Some players have shone with their insane physical strength, but few have made such an impression as Wilt Chamberlain. The Stilt was so powerful that he could move colossi as if nothing had happened… The proof with this crazy anecdote, dating from 1971.
To say that Wilt Chamberlain individually crushed the competition during his career would be a hell of an understatement. The man with 100 points in a game was an absolute monster on the court, and a fairly unique profile in the NBA during the 1960s. In addition to his gargantuan statistics, we can also remember certain iconic moves from him such as the Fake Dunk, that he used to clear the way to the circle before laying down a simple lay-up. Few wanted to be in his way…
Because what terrified the adversaries of the Big Dipper so much was his physical power beyond measure. No one was then as strong as him, and only one Shaquille O’Neal really came close in the decades to follow. The basketball players were not the only ones to be flabbergasted by the late Hall of Famer, and we can notably mention the case of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who participated in the film Conan the Destroyer with him. Yet endowed with an impressive build, even the movie star said he felt very small alongside the former Sixer!
The inhuman strength of Wilt Chamberlain as told by Bob Lanier
Coming back to the big league, perhaps the best spokesperson is ex-player Bob Lanier, who played against Wilt multiple times during his career. Being also a member of the Hall of Fame, he notably had the right to a rather memorable first against the icon of the orange ball, one evening in October 1971. As he later recounted, Chamberlain was indeed allowed a rather crazy action against him:
The first time I played against Wilt Chamberlain, when I was playing for Detroit, I played physical against him, I tried to push him. And then Wilt turned to face me, grabbed me and lifted me up like I was a cup of coffee, before pulling me out of his way and saying, “Son, don’t try. never again against me, understand? “.
Small precision which is important: Lanier is wearing a 63 (!) and was listed at 2m08 for more than 110 kilos during his years in the league. In other words, we were talking about a very strong player, but that did not prevent The Stilt from treating him as a simple obstacle in his path. The person concerned was simply too strong for anyone, taking advantage of his genetic attributes as well as his technical ingenuity developed in contact with the Harlem Globetrotters. Impossible to stop such a combination!
Imagine Wilt Chamberlain in the current league, that’s what makes you want. After hearing what he could do to Bob Lanier, we would pay dearly to see the late pivot go up against Joel Embiid, Jokic & co. under the circles.