is just the sixth player to record at least 10 20-point games in the first 12 games of his NBA career: ✅ George Mikan* ✅ Wilt Chamberlain ✅ Walt Bellamy ✅ Elvin Hayes ✅ Terry Cummings ✅ Williamson * Mikan played in the NBL the previous season. pic.twitter.com/iO4aLNYeOB
Justin Kubatko: James Harden is just the seventh player in NBA history to follow up a 60-point game with a 40-point game. The others to do so are Wilt Chamberlain, Pete Maravich, Michael Jordan, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, and Kemba Walker. pic.twitter.com/B6BBmnZDgS
On Saturday night, Harden dropped 60 points on the Atlanta Hawks in less than three quarters of play. It was another virtuoso performance by the world’s greatest offensive basketball player. Through 19 games, Harden is averaging an incredible 38.9 points per game and, barring injury, he’s on pace to win his third consecutive scoring title, something only MJ and Kevin Durant have done in the 3-point era. But the most stunning thing about Harden isn’t his numbers — it’s his style. He’s a rarity in pro basketball, regularly inventing new fundamentals. We haven’t seen scoring numbers this big since a 23-year-old Jordan put up 37.1 PPG. Before that, the only comparison was Wilt Chamberlain’s prime in the early 1960s. And Harden thrives much like Chamberlain did — in the kinds of isolated one-on-one matchups that were supposed to be dead by now.
“Havlicek’s demise bothered me as much as Wilt Chamberlain’s passing,” said Sanders. “Wilt Chamberlain was a real force, very strong, would live forever, and suddenly he has the nerve to die. I remember someone calling and I said, ‘What could take Wilt out?’ “Look at John. Havlicek was my roommate for maybe five seasons, and I knew he had that great heart situation where he had a very slow beat so he could run forever and hardly perspire.”
Al Attles: The truth: Wilt was like a Greek god. There’s a word that’s very important in the English language; that word is jealousy. And unfortunately, and I’d better say this delicately, but I’m going to mean every word I say about it. Sometimes people who look like us, when they move up the ladder, there’s a jealousy out there from people who don’t look like us who are jealous of them moving up. They were jealous about the amount of money he made, the attention that he got from the media, the attention that he got from people. But it didn’t bother him. If he was a friend of yours, he was a friend of yours. He was a much better person than a lot of people thought. He didn’t let the jealousy affect him as much as a lot of people thought he should have.
Al Attles: He didn’t care one bit about scoring 100. But you don’t really sit there and count how many points you got. Every now and then they would say how many points he’d have. But he wasn’t looking around saying, ‘Give me the ball, I want to score, I want to score.’ When Wilt scored 100, the announcer was saying on the loudspeaker, ‘That’s 80. … That’s 82.’ And once he got close to 100, we weren’t only concerned about that, but the people doing the scorebook for the team, they would come by and say, ‘You know, Wilt … we’re getting close.’ But Wilt would never say, ‘Give me the ball.’ But we would say, ‘Give him the ball.’
Lacob said after Durant’s departure in July that no Warrior would ever wear No. 35 while the team still was under his ownership. He joined The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on “The TK Show” podcast this week, and clarified his thoughts regarding whether KD’s number will join the likes of Wilt Chamberlain and Al Attles in the rafters at Chase Center. “The intention is to retire his number, but we specifically said it that way, for now,” Lacob told Kawakami. “Because he’s still playing, it’s kind of inappropriate to some extent to say you’re gonna retire his number when he’s still playing in the league, but that’s the intention.”