VA
  • TGT on YouTube
  • About TGT
  • The TGT Team
  • How TGT rates
  • Responsible Gambling Advice
  • Contact Our Team
  • Writers Wanted
  • Content Disclaimer
  • Affiliate Disclosure
Contains commercial content
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / The Double Dipper: The bond between Wilt and Kareem Part I In NBA history

The Double Dipper: The bond between Wilt and Kareem Part I In NBA history

The Double-Dipper Part 1!
Publish Date: 08/13/2021
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
(Original Caption) 4/6/1984-Inglewood, California- LOS Angeles Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L) is congratulated by Wilt Chamberlain during a ceremony 4/6 at the Inglewood Forum honoring Abdul-Jabbar for breaking Chamberlain's NBA all-time regular season scoring record of 31,419 by one 4/5 against the Utah Jazz in Las Vegas.

There have been many game-changing superstars. Some (Magic, Bird, Jordan) begin to dominate the moment they stepped on the parquet. Others (Steph Curry, Giannis) took coaching and system adjustments to make their mark truly. Meanwhile, there have been 4 players who were expected to be so dominant that the game itself would cease its competitive phase. In our recent memory, clearly, Shaquille O’Neal in 1992 is one example. And of course (love or hate him) LeBron James in 2003 is another example. But the first two, without a doubt, are Wilt Chamberlain in 1959 and his understudy Kareem Abdul Jabbar (or Lew Alcindor, as he was then known). Wilt and Kareem have always been a curious duo, a sort of “odd couple.” Their similarities and differences are in itself fascinating. In so many ways, what Wilt created Kareem extended. For instance, Wilt practically invented nationwide recruiting. Then, a decade later, Kareem would permanently enshrine it in the national consciousness.

Wilt would set 72 records on the way to becoming the most prolific scorer ever (Jordan notwithstanding). Then, a decade after Wilt’s retirement, Kareem would become the #1 leading scorer in NBA history (which endures today). Wilt would become the greatest statistical rebounder, while Kareem is the best statistical rebounder since his retirement. Wilt would make joining the LA Lakers a cool and “sexy” choice, while Kareem led a generation that permanently enshrined the Lakers into the national psyche. As we can see, Kareem took a lot of his cues from his mentor, Wilt. Yet, there were also marked differences between these two greats. For instance, Wilt was from a large depression-era family who clearly enjoyed the spotlight.

Kareem, meanwhile, was a post-World War II only child who never liked the publicity, preferring to remain intensely private. Wilt, despite his era, was a man who largely shunned faith-based spiritual systems. Kareem was raised Catholic, would become (through the mid-70s) a devout Muslim. Both men (because of their talent) had to face the daunting task of integrating into the larger society. Wilt embraced it, while for a time Kareem became a staunch social separatist. What reason did this difference manifest? Well, Wilt in the public sphere took his cue from two great African American Boxers, Jack Johnson. Like Johnson, he was a notorious braggart. Like Johnson, he lived like a wealthy European aristocrat (which grew after he spent a year with the Harlem Globetrotters). Like Johnson, he flaunted the unspoken rule against interracial dating. Meanwhile, Kareem was much like his heroes, Malcolm X and Jackie Robinson. Like Malcolm, he embraced Islam as a rejection of the American social order. Like Robinson, he embraced activism to make life better both for himself and his race.

These key differences would beguile both men during their 37-year acquaintance (through Wilt’s death in 1999). Like their personalities, their acquaintance would run the gambit of the human experience. This writing will examine how they are both similar and different.

The Club: 1953 In NBA history, Milton Kutscher is not a name commonly known today. But his importance to the survival of the NBA is considerable. In 1953, the NBA was an 8-team league. A television contract at that point would have been absurd. Also, most of the owners were first-generation NBA owners. By that, most of the men had some connection to basketball or were sportsmen themselves. Moneywise, they did not have the “Bill Gates” like pockets associated with the modern owners. In short, these men took the considerable financial risk to operate a team and keep the league afloat. Thus, one way to do that would be to have informal pick-up games. Kutscher, who owned a country club, agreed to allow these games.

So, to both attract attention without being condemned, Kutscher in 1953 hired as bellhop a 6-10 16-year-old out of Philadelphia named Wilton Norman Chamberlain. Wilt, though “working,” was basically being shielded so the pros could see how good he actually was. The resident great center, George Mikan, was not present. But two great centers named Dolph Schayes and Donald “Neil” Johnston were there. Wilt held his own against Johnston, then after a few weeks, was dominating him.

The owners present had mixed feelings, but a certain coach named “Red” Auerbach noticed. He was so impressed he did two things. First, he tried to give the youngster some tips as a coach. He noticed the kid was ignoring him, and he privately concluded that he would be a difficult player to coach. Second, he suggested that Wilt “attend” the University of Massachusetts. Back then, the league agreed that a player from a certain region would go to the team in a “territorial” draft. Auerbach’s ruse, however, would not work. Ed Gottlieb, the owner of the Philadelphia Warriors, declared Wilt completely off-limits, and began searching for a non-NBA college for the kid to attend. He didn’t need to worry. By now, the dominant Chamberlain had about 200 colleges interested in offering him a scholarship. Gottlieb, however, was also a business partner with Harlem Globetrotter owner Abe Saperstein; he would offer Wilt to join the Globies until his college class graduated. Wilt, though visited the University of Kansas.

Harlem 1962: A decade later, the greatest prospect since Wilt was dominating New York prep basketball. His name was Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. Playing for Power Memorial; he was rewriting the book for dominance. He was also a product of his time. Having attended Catholic school since elementary, he lived in a thoroughly integrated world (he did attend a black boarding school for a year). Like everyone, Wilt had heard of the young kid. Meanwhile, the teenager would drift toward his birthplace of Harlem. It just so happened that Wilt lived in New York and owned real estate in Harlem (including the restaurant that Malcolm Little worked in). Wilt also had friends on the New York Knickerbockers, and they all played in tournaments organized by legend Holcombe Rucker. Wilt would dominate the competition, and his displays deeply impressed the youngster. He was absolutely in awe, believing that Wilt could do no wrong. Wilt, 25 years old at the height of his powers, would take the boy under his wing. But he noticed the same streak of rebellion (as did Auerbach with him). Though socially conscious, Wilt didn’t have the residual anger at the larger society. “Lew,” on the other hand, was developing a more decidedly militant outlook. He would quietly believe the boy was developing bad influences. Meanwhile, Lew’s mom was concerned about the value system (as a devout Catholic) of her son’s new hero. Though still a reverential relationship, the issues that would separate the two had already begun. In part II, we will look at how the college experience (Kansas and UCLA) would permanently shape the way history would view each man.

Billboard Left
Billboard Left
Read Also
Come Fly with me: How the 1988-89 Chicago Bulls pushed forward to an NBA dynasty.
Find the best sportsbook to bet on the NBA Playoffs! Prologue: By ...
The taxed: How the 1979-80 Philadelphia 76ers attempted to pay their debt
Prologue:-  In 1973, the once-great Philadelphia 76ers had slid to the deepest ...
SI Sportsbook Promo
We got the Return of Celtic Pride Part I: How the 1983-84 Celtics returned to their heritage
The best bookmakers have now adjusted their odds for who will win ...
16 Reasons Why Lebron James is Greater Than Michael Jordan
As I look at social media, the hatred some people have for ...
17 Reasons Why Michael Jordan is Greater than LeBron James
I'd like to begin by stating that I do not automatically label ...
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
What is the Best Decade of Basketball in NBA History?
15Every NBA player and fan thinks that their generation of basketball was ...
Elmer Ray: The Humble Man of Hastings
"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for ...
Ranking the top 200 players in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season
This list isn’t based solely on performances from the 2020 NFL season. ...
Sportsbook of the month
SI Sportsbook - Get your Free Bet now! Get your Free Bet now!
Top Brands
Top Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
98/100
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
97/100
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
95/100
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Review
93/100
SweepSlots
SweepSlots
SweepSlots Review
93/100
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
9.8/10
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
9.7/10
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Join GOLDEN2000 for 2,000 FREE coins
T&Cs apply
9.5/10
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Bonus
140k GC + 400 FC
T&Cs apply
9.3/10
SweepSlots
SweepSlots Bonus
1,000 Gold Coins Daily
T&Cs apply
9.3/10
Latest News
Top 5 MLB Teams headed for a Turnaround in 2023
2022 record: 69-93 This is the one I ...
Top 10 San Diego Padres of All Time
Active players are not eligible for this list ...
Top 10 New York Islanders of All Time
  Tonelli was a winger on the Islanders ...
Betting Tips
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: Indiana Basketball🏀 Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Purdue Recap
Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Purdue Recap
Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Purdue Preview
Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Purdue Preview
Video: Froggy Talkin Sports W/ Ryan & Joe
Froggy Talkin Sports W/ Ryan & Joe
Sportsbook of the month
SI Sportsbook - Get your Free Bet now! Get your Free Bet now!
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Top Online Casinos
Top Casinos Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
98/100
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
97/100
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
95/100
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Review
93/100
SweepSlots
SweepSlots
SweepSlots Review
93/100
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
9.8/10
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
9.7/10
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Join GOLDEN2000 for 2,000 FREE coins
T&Cs apply
9.5/10
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Bonus
140k GC + 400 FC
T&Cs apply
9.3/10
SweepSlots
SweepSlots Bonus
1,000 Gold Coins Daily
T&Cs apply
9.3/10
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Review
97/100
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
96/100
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
94/100
PointsBet
PointsBet
PointsBet Review
94/100
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
93/100
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Bonus
BET $20 GET $200 IN FREE BETS
T&Cs apply
9.7/10
First deposit only | 21+ & located in VA | Promo code as seen| A qualifying bet is $20 or more | Min odds of +120 or more | Free Bet Tokens credited after bet is settled and expire after 7 days | Free Bet stakes not included in winnings | Please Gamble Responsibly - Gambling Problem? VA: CALL 1-888-532-3500 | Full T&C apply
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
No Sweat First Bet up to $3,000
T&Cs apply
9.6/10
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
Bet $1, Get $200
T&Cs apply
9.4/10
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.3/10
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
20% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.2/10
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterAuthor IconJosh SchwartzSamuel TeetsSimon Briffa
+8
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Author Icon
Christopher Carlson
Content Writer
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Chris Benedict
Chris Benedict
Editor
Author Icon
Malik Zorrok
Author
Author Icon
Daniel Kornhauser
Author
John Raspanti
John Raspanti
Author
Author Icon
Buddy Gibbs
Author
Brian Coburn
Brian Coburn
Author
Peter Bonahoom
Peter Bonahoom
Author
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”

Contact us: [email protected]

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

sdfgfdgcsdfgfdgcww
Move to Top
Close
Stake.us Exclusive Bonus
5% Rakeback
Promo Code
Copy
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
Payment Methods
Bitcoin
Litecoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Highlights
  • Social casino loved by Drake!
  • Play Plinko, Hilo, Crash and more!
  • Get Stake Cash bonuses every day!
Stake Originals
Dice
Crash
Plinko
Mines
×
Your Bonus Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site