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Wilt-Kareem revisited: A blocked shot for the ages

September 3, 2010 |  6:36 pm


I'm going to beat LRob to the reminiscing thread today. Or maybe actually start another.

I received an e-mail from a gentleman back east. He said he enjoyed the Wilt-Kareem post from the other day and relayed to me a game in which he witnessed what he thought was the greatest blocked shot of all time. I replied to his e-mail and asked him why he didn't post it in the comments area and wondered if he'd give me permission to do so. He was actually hoping that maybe I'd use it in a post.

So, to get the evening started and take your minds off gambling websites and the odds-on favorite Miami Heat, here's one man's account of the greatest blocked shot he's ever seen:

The reason I'm writing is, your article reminded me of a spectacular block that Wilt Chamberlain made on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  I think it may have been a playoff game, possibly in 1972 (I was only 12 at the time, so the memory is a little fuzzy).

In any case, Abdul-Jabbar received the ball on some type of [transition situation], where it was only Chamberlain and Abdul-Jabbar in the Bucks' frontcourt.  Kareem was to the right of the lane, just below the free-throw line extended. Wilt was about half way between Kareem and the basket.  Abdul-Jabbar decided to shoot his "Sky Hook" from that position and put up a beautiful, high-arching shot toward the basket.

Chamberlain had no chance to close the distance and try to "bump" Kareem ... and therefore the shot ... off target. So, he squatted down as low as he could get and exploded straight up in the air, big right hand extended as far as he could reach ... and he blocked the "Sky Hook" at it's highest point!  It was one of the two most amazing shot blocks I've ever seen! (The other was David Thompson's block of Bill Walton's hook shot in the NCAA semifinal basketball game in ... was it 1975?).

As the ball went sailing out of bounds, I remember Kareem just standing there, staring at Chamberlain in disbelief! I watched a lot of Bucks basketball back then and I don't remember ever seeing anyone else even come close to blocking the "Sky Hook." Maybe your research department can find the specific details.  Anyway, I just thought you might enjoy that story.

Terry Ruggles

Sorry, Terry. No such department exists at The Times. But fortunately for you, Lakers fans are about to search their memory banks to recall if they remember that play.

What about it gang? Anybody remember that game and shot?

-- Dan Loumena

Photo: Wilt Chamberlain started his professional basketball career with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1958. Credit: Associated Press