Tony, Yakima, WA
Subj: Wilt the Stilt
Is it true that Wilt Chamberlain almost retired after his first season in the NBA?
That’s correct, Tony. The Big Dipper nearly hung up his size 19-shoes because he was frustrated with the way rival teams manhandled him beneath the basket. Former Celtics forward Tommy Heinsohn still recalls how he and his teammates would hammer Chamberlain in the post. "We tried to send him to the foul line, and in doing that he took the most brutal pounding of any player ever,” Heinsohn says. “I hear people today talk about hard fouls. Half the fouls against him were hard fouls." Luckily for fans, Chamberlain’s friends and family convinced him to give the league another shot and he went on to enjoy 13 sensational seasons before retiring in 1973.