Walt Chamberlain's free throws

Reading an article in today’s paper I see these two tidbits:

  • NBA changed rule for throwing free throws because of Wilt Chamberlain.
  • Wilt Chamberlain was terrible at free throws.

If he was so terrible, why change the rule? To make it easier?

Jacques Kilchoer
Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

In Topic: change Walt to Wilt

Jacques Kilchoer
Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

The rule change widened the free throw lane, it had nothing to do with the way free throws were shot.

The wider lane prevented a player on offense from standing under a basket for more than 3 seconds. This had the effect of cutting down on easy layups.

Personally, I have a hard time believing he “scored” 20,000 times in his life. May God rest his soul. And his penis. :wink:

A world of sports fans and enough women to populare a small country mourn his loss…

Yer pal,

Did i hear correctly on the ‘news’ that he once scored 100 points in a game. It sounds a phenomenal amount. I said ‘news’, because the program was 17 minutes old before they thought to inform their viewers that as well as some basketball guy dying and some kids going on a march for something or other, the military overthrew the government of Pakistan…and now onto the weather.

Yep, 100 points. March 2, 1962.

Sucks to your assmar.

Yes, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in one game. You can get the details from just about any online news source, I imagine. The article I read in the paper this morning was from AP, if I remember correctly.


“Listen Children Eternal Father Eternally One!” Exceptions? None!
-Doc Bronner

The free throw rule Jacques referenced deals with running before shooting. When Wilt came into the league, there was no rule that disallowed running before shooting the free throw. So, Wilt being the enterprising 7 footer, ran to the free throw line and was able to dunk it. Imagine Jordan plus 7". Since this seemed a little unfair, they disallowed running. This is the point when Wilt’s free throw ability dropped into the ranges of Shaqdom

I got a lot of energy ready to be wasted on somebody - Mookie Wilson

Other Wilt accomplishment’s
Never fouled out (as a center, I can’t tell you how unlikely that is)
averaged over 50 points a game in one season
Sat out 6 minutes in an entire season
Averaged over 20 rebounds in his career

Want more Wilt oddities? I am a fount of worthless sports knowledge, which is about as applicable to real life as a liberal arts degree.

Thank you, Mullinator, for the Straight Dope.

Jacques Kilchoer
Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

I don’t know if he scored 20,000 points in his life, probably more.
www.WiltChamberlain.com ? Ah, how people profit from famous names.

Don’t forget that he also holds the record for highest average points per game in a single season… He also holds the second and third place on the same list. Jordan is fourth on the list with 30-something… Pussy…

ducks3 said:

Bear in mind that Chamberlain was the first of his breed. As Wilt was fond of pointing out, he was far and away the tallest player in the sport at the time, and also had the best-developed skills. Watch some film of his games sometime – nobody can compete with The Stilt. The lack of challenge is a lot of what made him so dominant. I could score 100 points in a game too, if I were playing against 8-year-olds.

Today, every team has a 7+ footer, and the average height has gone up. While Spud Webb and Muggsy Bogues can do incredible things today at guard, they are exceptions. Furthermore, as basketball has become more high-profile and big-money, the players are coming out of college with a much stronger skills package. Were Wilt Chamberlain alive, young, and playing today, he would still be a top-ranked center, but he might not be the best, and he’d have to work a lot harder for it. Michael Jordan might be a better athlete, but Wilt’s height might make up the difference. It’s a tough call.

[disclaimer]I am not a basketball fan. I just have been through this discussion before. If my facts or opinions seem to be a bit off, you may ignore me. No matter what, though, Wilt Chamberlain was an all-time great as well as a heck of a guy, and he will be missed.[/disclaimer]

–Da Cap’n

20,000? Maybe, but a lot of 'em were assists. (Ba-da bump.) They didn’t call him “The Stilt” for nothing.

During the game he scored 100 points, Wilt hit on 28 of 32 trips to the free throw line.

As an individual player, yes. However, Bill Russell’s Celtics teams dominated them in conference play (Wilt was only on 2 championship teams). Even an injured Willis Reed got the best of him in the 7th game of the championship series in '70.
Another interesting note: They instituted an NCAA rule change because of him as well. In college, you used to be able to throw an inbounds pass over the top of the backboard. Wilt’s Kansas teammates would throw the ball in over the top where Wilt would simply throw it in. The NCAA changed this rule (no more over backboard inbounding) fairly quickly after seeing Wilt’s blatant cherry picking.

The free throw rule was changed because Wilt was absolutely terrible at free throws. This was very important in the final seconds of a game. If Wilt’s team was up by a few points in the closing seconds of a game, and Wilt had possesion of the ball, the opposing team would intentionaly foul him. The “over the limit” rule states that after a certain number of fouls, the opposing team gets to shoot 1 or 2 free throws instead of taking the ball out of bounds. Before the rule change, whoever was fouled took the shots. Consequently, the opposing team found Wilt and fouled him intentionally, forcing him to shoot, and most likely miss, free throws. This allowed the other team the chance to rebound and stage a comeback. Because of this frequent and unfair occurence, the league changed the rule to say that for intentional fouls away from the ball, the fouled player takes his shots, and then his team gets to inbound the ball, instead of having the rebound up for grabs.