Bill Russell ON Wilt Chamberlain and their RIVALRY

Harlem Globtrotters with Wilt Chamberlain

He scored 34 points, won Overbrook the Public League title and a berth for the Philadelphia city championship game against the winner of the rival Catholic league, West Catholic. He scored 32 points and led Overbrook to a flawless 19—0 season.

He scored 34 points, won Overbrook the Public League title and a berth for the Philadelphia city championship game against the winner of the rival Catholic league, West Catholic.

He scored 32 points and led Overbrook to a flawless 19—0 season. Subsequently, owners Milton and Helen Kutsher kept up a lifelong friendship with Wilt, and according to their son Mark, "They were his second set of parents. Chamberlain won 25—10; Born was so dejected that he gave up a promising NBA career and became a tractor engineer "If there were high school kids that good, I figured I wasn't going to make it to the pros" , and Auerbach wanted him to go to a New England university, so he could draft him as a territorial pick for the Celtics, but Chamberlain did not respond.

Scoring 35 points, Chamberlain led Overbrook to an easy 83—42 victory. College career In , Chamberlain joined KU. At KU, Chamberlain became a player for the Kansas Jayhawks freshman team under coach Phog Allen, whom he admired, and also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, where he was the president of his pledge class. Chamberlain dominated his older college mates by scoring 42 points 16—35 from the field, 10—12 on free throws , grabbing 29 rebounds and registering four blocks.

Chamberlain had a bad relationship with Allen's successor, Dick Harp , fueled by resentment and disappointment: Chamberlain biographer Robert Cherry has doubted whether Chamberlain would have chosen KU if he had known that Allen was going to retire. In his first varsity game the center scored 52 points and grabbed 31 rebounds, breaking both all-time Kansas records in an 87—69 win against the Northwestern team of future NBA teammate Joe Ruklick.

When he dunked, he was so fast that a lot of players got their fingers jammed . He ran the yard dash in The Midwest regional tourney was held in Dallas, Texas , which at the time was segregated. We were spat on, pelted with debris, and subjected to the vilest racial epithets possible. The next game against Oklahoma City was equally unpleasant, with KU winning 81—61 under intense racist abuse. Game film is unclear whether an 8th block occurred, or the ball just fell short due to Chamberlain's withering defensive intimidation.

Chamberlain demonstrated his growing arsenal of offensive moves, including jump shots, put-backs, tip-ins, and his turnaround jump shot. He was far more comfortable and effective at the foul line than he would later be during his pro career. He had outstanding foot speed throughout the game, and several times led the fast break, including blocking a shot near the basket and then outracing the field for a layup. His stellar performance led Kansas to an insurmountable lead, and he rested on the bench for the final 3: For the tip-off, he sent his shortest player, Tommy Kearns, in order to rattle Chamberlain, and the Tar Heels spent the rest of the night triple-teaming him, one defender in front, one behind, and a third arriving as soon as he got the ball.

After several Tar Heel turnovers, the game was tied at 46 at the end of regulation. In the third overtime, the Tar Heels scored two consecutive baskets, but Chamberlain executed a three-point play, leaving KU trailing 52— After King scored a basket, Kansas was ahead by one point, but then Tar Heel Joe Quigg was fouled on a drive with 10 seconds remaining and made his two foul shots.

For the final play, Dick Harp called for Ron Loneski to pass the ball into Chamberlain in the low post. The pass was intercepted, however, and the Tar Heels won the game. Nonetheless, Chamberlain, who scored 23 points and 14 rebounds, was elected the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. He later admitted that this loss was the most painful of his life. Knowing how dominant he was, the opponents resorted to freeze-ball tactics and routinely used three or more players to guard him.

In , Chamberlain returned to Allen Field House in Lawrence, Kansas to participate in a jersey-retiring ceremony for his Around this time, he has been quoted as saying: That is totally ridiculous. Chamberlain and his perennial nemesis would grow to become one of the NBA's greatest on-court rivalries of all time. He needed only 56 games to score 2, points, which broke the all-time regular season scoring record of Bob Pettit , who needed 72 games to score 2, points.

However, it also became evident that he was an atrocious free-throw shooter, making hardly half of his foul shots. As time progressed, Chamberlain grew even worse, and acknowledged he was simply a "psycho case" on that matter.

Cherry described how Celtics coach Red Auerbach ordered his forward Tom Heinsohn to commit personal fouls on Chamberlain: In the scuffle, Wilt injured his hand, and Philadelphia lost the next two games. But in Game 6, Heinsohn got the last laugh, scoring the decisive basket with a last-second tip-in.

He was tired of being double- and triple-teamed, and of teams coming down on him with hard fouls. Chamberlain feared he might lose his cool one day. As Chamberlain often said, quoting coach Alex Hannum's explanation of his situation, "Nobody loves Goliath.

He became the first player to break the 3,point barrier and the first and still only player to break the 2,rebound barrier for a single season, grabbing 2, boards. Chamberlain again failed to convert his play into team success, this time bowing out against the Syracuse Nationals in a three-game sweep. In retrospect, Gottlieb remarked: In that year, Wilt set several all-time records which have never been threatened. In the season , he averaged Chamberlain's 4, regular-season points made him the only player to break the 4,point barrier; the only other player to break the 3,point barrier is Michael Jordan , with 3, points in the —87 NBA season.

Wilton Norman Chamberlain was an American basketball player. He played...

Chamberlain once again broke the 2,rebound barrier with 2, Additionally, he was on the hardwood for an average of Pomerantz , who used Chamberlain as a metaphor for the uprising of Black America. In a closely contested Game 7, Chamberlain tied the game at with 16 seconds to go, but Celtics shooting guard Sam Jones hit a clutch shot with two seconds left to win the series for Boston.

In his defense, Warriors coach Frank McGuire said "Wilt has been simply super-human", and pointed out that the Warriors lacked a consistent second scorer, a playmaker, and a second big man to take pressure off Chamberlain. Ex-soldier Hannum, who later entered the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach, was a crafty psychologist who emphasized defense and passing. Most importantly, he was not afraid to stand up to the dominant Chamberlain, who was known to "freeze out" not communicate with coaches he didn't like.

In that series they succumbed to Russell's Boston Celtics yet again, this time losing 4—1. Soon, the young Lew Alcindor was allowed into his inner circle, and quickly idolized the ten-year older NBA player.

Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as Alcindor would name himself later, would develop an intensely personal antipathy. At the All-Star break Chamberlain was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers , the new name of the relocated Syracuse Nationals. Wilt is easy to hate [ Cherry remarks that there was a certain tension within the team: Greer was the formerly undisputed leader and was not willing to give up his authority, and Jackson, a talented center, was now forced to play power forward because Chamberlain blocked the center spot; however, as the season progressed, the three began to mesh better.

The press called it an even matchup in all positions, even at center, where Bill Russell was expected to give Chamberlain a tough battle. In that Game 7, both centers were marvelous: Chamberlain scored 30 points and 32 rebounds, and Russell logged 16 points, 27 rebounds and eight assists. Russell botched the inbounds pass, hitting a guy-wire over the backboard and giving the ball back to the Sixers. Coach Schayes called timeout, and decided to run the last play over Hal Greer rather than Chamberlain, because he feared the Celtics would intentionally foul him because he was a poor foul shooter.

But when Greer attempted to inbound the ball, John Havlicek stole it to preserve the Celtics' lead. The Sixers would post a 55—25 regular season record, and for his strong play, Chamberlain won his second MVP award. Because Schayes did not want to risk angering his best player, he scheduled the daily workout at 4 pm; this angered the team, who preferred an early schedule to have the afternoon off, but Schayes just said: This caused sports journalist Joe McGinnis to comment: However, Chamberlain said he was "too tired" to attend, and even refused Schayes' plea to at least show up and shoot a few foul shots with the team.

In Game 4, Boston won — Outwardly, Schayes defended his star center as "excused from practice", but his teammates knew the truth and were much less forgiving. In what Cherry calls a tumultuous locker room meeting, Hannum addressed several key issues he observed during the last season, several of them putting Chamberlain in an unfavorable light. Sixers forward Chet Walker testified that on several occasions, players had to pull Chamberlain and Hannum apart to prevent a fistfight.

By doing this, he won Chamberlain's respect. Loaded with several other players who could score, such as future Hall-of-Famers Hal Greer and newcomer Billy Cunningham , Hannum wanted Chamberlain to concentrate more on defense. The Sixers charged their way to a then-record 68—13 season, including a record 46—4 start. In Game 1, the Sixers beat Boston —, powered by Hal Greer's 39 points and Chamberlain's unofficial quadruple double , with 24 points, 32 rebounds, 13 assists and unofficially counted 12 blocks.

The Celtics prevented a sweep by winning Game 4 with a — victory, but in Game 5, the Sixers simply overpowered the Celtics —, which effectively ended Boston's historic run of eight consecutive NBA titles.

The Sixers' center scored 29 points, 36 rebounds and 13 assists and was highly praised by Celtics Russell and K. The Sixers won the first two games, with Chamberlain and Greer taking credit for respectively defensive dominance and clutch shooting, but San Francisco won two of the next three games, so Philadelphia was up 3—2 prior to Game 6.

For the last play, Thurmond and Barry were assigned to do a pick and roll against Chamberlain and whoever would guard Barry. However, the Sixers foiled it: Barry botched his shot attempt, and the Sixers won the championship. This conflict had been going along for a while: Chamberlain made history by becoming the only center in NBA history to finish the season as the leader in assists, his beating runner-up, Hall-of-Fame point guard Lenny Wilkens ' total by In the Eastern Division Semifinals, they were pitted against the Knicks.

In a physically tough matchup, the Sixers lost sixth man Billy Cunningham with a broken hand, and Chamberlain, Greer and Jackson were struggling with inflamed feet, bad knees, and pulled hamstrings respectively. Going ahead 3—2, the Sixers defeated the Knicks —97 in Game 6 after Chamberlain scored 25 points and 27 rebounds: Despite the Sixers' injury woes, coach Hannum was confident to "take the Celtics in less than seven games": With eight of the ten starting players on the Sixers and Celtics being African-American, both teams were in deep shock, and there were calls to cancel the series.

King's funeral, Chamberlain called out to the angry rioters who were setting fires all over the country, stating Dr. King would not have approved. In that Game 7, the Sixers could not get their act together: Although Cherry points out that the Sixers shot badly Hal Greer, Wali Jones, Chet Walker, Luke Jackson and Matt Guokas hit a combined 25 of 74 shots and Chamberlain grabbed 34 rebounds and shot 4-of-9, the center himself scored only 14 points.

After that season, coach Alex Hannum wanted to be closer to his family on the West Coast; he left the Sixers to coach the Oakland Oaks in the newly founded American Basketball Association.

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