Wilt Chamberlain – first NBA player ever to appear on U.S. postage stamp

wilt-chamberlain-stampNBA legend Wilt Chamberlain will become the first ever NBA player to appear on a U.S. postage stamp – the late great center will be on a commemorative postage stamp issued by the United States Postal Service, the first of its kind ever to feature an NBA player.

The movement to feature the Hall of Fame big man on a stamp began some six years ago, when Donald Hunt of the Philadelphia Tribune started a campaign for Chamberlain, who died of congestive heart failure in October 1999.

Now the case became a reality, as Chamberlain stamp appeared in the USPS’ Philatelic Catalog.

One of the two commemorative stamps features Chamberlain in the Philadelphia Warriors uniform in which he scored 100 points against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962, a single-game record that still stands today. The other depicts him with the Los Angeles Lakers, for whom he played during the final five seasons of his career.

As a tribute to Chamberlain, the stamps are a little bigger than the typical commemorative stamp height, according to the USPS.

The Chamberlain Forever stamps’ official commemoration will come on Dec. 5 in Wilt’s hometown of Philadelphia in a ceremony held during halftime of the Philadelphia 76ers’ home game.

wilt-chamberlain-sixers-reboundThe ceremony will feature a special three-dimensional tribute video using the team’s state-of-the-art court projection system, according to a Sixers statement shared by NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner.

Arguably the best center ever to step on a basketball court, and the most dominant one, Chamberlain (1936-1999) still holds a bunch of jaw-dropping NBA records, that may never be broken. Chamberlain holds career averages of 30.1 ppg, 22.9 rpg in 45.8 mpg. He played a total of 1045 NBA games.

Chamberlain holds numerous NBA all-time records in scoring, rebounding and durability categories.

He is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game or average more than 40 and 50 points in a season. He also won seven scoring, nine field goal percentage, and eleven rebounding titles, and once even led the league in assists.

Chamberlain is the only player in the NBA to average 48.5 minutes per game, while according to the official NBA rules, a game lasts only 48 minutes.

Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game in a season, a feat he accomplished nine times. He is also the only player to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game over the entire course of his NBA career.

wilt-chamberlain-vs-russellThroughout his career, Chamberlain played for Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Prior to entering the NBA, Chamberlain player for the University of Kansas and then for the Harlem Globetrotters.

He won two NBA championships, in 1967 and in 1972, with Philadelphia and LA Lakers respectively.

Chamberlain was a 13-time NBA All-Star, and got inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978. In 1996, Chamberlain got selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History of 1996.


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