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YouTube Gold: Wilt Chamberlain In His Prime

Some great and rare footage here

Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell
Bill Russell trying a different defensive strategy against Wilt Chamberlain

It’s still amazing to go back and watch some of the insane things that Wilt Chamberlain did. He was 7-1, weighed somewhere around 280-300 and was the strongest player by far, quite possibly the fastest player of his era and reportedly had a 50” vertical.

And, by the way, never fouled out of a game.

When you watch this video of him in his prime and you see what he does and what his rivals, notably Bill Russell, say about him, it’s even more amazing.

A number of contemporary players talk about him here too - Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and James Harden - and they all recognize his athletic brilliance.

So here’s a question: how would he do today?

Well let’s look at it two ways.

If you could somehow port 1964 Wilt into today’s game he’d still be a major load. But if you had a young Wilt and he developed with everything players have today, including nutrition, advanced weight training and the general advancement and the chance to learn the modern game?

He might be better.

With his talent, there’s no reason why Chamberlain couldn’t have an inside-out game like, say, Durant, and in today’s game, which encourages ferocity more than in his day, he’d probably be much more physical than he was (in reality, as Phil Jackson said, Chamberlain wasn’t very physical given his immense power).

It’s fun to consider. Watch this and see what you think.