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Statistics: 37.6 PPG, 2.3 APG, 27.0 RPG
Wilt Chamberlain has posted some of the gaudiest statistics the NBA has ever witnessed. And he wasted no time doing it.
His 1959-60 campaign was his first season in the NBA, yet he went on to break eight separate records, including points per game (37.6) and rebounds per game (27.0).
The former Kansas Jayhawk dominated in a way never seen before.
He poured in an astounding 43 points and 28 rebounds in his inaugural NBA game and showed no signs of his youth. The rookie also led the league in minutes per game, PER and finished second in free throws made.
Additionally, he immediately helped lead the Philadelphia Warriors to a 49-26 record.
His rare combination of size, skill and athleticism was completely foreign to the NBA at the time, despite his relative similarity to Celtics great Bill Russell. In comparison, Chamberlain stood three inches taller and was nearly 60 pounds heavier than Russell.
Wilt the Stilt's rookie campaign marked the start of a revered career, but his rookie season was one of his greatest. In measuring his greatness, it's worth noting the differences in the game back then.
In 1959-60 season, the lowest average point total of a team was 107.3. Conversely, in the 2012-13 season, the highest average point total by a team was less than that, at 106.1. The frantic pace of the NBA game in the 1960s is noticeably different than today's. Thus, the averages skyrocketed because the players had more possessions to work with.
This can partially explain Wilt's unworldly numbers throughout his career. It's difficult to gauge his accomplishments with those of modern day players because of the difference in pace of play.
However, production is production, and the nuances of the 1960s' NBA don't to take away from his tremendous accomplishments.
Chamberlain is one of the greatest players ever, and his rookie campaign ranks right up there with the best MVP seasons.