Wednesday, 31 July 2013

TRADING CARD Feature-WILT CHAMBERLAIN

Inspired by the recent post of the first 'Showtime Newsletter' I wrote over a decade ago when I was 16...our new trading card feature offers quick, bite-size profiles of the legends of the game. Sort of like the back of a trading card.

PLAYER PROFILE : WILT CHAMBERLAIN.

Wilt Chamberlain nicknamed ‘Wilt the Stilt’ and the ‘Big Dipper’ was arguably the greatest basketball player the NBA had ever seen until a certain Michael Jordan came along and arguably the greatest centre that ever lived until Shaquille O’Neal came along and rivalled him for that accolade. However Wilt (despite Jordan and Shaq) still has high prestige in the history of Basketball. He was the man who scored 100 points in a single game “I realize that people will always remember me for my 100 point performance whether I like it or not” Wilt said.

However it was one mean feat some teams don’t even score 100 points in a game regularly combining all 12 roster players. Chamberlains century performance wasn’t his only high. In his first game in the NBA he scored 43 points and pulled down 28 rebounds against the New York Knicks. In his rookie season he gained NBA honours of Rookie of the Year, All-Star Game MVP and NBA MVP. He also averaged 37.6 points and 27.2 rebounds an amazing set of figures especially for a rookie, you could say Wilt dominated the league from day one. In his third year of Pro Basketball ‘The Stilt’ recorded an astonishing 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds per game.

However March 2, 1962 marked Wilt’s achievement of the virtually impossible, “Give it to Wilt!” the crowd chanted and “We want 100” the crowd cheered as ‘The Big Dipper’ came awfully close to a three digit record that no one had ever done before or would do for the remainder of the century, with 44 seconds remaining Wilt beat a double team and changed the world of basketball. “It was like holding up a tree that had been cut down and was about to fall down” Darral Imhoff Wilt’s guard for that historic night said. Wilt did not boast about his record “It was not even that amazing, had I not gone on a date last night and got some sleep I might have scored 140” he said.

Wilt remained amazing throughout his 14 year career, he won two championships and led his teams to the playoffs 13 times. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers and of course the Los Angeles Lakers. He scored 31,419 points in his career a record broken by only two players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. Wilt holds the record for total rebounds with 23,924. Wilt wore the number 13 throughout his career but it was far from unlucky. Sadly in 1999 at the age of 63 Wilt died. “We’ve lost a giant man in every sense of the word NBA commissioner David Stern said.

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