NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain at 43 years old, once played against a prime Magic Johnson and destroyed him in a pickup game.
Chamberlain retired from the NBA after the 1973 season however he still remained very close to basketball. The Big Dipper participated in pickup games regularly, going well into his 40s and played against many of the 80s all stars.
One such instance took place at the Gym on the UCLA campus in the early 1980s. Magic was joined by Bernard King, James Worthy, Byron Scott and A.C. Green to play against Wilt and 4 UCLA freshmen.
Larry Brown who was the coach of the Bruins at that time recounted:
“It was game point; Magic soars a sky hook and Wilt blocks it, Magic calls game [implying Wilt’s block was a goaltend]. And Wilt says, ‘that wasn’t goaltending, that was a clean block.’ and Magic took the ball and said, ‘game over, next.’”
“And Wilt said, ‘hey coach, was it goaltend?’ I said, ‘no, that was a clean block.’ Magic says, ‘what do you think he’s gonna say? they’re his kids.’ And Wilt says ‘alright, look we’re gonna play a game ’till 12. We’ll do it again. Winners stay and there would be no more shots made at this basket.’”
“He blocked every shot. 43-years old. He was blocking everything. It was unbelievable.” Brown recalled.
No wonder Chamberlain received offers from franchises to play in the NBA till his mid-forties.
The mythical career of Wilt Chamberlain
Wilton Norman Chamberlain started playing in the NBA after being drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors in 1959. In his first game as a starter, Wilt scored 43 points and grabbed 28 rebounds. His dominance grew quickly and culminated in 1962-63 campaign when he averaged 50 points and 25 rebounds and scored a 100 points against the Knicks.
He holds 72 NBA records and a lot of them are simply unbreakable. Teammate Billy Cunnigham wasn’t wrong in stating, “The NBA Guide reads like Wilt’s personal diary.”
Wilt Chamberlain tips in Jerry West’s miss before Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dunks off a sweet drive & dish by Oscar Robertson pic.twitter.com/o6upCt3PEo
— Laker Film Room (@LakerFilmRoom) September 23, 2021
Wilt retired as a 4 time MVP, 2 time champion and a Finals MVP but the extent of his dominance isn’t really evident from these. He might have been God’s personal creation of a basketball player and sent to Earth to play with the humans.