Wilt Chamberlain’s passing ended his bright tennis career.

The 100th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain’s game on Saturday brought back memories of the Big Dipper, who passed away in 1999 at the age of sixty-three.

For someone other than Chamberlain, scoring 100 points in an NBA game is impressive. Years later, he told me that he had decided, just before that game, to reduce his scoring because he felt it was making him appear too self-centered.

While Wilt didn’t mind boasting, he saw it more as a means of educating people, akin to a tour guide at the Wilt Chamberlain Museum, rather than as bragging.

He was a world-class water skier, a master chef, a skilled beach volleyball player, a proficient mountain biker, and the unofficial record holder for the fastest coast-to-coast drive in a Bentley.

A man called me when Chamberlain was fifty years old and said he had watched Wilt play tennis. Wilt had a dreadful backhand. I called Wilt.

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FILE-This file image from November 11, 2015 shows Farhan Zaidi, the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time, speaking with reporters during the baseball general managers’ meetings in Boca Raton, Florida.

That evening in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Chamberlain achieved a feat for which he was proud: he broke the record on a pinball machine in the arena lobby.


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