Tag: Wilt Chamberlin

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlin 1st Player to be Commemorated on U.S. Postage Stamp

NBA Great Wilt Chamberlin Stamp (Credit: United States Postal Service)

Wilt Chamberlain captured America’s imagination for two decades. With his 7-foot-1 frame, his commanding presence on the basketball court, his ability to rebound and score and his astounding athleticism, he became one of the most memorable players in NBA history.

Now, Chamberlain, the only man to score 100 points in an NBA game, will become the first player from the league to be honored with a postage stamp in his image. And fittingly enough, the two versions being issued by the Postal Service are nearly two inches long, or about a third longer than the usual stamp.

It would not be right any other way for the player known as Wilt the Stilt and alternately as the Big Dipper. Chamberlain died in 1999 at 63, but his name still resonates in the sport. And even at its atypical size, the new stamp could barely contain Chamberlain’s dimensions.  “We still had trouble fitting him into those proportions,” said Kadir Nelson, the artist who painted the images.

Nelson created two versions of the stamp. One shows Chamberlain in the act of shooting with his first NBA team, the Philadelphia Warriors, for whom he started playing in 1959. The other depicts him rebounding for the Los Angeles Lakers, his final club, for whom he played from 1968 to 1973.

Philadelphia’s Wilt Chamberlain shot over the San Diego Rockets’ Bud Acton in 1968 in Boston. (Associated Press)

The stamps will be dedicated Friday, in Philadelphia, his hometown, at halftime of the 76ers’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The ceremony comes at a frustrating time: The 76ers avoided tying the record for the worst start to a season in NBA history Wednesday night when they ended their 0-17 run with a victory at Minnesota.

But for a few minutes Friday night, Philadelphia fans old enough to remember can think back to the days when Chamberlain — first as a Warrior and later as a 76er — engaged in epic battles with the Boston Celtics’ Bill Russell. In 1967, Chamberlain led Philadelphia to an NBA title, the first of two in his career.

But just how did Chamberlain end up on a stamp?

The creation of a postage stamp is a process that takes years and begins with the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, a volunteer group appointed by the postmaster general. The committee evaluates roughly 40,000 proposals annually before recommending about 30 people or subjects for the postmaster general’s review.

A Chamberlain stamp was originally envisioned as part of a set of four basketball players who made history, said William J. Gicker, the creative director for the stamp program. A campaign engineered by Donald Hunt, a sportswriter for The Philadelphia Tribune, in support of Chamberlain led to thousands of letters and petition signatures being delivered to the committee. Continue reading “NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlin 1st Player to be Commemorated on U.S. Postage Stamp”

LeBron James Wins 4th NBA MVP Award

LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat celebrates a basket against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 3, 2013 (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
James #6 of the Miami Heat celebrates a basket against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 3, 2013 (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

LeBron James is getting his fourth Most Valuable Player award — and the only mystery left is whether the vote was unanimous.  The Miami Heat star will be introduced Sunday as the award winner, according to a person familiar with the results and who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league has not publicly announced the result. James will become the fifth player with at least four MVP awards, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

No one has ever swept every first-place vote in the NBA’s MVP balloting. After the season he had, James could be the first.  “I don’t know who else you’d vote for,” Heat forward Chris Bosh said Friday. “No offense to everybody else, but that’s just how good he has played this year.”

James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists this season, shooting a career-best 56 percent. It was absolutely no surprise that he won the award, and given the timetable for Miami’s next game — the Heat don’t open Eastern Conference semifinal play until Monday night against Brooklyn or Chicago — it had been widely assumed for several days that Sunday would be the day.

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LeBron James on a Roll Unlike Any in NBA History

Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) drives around Portland Trail Blazers' Sasha Pavlovic (3) during an NBA basketball game in Miami, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Miami Heat’s LeBron James (6) drives around Portland Trail Blazers’ Sasha Pavlovic (3) during an NBA basketball game in Miami, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

MIAMI (AP) — When LeBron James first heard about this streak of games with at least 30 points and 60 percent shooting, he did not immediately think about who was on the list.  He thought about who wasn’t.

Wilt Chamberlain? Not there. Michael Jordan? Not there. Shaquille O’Neal? Not there, either. In NBA history, only Adrian Dantley and Moses Malone had put together five straight 30-point, 60-percent efforts — that is, until James joined their super-exclusive club.

And now, he stands alone.  James scored 30 points on 11 for 15 shooting to get into the NBA record books, Chris Bosh scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and the Miami Heat wound up beating the Portland Trail Blazers 117-104 in a wild, momentum-swinging game Tuesday night.

“It kind of blew my mind,” James said. “To see how small the list was and for me to even be a part of the list, to start off, it’s like, ‘Wow.’”

“Wow” doesn’t even come close to summing up how he’s been in the last six games. He’s shot 66 for 92 — and take away a “slow” 6-for-12 start at Toronto on Feb. 3, he’s made 60 of his last 80 field-goal tries, a ridiculous 75 percent success rate. He’s scored either 30, 31 or 32 points in all six of these games.

Continue reading “LeBron James on a Roll Unlike Any in NBA History”