Wilt Chamberlain - Beginnings Of Rivalry With Bill Russell
Beginnings of Rivalry with Bill Russell
During that 1959-60 season, Chamberlain averaged 37.6 points and 27 rebounds per game, and earned the title of NBA rookie of the year, all-star game MVP, and NBA MVP. He was also selected for the All-NBA First Team. Once again, Chamberlain was virtually without equal: other than Wes Unseld nine years later, no other player would win rookie and MVP recognition in a single year.
The Warriors, which Chamberlain propelled from last place to second place, went up against the Celtics in the 1960 NBA playoffs, thus beginning the legendary Chamberlain-Russell rivalry. This was the first of eight years in which a team on which Chamberlain played would meet the Celtics in the playoffs, but only once would Chamberlain's team gain victory over the Celtics.
After the 4-2 loss to Boston in the series, Chamberlain stunned fans by announcing that he was thinking of retiring after just one season. Precisely because of his size, he was taking too much of a pounding from opposing teams, who worked to level the playing field, on the way committing numereous hard fouls against him. Chamberlain himself never fouled out once in 1,045 regular-season and 160 playoff games, a hallmark of his even temper on the court. Of course, one could argue that he did not have to get angry, given his physical dominance. In any case, all the abuse on the court was taking its toll on his body, and to combat the effects, Chamberlain, who was already strong, made himself even stronger. He worked out with weights, and by the time he reached the peak of his career, he tip the scale at 300 lean, fast, muscular pounds.
- Wilt Chamberlain - Chronology
- Wilt Chamberlain - From The Jayhawks To The Globetrotters To The Warriors
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