Long before Kobe, or Shaq, or MJ, or Magic, or Bird, or Kareem, there was Wilt--arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. For instance, in his third NBA season alone (1961-62), Wilt Chamberlain had per-game averages of 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds, and he played all but nine minutes of his team's 80 games. Wilt would hold more than 80 records by the end of his career and would prompt the NBA to make several rule changes--creating the goal-tending call, for one. Despite these accomplishments, Wilt was always regarded as the "loser" and his Boston Celtic archrival, Bill Russell, as the "winner." Author Cherry addresses this misconception--Wilt's teams
were always vastly weaker than Russell's--and also gives enough, but not too much, attention to Chamberlain's ill-considered, though possibly accurate, boast that he'd slept with some 20,000 women. A solid biography for any sports collection. Alan MooresCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From the Inside Flap
There are celebrities and so-called legends. And then there is Wilton Norman Chamberlain, unique and unforgettable, and one of the 20th centurys greatest and most controversial athletes.
Wilt: Larger than Life examines Chamberlains fascinating story, delving into his life both on and off the basketball court, and spanning his childhood to his death in 1999. The author spent four years crisscrossing the country researching Wilts life and gathering stories from the most important people in it. The result is the most thorough and entertaining book ever written about this American icon, a worthy addition to the annals of sports biographies.
Among those interviewed were Wilts longtime lawyer, doctor, and accountant; many of Wilts other male and female friends and associates; and his basketball teammates, coaches, and opponents at every level of his momentous career. This is a portrait of Wilt that relatively few people, except family and friends, have ever seen. Wilt covers Chamberlains stupendous athletic achievements, including the memorable basketball battles with Bill Russell, Willis Reed, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but equally compelling is the portrayal of the private Wilt and his unique lifestyle. Included in this in-depth look at the man and his life are a "tour" through his amazing home; vignettes of the beach volleyball life to which he was attracted; the sports teams he sponsored; the notorious claim of making love to twenty thousand women and the related issue of why he never married; his days (and nights) after his retirement from basketball; and his sad final weeks. Here, finally, is a biography that does justice to the myth and the man that was Wilt.