SCP Auctions President David Kohler personally acquired
the Wilt Chamberlain collection in 1994.
He was basketball's unstoppable force, the most awesome
offensive force the game has ever seen. Asked to name the
greatest players ever to play basketball, most fans and
aficionados would put Wilt Chamberlain at or near the top
of the list.
Dominating the game as few players in any sport ever have, Chamberlain seemed capable of scoring and rebounding at will, despite the double- and triple-teams and constant fouling tactics that opposing teams used to try to shut him down.
As Oscar Robertson put it in the Philadelphia Daily News when asked whether Chamberlain was the best ever, "The books don't lie."
The record books are indeed heavy with Chamberlain's accomplishments. He was the only NBA player to score 4,000 points in a season. He set NBA single-game records for most points (100), most consecutive field goals (18) and most rebounds(55). Perhaps his most mind-boggling stat was the 50.4 points per game he averaged during the 1961-62 season--and if not that, then perhaps the 48.5 minutes per game he averaged that same year.
He retired as the all-time in career points with 31,419, which was later surpassed by Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Karl Malone and Michael Jordan. He is tops in rebounds with 23,924. He led the NBA in scoring seven years in a row. He was the league's top rebounder in 11 of his 14 seasons. And as if to prove that he was not a selfish player, he had the NBA's highest assist total in 1967-68.
But the most outstanding figures are his scoring records; Most games with 50+ points, 118; Most consecutive games with 40+ points, 14; Most consecutive games with 30+ points: 65; Most consecutive games with 20+ points: 126; Highest rookie scoring average: 37.6 ppg; Highest field goal percentage in a season: .727. And with many of these, the player in second place is far behind. His name appears so often in the scoring record books that his name could be the default response any time a question arises concerning a scoring record in the NBA.
During his prep years, he scored 2,206 points and had individual games in which he scored 90, 74 and 71 points. In his senior year he averaged 44.5 points. In his 90-point game he scored 60 points in 12 minutes of the second half. "But it's nothing," Chamberlain said in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1991, "when you consider that the team we were playing against was trying to freeze the ball."
It was also during this time that one of his nicknames, "the Stilt," was coined by a local newspaper writer. Chamberlain detested it, as he did other monikers that called attention to his height, such as "Goliath." The names he didn't mind were "Dippy" and "Dipper," along with the later variant, "Big Dipper." The story goes that Chamberlain's buddies seeing him dip his head as his walked through doorways tagged him with the nickname and it stuck.
In 1978, his first year of eligibility, Chamberlain was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 1996-97 he was selected to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.