Useful Notes: Wilt Chamberlain

"He was basketball's unstoppable force, the most awesome offensive force the game has ever seen."
—Introductory line of Chamberlain's NBA Encyclopedia biography.

Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain (August 21, 1936–October 12, 1999) was an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

He is known for three things: his numerical dominance, his 100-point game and the amount of women he claimed to have slept with. He also made a guest appearance in animated form on Goober and the Ghost Chasers.

Chamberlain was a two-time champion, four-time MVP and one-time Finals MVP. He is widely considered the most dominant player in the history of basketball.

Tropes associated with Wilt Chamberlain include:

  • The Ace
  • Badass
  • Badass Crew: The 1967 Sixers and 1972 Lakers.
  • The Big Guy: He wasn't called Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain for nothing.
  • The Casanova: Chamberlain claimed he slept with 20,000 women. The people who knew him agreed that this is probably an exaggeration, but not by as much as one might think.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: In-Universe. Scoring 100 points in a single game by himself is almost universally regarded as this by basketball fans. Rightly so, as this is a feat that was never achieved before and has never been replicated since. For comparison, that's as much as most teams score nowadays. The only player to even come within 20 points of this mark was Kobe Bryant, with an 81-point game in 2006, and only 3 other players have even topped 70. As such the record is looked at as being almost certainly unbreakable.
  • Enthusiasm vs. Stoicism: Chamberlain was the enthusiast; Bill Russell was The Stoic.
  • Friendly Enemy: Chamberlain was great friends with his rival Bill Russell.
  • Gentle Giant: By most accounts, this was because Chamberlain was genuinely afraid that he would kill an opposing player if he lost his temper (easy to believe, since Wilt bench-pressed 450 to 500 pounds with ease).
  • Humble Hero: He didn't really think too much about his 100 point game, and was very modest about the achievement.
  • Jack of All Stats: There are five major statistical categories in basketball: points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. Chamberlain's scoring and rebounding were beyond compare. He also developed passing skills as he got older and realized he had to get his team more involved if he wanted to win a championship. We will probably never know how many blocks he got, but it's widely believed he and Bill Russell may well have blocked more shots than anyone else in league history. Steals are a little tougher to guess at, but considering how many minutes he played and how many blocks he got (which can easily lead to steals, although he often had a tendency to launch blocked shots right off the court as an intimidation tactic) it's safe to say he grabbed a lot of those as well. If anyone has ever achieved the seemingly impossible quintuple-double, it may well have been him.
  • The Juggernaut: He held 72 records at one time.
  • Large and In Charge
  • Lightning Bruiser: Very strong but also very fast, coordinated and graceful.
  • Lost Forever: Unfortunately, there's no film of the 100-point game.
  • Nice Guy
  • One-Man Army: He scored 100 points in a single game by himself. Keep in mind that most teams don't even break that score very often.
  • Rated M for Manly: His good look, booming voice, large frame and playboy traits made him often referenced as one of the manliest man in basketball history.
  • Red Baron: The Stilt, Goliath, The Big Dipper.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: Chamberlain during the 1966-1967 season, ironically the first time he was not the top-scorer, but he led his team in four categories, won the rebounding title (again), was the MVP (again), led his team to a then-record 68-13 regular season record and won Philadelphia its first NBA championship.
  • Super Strength: By normal human standards anyway, considering he could bench press over 500 pounds easily.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: Regarding team play, he suffered a long streak of losses against the ultra-stacked Boston Celtic dynasty, but his championship teams set several standards.