THE WILT CHAMBER-LAIN STORY by Bill Libby

THE WILT CHAMBER-LAIN STORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Without the flash--or the nonstop defensiveness--of Wilt's autobiography (1973) comes this unexceptional view of one of basketball's more enigmatic figures. Whether overrated and overpaid (as many maintain) or the greatest ever (as Wilt himself frequently argues), Chamberlain has compiled astonishing statistics for everything except foul shots. . . and team championships. Controversy has surrounded him since high school and it's likely that gross exploitation and aggressive recruiting policies hardened him early. Along with former teammates, coaches, owners, and officials, Libby looks at the record, finding others critical of his performance (""as agile as an elephant,"" ""he was a goon, not a player"") and his court personality (""the single most selfish player I've seen""). Wilt of course has heard all this before, commenting bitterly ""Nothing I do ever seems to be enough"" and ""Nobody roots for Goliath."" Nothing rankles more than his reputation as a loser, and although Chamberlain is ready with his statistics and the failures of his teammates, one-time rival Bill Russell nails it down: ""The only numbers that matter are wins and losses."" Libby seesaws from praise to depreciation, and Chamberlain remains a strong contender for World's Biggest Ego as well as most criticized player.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Dodd, Mead