I know, I know, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time because he went to the finals 6 times and won every time. Or it’s Bill Russell who won the title 11 times in 13 seasons. Or it’s Kareem Abdul Jabbar who holds the record for most points scored of all time. After watching Wilt’s videos and reviewing his stats, I can’t think of anyone else who deserves the honor.
Wilt is Legendary
The Big Dipper was off the charts. He got the nickname from his friends, who first called him “Dip” or “Dippy” because he had to dip under doorways. The best argument that can be made against Wilt is that his competition wasn’t nearly as fierce. That being said, if Wilt was playing in today’s game, he’d probably score even more than he did in the 60’s. If Kwame Brown can last 10 years in the NBA, let’s double check how good it is today. Let’s break down Wilt.
At 7-1, 275lbs, he was a freak of nature. He was an avid track and field athlete: as a youth, he high jumped 6 feet, 6 inches, ran the 440 yards in 49.0 seconds and the 880 yards in 1:58.3, shot put 53 feet, 4 inches, and broad jumped 22 feet. These are insane numbers for a guy that tall.
- Wilt got his bench press up to 500 pounds. Shaq could only bench about 450, probably less now.
- He was ranked the #1 volleyball player in the world at one point. He liked volleyball because it helped him pick up chicks.
- Wilt played every minute of every game some seasons. In the 60’s, the seasons were 80 games with 12 minute quarters which was 3,840 minutes. In one season he played 3,882 minutes. In 9 seasons he played over 3600+ minutes. Jordan’s most ever was 3,311.
- When he was 25, he averaged 50.4 points per game.
Wilt holds the record with 55 rebounds in 1 game AGAINST BILL RUSSELL.
- He averaged over 20 rebounds a game for 12 straight seasons and dipped to 18+ for his final 4 years.
- Only player in NBA history to record a double – triple – double. On February 2, 1968 against the Detroit Pistons, he logged 22 points, 25 rebounds and 21 assists.
- He also won seven scoring, nine field goal percentage, and 11 rebounding titles in addition to an assist title.
- Wilt slept with 20,000 women (according to him). If Wilt started at the age of 15, from then up to the age of 55 (when the book was published) he would have had 40 years to sleep with 20,000 women, or 500 different women a year-easy math. That works out to roughly 1.4 women a day
Notable Quotes on Wilt
“Wilt was on of the greatest ever, and we will never see another one like him.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
“One-on-one he [Wilt] would’ve murdered Russell and everyone. But playing five-on-five, Wilt was consigned to a specific role because of his ability to score so easily, whereas the Celtics fit Russell into their team concept better.” -Red Holzman, A View form the Bench, p. 78
“Once Wilt got upset with me and dunked the ball so hard it went through the rim with such force that it broke my toe as it hit the floor.” -Johnny Kerr, Tall Tales (by Terry Pluto) p. 237