“At the time, I thought he was the baddest” – Wilt Chamberlain’s strength overshadowed Bob Lanier.

Bob Lanier saw firsthand the unadulterated might of Wilt Chamberlain.

In addition to being a brilliant scorer, Wilt Chamberlain was also one of the most powerful centers in NBA history. ‘Wilt The Stilt’ was a powerful and strong man, standing 7’1″ and weighing 275 pounds. Bob Lanier had to learn the hard way that the four-time MVP was not just a prolific scorer and rebounder in the paint, but also knew how to use his strength. Even though he was 6’11”, Chamberlain picked him up casually and moved him all over the court.


Lanier was shown Chamberlain’s strength.

In the 1970s, the NBA had regulations preventing dominant big men from controlling the paint, and Lanier personified this aggressive playmaking approach. But when he met Chamberlain, the former center for the Detroit Pistons soon realized just how good he really was.


The eight-time All-Star described an unforgettable interaction he had with Wilt during a game in Los Angeles in a piece published in Sports Illustrated. As they fought for possession, the referee stepped in and warned them that they might commit a double foul. Still, they continued until Chamberlain decided to take matters into his own hands and put an end to the jostling.


“Well, I stepped in on Wilt again, and he just picked me up and moved me out of the way,” Lanier recalled. “And that concluded things… I thought he was the coolest when he lifted me up here and placed me down over there.”


Wilt Chamberlain has unfathomable strength.

It’s safe to argue that Lanier’s story only scratches the surface of “The Big Dipper’s” incredible power. Cal Ramsey, a former guard for the New York Knicks, once related a story about how Wilt heroically fought off a mountain lion attack by seizing the animal by the tail and hurling it into the nearby bushes.

“Wilt was driving across Arizona or New Mexico and stopped by the side of the road for a minute when he was attacked by a mountain lion,” Ramsey stated. “Wilt says the mountain lion jumped on his shoulder, and he grabbed it by the tail and threw it into the bushes.”


Having said that, Ramsey acknowledged that he was not present when Chamberlain had this experience, but he did notice a large scar on the latter’s back, which convinced him that this was a real incidence.


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