The name Wilt Chamberlain doesn't get much traction in the NBA's GOAT debate, but perhaps it should. If nothing else, the 13x All-Star was the game's first truly dominant player. Over the course of his 15-year career, he made 2 All-Defensive teams, 10 All-NBA teams, won seven scoring titles, and four MVPs.
The scope and degree of dominance he held, back then, has yet to be repeated by any other player in basketball since.
And, for perspective, there are many records he broke that still remain unbeaten today. Reddit user u/mysticmuzic recently compiled a list of his most impressive ones:
- Most shot attempts in a game without a miss (18-18)
- Most consecutive games without fouling out (1045)
- Highest scoring average in a season (50.4)
- Most points in an NBA game (100)
- Most minutes played per game in a season (48.5)
- Most career 60-point games (32), the 2nd place is held by Kobe Bryant with (6). that means Wilt has more than 5 times as many 60-point games as the next closest
But, of course, it doesn't stop there. Chamberlain is also responsible for these amazing feats:
Wilt had more 50 point games in the ‘61-‘62 season (45) than MJ had in his entire career (31).
Wilt had 15 games scoring 65 or more points. There are only 8 other such games from the rest of the NBA combined.
Wilt had 6 games scoring 70 or more points. The rest of the NBA has managed 5 such games.
Wilt is the only player to score 60 or more points in consecutive games, once scoring 60 in 4 straight.
He is the only player to grab over 2,000 rebounds in a season, something he accomplished twice.
Wilt never grabbed less than 10 rebounds in any playoff game he logged minutes in.
He is the only player to lead the league in points and rebounds in the same season, something he did 6 times.
He is the only player to lead the league in rebounds and assists in the same season.
One of only two players to record a double-triple-double (20/20/20 stat line).
Only player to have had a 40/40 game, something he did 8 times.
He had a 30/30 game 124 times in his career. All other NBA players combine for just 32.
For his career, Chamberlain averaged 30 points, 22.9 rebounds, and 4,4 assists per game on 54% shooting. He holds the NBA's highest single-game scoring number at 100 points and is the only player to average 50 points and over 25 rebounds in a single season.
In total, Wilt holds a total of 72 records, with 68 of them being by himself.
Obviously, the guy played in an era that wasn't nearly as developed as we saw in the 90s or even today. He only has 2 NBA Championships to show for it.
But make no mistake about it: Wilt was the most dominant player to ever pick up a basketball. And even if it was just a product of an immature league, we can't fault him for taking advantage of it in such a monumental way.