The legend of prep star Wilt and his first battles with Kareem
Not sure if any of you saw this, but we do a weekly Sports Legends feature on latimes.com/sports and this week it was on Wilt Chamberlain. The Sports Legends feature focuses on the truth behind rumors, hearsay or facts that have maybe been misconstrued or distorted over the years.
It's kind of cool to go back in time. I know a lot of the youngsters are really into the here and now. I've got a pair of sons in the early 20s who really dig basketball, like we do, and I'm always going on and on about the '70s and '80s, when I was in junior high, high school, college and just starting my professional career (picture a teenager rolling their eyes now). Well, Sports Legends takes us back to those days. Hope you enjoy the article.
Now, to veer toward Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt. I'm going to paste in a thread from regular commenter LRob, who did a nice recap on the Derek Fisher thread regarding the early meetings between Wilt and Kareem. I really enjoyed it, and I know from comments many others did. So I'm going to share the first game for those people who possibly don't read the comments section.
My apologies for the plagiarism, LRob. Hope you're not offended. Here's his post (and others are in the comment section of the Derek Fisher/Motivational Speaker post):
It was fall of 1970 when Kareem & Wilt first met, (Wilt was injured during regular season Kareem's rookie year so they didn't face off)....and a lot was happening in 1970:
***4 students were killed by National Guards during an anti-war protest at Kent State University
***Brooksy magnetic glove play propelled the Orioles to WS champs and made amends for their 1969 humbling
***Monday night football made its debut
***Marcus Welby MD, Flip Wilson, Ironside and Gunsmoke were the top TV shows
***Top 3 songs of the year were
Bridge Over Troubled Water-Simon/Garfunkel
I'll Be There-Jackson 5
Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head-BJ Thomas
Anyway here's what happening in their long anticipated first meeting:
Wilt Wins Duel With Alcindor
By United Press International
'Wilt Chamberlain won the battle but Lew Alcindor and the Milwaukee Bucks won the war.
Pro basketball's premier big men faced each other for only the second time Friday night and Chamberlain showed his experience in winning the battle of the seven-footers. But the Bucks were just too strong overall and handed the Los Angeles Lakers a 117-100 defeat. (first meeting was in pre-season).
Alcindor scored 29 points, one more than Chamberlain, but was outrebounded, 23,-13, and was in foul trouble most of the game. Alcindor was able to make good on only four of his first 12 shots and Chamberlain blocked three of his shots.
I think a couple of those blocks were shown on Wilt's highlight video posted earlier.
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Photo: The Lakers' Wilt Chamberlain gets off a finger roll against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Milwaukee Bucks during a game in 1972. Credit: Los Angeles Times