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Wednesday, October 13, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 37

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NBA's legendary scorer, Wilt Chamberlain, found dead at the age of 63

Cougar Sports Services

Wilt Chamberlain, one of the most dominant players in the history of basketball and the only player to score 100 points in an NBA game, died Tuesday at 63, a Pacific Lakers spokesman said.

Chamberlain's body was found by authorities who were called to his Bel Air home shortly after noon Los Angeles time. A fire department spokesman said Chamberlain may have had a heart attack.

Known as "Wilt the Stilt" and "The Big Dipper," the 7-1 Chamberlain dominated the NBA from 1959-73 when he played for the Philadelphia (later the San Francisco) Warriors, the 76ers and the Lakers. He scored 31,419 points during his career, an average of 30.1 points per game.

He also led the league in career rebounding with 23,924.

One of only two men named MVP and rookie of the year in the same season (1959), he was also named MVP from 1966-68. He led the NBA in scoring seven straight seasons, 1960 to 1966, and led the league in rebounding 11 of his 14 seasons.

One of his most famous records is the 100 points he scored in a single game in the Philadelphia Warriors' 169-147 win over the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962, in Hershey, Pa.

In the 1961-62 season with Philadelphia, he averaged a record 50.4 points per game. He also was one of the most versatile big men ever, leading the league in assists (702) in 1967-68.

Chamberlain led his teams into the playoffs 13 times, winning two world championships. The first came in 1966-67 with the Philadelphia 76ers and the second in 1971-72 with the Los Angeles Lakers.

His teams lost in the finals four other times and were beaten in the conference finals six times.

Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics almost always seemed to be the nemesis of Chamberlain-led teams, beating them twice in the championship series and five times in the conference finals. Three times, a series was decided by a seventh game that Boston won by either one or two points.

A lifelong bachelor, Chamberlain made news after his basketball career by claiming in an autobiography that he had made love to 20,000 women.

"The women who I have been the most attracted to, the most in love with, I've pushed away the strongest," Chamberlain said in a 1991 interview.

"There are about five women I can think of I could have married. I cared for them a lot, but not enough to make a commitment," he said.

In January 1998, Chamberlain made his first official visit to Kansas since his abbreviated college career ended in 1958.

His jersey was raised to the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse, where Chamberlain starred for the Jayhawks. He led the 1957 team to the NCAA tournament finals, where Kansas lost to unbeaten North Carolina in triple overtime.

He seemed genuinely surprised at how much he was loved by the rabid Kansas fans, even though he had stayed away for 40 years.

"Forty years ago I lost a heartbreaking battle, losing to North Carolina by one point in triple overtime," he told the crowd, referring to the NCAA title game his sophomore season in 1957. "It was a devastating thing for me because I felt like I let the university down, I let KU down."

The crowd interrupted, yelling, "No, no," before resuming another standing ovation. His huge hand brushed his cheek as he paused again, drowned out by more applause.
 

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