Young Wilt Chamberlain would DESTROY today’s NBA

Players in this post:
Wilt Chamberlain

UPDATE: The original video has been removed from YouTube. The above video is a replacement.
The following is from Wilt Chamberlain’s Archive‘s description for this video.

Many have only seen Wilt in the Laker uniform, older slower, heavier, and well past his prime. Here’s Wilt in a different light – young, and developing into his prime. Basketball fans from around the world, please tweet, email, blog, and discuss the content of this video on your message boards. Keep Wilt Chamberlain in the GOAT discussions as he is perhaps the greatest athlete that has ever played the game of basketball.

Compare Wilt with these NBA draft measurements – his size alone is amazing.


  • 6’11.5″ “*I’m exactly 6’11.5 In my stocking feet” when pressured to reveal his true height in interview 1953 (At just 16 years old!).
  • 7’1.06″ first written accounts of Wilt as 7’1 1/6th inches appears in 1959 before the start of his rookie season. Confirmed by his doctor.
  • 7’3″ Est. list height in (modern) shoes.


  • 7’8″ Confirmed on film measured wingspan 1967. Note he was wearing a tailored suit jacket while being measured. Muhammad Ali (also wearing a suit) was measured on this same program by the same people and their measurement came to be 2″ less than he typically measured on other occasions.
  • 8’4″ Alleged wingspan spread out against a wall according to Kansas University – 1956

Flat-footed Standing Reach:

  • 9’6″ Official KU measurement 1956 – Wilt was not done growing, and this was taken in Chuck Taylors (which have only about a 1/4″ heal).
  • ~9’7.5″ Est. standing reach in modern shoes.

Hand Size:

  • 11.5″ wide hands x 9.5″ long – measured in 1956 while at KU

Playing Weight:

  • Much like players today, his actual weight was dynamic and his listed weights are not accurate. I have listed information that was printed during his playing years that indicated his actual weights.
  • 220lbs – 1954, Overbook High School weight
  • 240lbs teammates and peers allude that this was Wilt’s approximate size at Kansas.
  • 258lbs – August 20th 1959, recorded weight during the off-season months just before the start of his rookie season.
  • 320lbs – September 1963, checking into Warriors training camp (heaviest he ever came into a training camp, claims he prefered to play around 275lbs in later seasons)
  • 315lbs – September 1963, losing lbs during Warriors training camp
  • 300lbs – October 1963, lost 20lbs in the two weeks of the Warriors pre-season running drills
  • 292lbs – March 1964 (his later-season weigh-in that same 1963-64 season)
  • 275lbs-290lbs – playing weight consistently fell within this range until knee surgery 1970.
  • 300-315lbs – playing weight after knee surgery until retirement 1971-1973
  • 327lbs – 1984 (age 48) weight in during filming of Conan the Destroyer, and he still looked very fit.

Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain battling at Basketball Net Wilt_Chamberlain_dunking Wilt Chamberlain Dunking Basketball


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