Despite having one of the most fierce rivalries in NBA history, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell shared a pretty special bond.
Bill Russell other Wilt Chamberlain are two of the greatest athletes ever to set foot on the NBA hardwood. The 7-footers completely dominated the league during their playing days, bullying other big men down in the paint.
While Wilt the Stilt was known for the mindboggling numbers he would average, Bill was and will always be remembered for being the most accomplished icon in NBA history.
Between the two legends, they share a combined of 25 All-Star appearances, 21 All-NBA selections, 15 rebounding titles, 9 MVPs, and 13 championships.
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Luckily, the league witnessed both these mammoths play against each other. For the 10 years, every game they faced off against each other, their clash would be nothing short of marvelous.
Wilt Chamberlain reveals a hilarious story highlighting his special friendship with Bill Russell
Wilt and Bill faced off each other a total of 94 times in the regular season, throughout their career. In those 94 clashes, even though Russell won more games (57-37), Chamberlain managed to outscore (29.9-14.2) and outrebound (28.1-22.9) the Boston legend.
One would assume that with the virtue of them being long-time nemeses, they wouldn’t be very friendly with each other off the court. However, that wasn’t the case with these two.
In 1997, the two spoke about their relationship in an interview with Bob Costas. During this same interview, the former Philly legend shared a hilarious story from the time when Russ stayed at his house on Thanksgiving night and ended up “whipping his butt” the next night.
“Bill would come to my house on Thanksgiving night because we had Philly vs. Boston the next night. He would sleep in my bed and take some food and he would go out there and whip my butt. Now my mother would say, ‘Now, Wilt, we shouldn’t feed Bill so well next time.”
The contest Wilt is talking about on this particular occasion is possibly the Boston-Philly clash from 24th November 1960. In that game, even though Chamberlain scored 34 points and 55 rebounds (!!), it was Bill who ended up winning after putting up 18 points and 19 rebounds.
Both these legends might not be with us today, however, their incredible legacies will continue to live on forever.
Also Read: 6ft 10” Bill Russell once won an MVP over 7’1” Wilt Chamberlain averaging 50 PPG and triple-double averaging Oscar Robertson