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Word Count: 484
There have been many greats to play the game basketball but we have never and maybe never again see the likes of Wilt Chamberlain His entire life Wilt Chamberlain made the improbable look routine No professional athlete in any team sport combined the size strength and fluidity of movement that Wilt Chamberlain brought into the sleepy dimly lit NBA arenas of 1959 Ill go one step further No one who has played pro team sports has ever dominated every minute of every game in the early 60s His size and strength were sources of wonder not only to paying spectators but also to his fellow players Wilt played in the NBA for 14 seasons from 59-60 through 72-73 and he helped the NBA from league of moderate local interest to a major TV attraction Unfortunately especially for younger fans most of the TV tributes following his death showed the Wilt of the early 70s Sure his Lakers teams were great-the 71-72 team won pro sports record 33 games in a row But Wilt by then was a much different player than he had been in his younger days I myself have not seen the real Chamberlain play a number of times but when I did it was amazing Through most of the 60s Chamberlain played with strength speed and dexterity His footwork was quick enough to fake out defenders and he had enough touch to make his finger rolls and fadeaways virtually unstoppable Of course no one could repel his moves to the hoop and even when he was technically boxed out under the boards he would get his share of reach-in rebounds over the heads of shorter opponents But in November 1969 he had surgery after tearing a knee ligament Through diligent rehabilitation he was able to return to the Lakers at the end of the regular season and play a full playoff schedule But Wilts style was different after the injury more mechanical
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