Wilton Norman “Wilt” Chamberlain (August 8, 1936 – October 12, 1999) also known as “Wilt The Stilt”, “The Big Dipper”, amongst other nicknames, played 14 remarkable seasons in the NBA from 1959 to 1973.
Physically, Wilt Chamberlain was as big as any of the league’s giant centers and more athletically gifted than most. At 7’ in socks, weighing 275 lbs when he entered the NBA, and 300 lbs later on. Wilt was credited with being able to bench press 500 lbs, run a 440 yard sprint in 49 seconds, and high jump 6’ 6’’.
Perhaps he was most famous for scoring 100 points in a game, but that single amazing scoring accomplishment should be considered as only the inevitable highlight of the game’s most unstoppable offensive player.
Wilt’s famous quotes and his contemporaries unbelievable stories about him are worthy of their own re-telling. There are many stories of Wilt stopping altercations by picking up players weighing over 230 lbs like they were children and advising them that there would no more of that.
Suffice it to say Wilt was perhaps the strongest athlete to ever suit up for an NBA game and his life was as colorful as any who has ever played.
Even after 35 years, many of Wilt Chamberlain’s personal bests still represent the highest ever achieved in the NBA and it is highly unlikely that many of them will ever be surpassed.
One has to wonder just how much higher Chamberlain’s stats could have been if it were not for the NBA’s rule that prevented players from entering the league until after 4 seasons of college ball.
Wilt would have been an obvious candidate to jump straight to the NBA out of high school. In his freshman year at Kansas, already 7’ tall and 225 lbs, Wilt led his freshman team to victory against the varsity squad, scoring 42 points.
It could be argued that Wilt Chamberlain would have easily added 10,000 points and 6,000 rebounds to his already unbelievable career totals by playing 4 more years at the start of his NBA career.
The NBA did not officially include block shots and steals until after Chamberlain’s retirement thus denying him the opportunity to hold official records for those stats or some of the numerous special statistical categories that we follow today. Chamberlain and his contemporaries would have likely held many of those records to the present day.
Following are some of the astounding statistics in points, rebounds, assists, special stats, and minutes played held by one of the greatest players to ever grace the NBA.