When discussing the most dominant players to ever pick up a basketball, Wilt Chamberlain has to be in the conversation. It’s so easy to take for granted what he did considering the era in which he played.
It was a different league back then and the competition level was not nearly at the same value.
But Chamberlain was the greatest of his time, that much is no debate. Over the course of his 15-year-career, he broke countless records and set insane standards as he averaged 30 points per game and 22 rebounds. He’s the only player in history to average more than 50 points in a single season and the only player to average a whopping 27 rebounds per game.
Unfortunately, Wilt played in an era before the league counted blocks and steals on the stat sheet, but he dominated in those areas as well.
In fact, from the data that we do have, it’s clear that he was an amazing shot blocker as well.
Wilt led the league in scoring and rebounding on multiple occasions, and it was believed he had several seasons where he averaged a triple-double by having more than ten blocks per game. Unfortunately, blocks were first recognized in the 1973-74 season, which was one year after he retired. Luckily there is data for blocked shots in 112 games Wilt has played in, and they show something pretty remarkable.
There is a Wilt Chamberlain’s game log, which has records of all the games Wilt Chamberlain recorded a block. In those 112 games, Wilt has averaged 8.8 blocks per game, which is pretty impressive and unbelievable at the same time. What is even crazier is that the blocks were recorded in the later staged of his career when he was already 35, 36 years old which shows how big of an impact he had on defense.
8.8 blocks per game is obviously an unreal number for blocks. Mark Eaton holds the all-time records for total blocks and blocks per game with 5.5 during one season. Hassan Whiteside leads the NBA in blocks so far this season with 2.75 blocks per game. Had the league been keeping count, Wilt would have shattered both records.
Obviously, the 8.8 number from Wilt was recorded in the waning stages of his career. One can only imagine how high the number was in his prime.
He was a truly unprecedented player and a guy who set a standard that may never bet met in the NBA again.