Wilton Norman Chamberlain is one of the greatest centers in NBA history. Point Period end of Discussion- with all the talk of how todays players are stronger, quicker, faster and plain better than the players of the 60s and 70s. Wilt is one player that would be the exception to the rule. If Wilt stepped on the Kansas campus today he would dominate, and would be an All-Star today.
First lets go to the scoring- Wilt's obvious strong suit. Not only was Wilt the only player to ever average 40 points per game- he is the only player to ever average FIFTY points per game. Wilt has the top 4 point per game averages in NBA history and 5 of the top 6 overall. Lets also not forget his 100 point game in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Wilt and Jordan are the only two players in NBA history to average over 30 ppg over their careers and also the only two players to lead the NBA in scoring seven straight years.
Next, the rebounding, Wilt is the best rebounder in NBA history, averaging 22.89 a game just a hair over Bill Russell, the two players are the over 6 boards better than the next guy on the list (Bob Pettit). Wilt, however, is the only player to average 25 boards a game, he is also the only player to average 26 boards a game, and yes the only player to pull down over 27 rebounds a game for an entire year. By comparison, Dwight Howard lead the NBA in rebounding with a 14 board average. Wilt was either 1st or 2nd in the NBA in boards for each of his 13 years-other than the 69-70 season where he only played 12 games if that year had qualified would have been a board and a half more than Elvin Hayes that year. Wilt even at 36 lead the NBA in rebounds. Wilt is over 2300 boards ahead of Russell (23924 to 21620) in total boards- and has more than TWICE the rebounds of Shaquille O'Neal (11933) . Wilts high of 55 boards in one game is one record that may never be touched.
Wilt is so far ahead that if you took Shaq and added Dennis Rodmans rebounds TOGETHER- they would not reach Wilts total rebounds- Even with the combined 30 years of those two players to Wilts 13 year career!
Wilt also lead the NBA in Field goal percentage- 9 times in 13 years- plus 5 times in a row including that final year at age 36. Wilt owns the all-time NBA record .727 accuracy from the field, and also has a comfortable number 2 spot with .683. Wilt also lead the NBA in Minutes per game 9 times in 13 years and was second the year that broke his 5 and 4 year streak. He also is the only player to average more than 48 minutes a game in 1961-62 season.
Finally the oddity- Wilt is the ONLY center in NBA history to lead the NBA in assists, Odd? In 1967-68 Wilt lead the NBA in PPG, Rebounds, RPG Assists minutes and Field Goal percentage!
Wilt made 1st (7 times) or 2nd team(2 times) all NBA his first nine years in the NBA and added another 2nd team his next to last year at 35. Considering he was going head to head with Bill Russell for that honor shows the battle those two fought year round. Wilt won Back-to Back-to Back MVPs. Bill Russell and Larry Bird are the only two players to equal that feat.
Wilt is one of the few players to make the All-Star game every year he played- 13 for 13.
Wilts main issue with the All-time rankings are two-fold one- he does not have the rings that a Bill Russell or even Shaq has only 2 rings- But you can also state that he did not have the talent or the GM that Bill Russell did.
The other issue was self-inflicted. Wilt threatened to retire after his rookie year due to the beating he took, much like Dale Brown telling Shaq to leave LSU. He also missed 2 games in the playoffs for punching a player- as well as taking the battle to the media over the issue in an era where Giants battled down low and were not expected to complain about it. He also angered a lot of his peers for his attitude that he was better than they were and was in fact the best player in the NBA. One year he got into it several teammates over the fact that he lived in New York and would drive to Philadelphia so they could only have afternoon practice- Practice? In Philadelphia?
Wilt was one of the most dominant players in NBA history, and even though he wrote in his 1997 book that players of that era did not respect the past. You cannot look at any All-Time list and not see Wilt the Still standing tall.