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Peers Remember Wilt


  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who broke Chamberlain's record to become the NBA's all-time leading scorer: "Wilt was one of the greatest ever, and we will never see another one like him."

  • Jerry West, Former teammate and current executive vice president of basketball operations with the Lakers: "When I started to play with him, he helped make me a better player. We seemed to have a real good feel together, I think it translated into a confidence with him. All players are generally judged by the number of championships they won. Unfortunately, he only won two. His greatness as a basketball player can't be questioned. He was fun, we used to laugh at him a lot, some of the things that would happen. I once told him, no one roots for Goliath."

  • Dan Issel, Denver Nuggets coach : "As I grew up, Wilt the Stilt was THE player. Just the things he was able to do. I guess one year they told him he couldn't make as much money as he wanted because he couldn't pass the ball, so he went out and led the league in assists. Watching Wilt, you always kind of got the idea he was just playing with people. That he was on cruise control and still 10 times better than anybody else that was playing at that time."
  • Stan Kasten, Atlanta Hawks president: "Obviously, he was both literally and figuratively a larger-than-life sports figure of the 20th century. He dominated his sport like almost no one else."

  • Johnny "Red" Kerr, former NBA center and Bulls coach, who played part of one season in Philly with Wilt and against him for six-plus years.: "He was the NBA. He was the guy on the top. Wilt was the guy you talked about he and Bill Russell. He was the most dominating center the best center to ever play in the NBA."

  • Al Attles, former teammate of Chamberlain's with the Warriors and now the team's vice president and assistant general manager: "He was always a person that I viewed as being bigger than life in more ways than one. I had recently heard through friends and associates that he hadn't been feeling well, but again, I felt Wilt was a person who was able to overcome anything, so I was totally shocked to hear of his death."

    AP
  • Lakers coach Phil Jackson remembers Wilt Chamberlain's impact on the game.
  • Red Auerbach, former Boston Celtics coach: "Wilt Chamberlain had a great deal to do with the success of the NBA. His dominance, power, demeanor and the rivalry with Bill Russell says it all. He will be sorely missed by myself and everyone in the basketball community. Wilt was a great performer and a great athlete."

  • Tom Heinsohn, Boston Celtics great and Basketball Hall of Fame member: "He was a terrific guy. It is a great loss to the sports world. Wilt Chamberlain had a special place in basketball history and he will be missed. We had many battles with Wilt. He was a fun guy to be around; he was a 'Gentle Giant."

  • Darrall Imhoff, who as a 6-foot-10 rookie center for the Knicks, guarded Chamberlain during his 100-point game: "I spent 12 years in his armpits, and I always carried that 100-point game on my shoulders. After I got my third foul, I said to one of the officials, Willy Smith, `Why don't you just give him 100 points and we'll all go home?' Well, we did."

  • David Stern, NBA commissioner: "We've lost a giant of a man in every sense of the word. The shadow of accomplishment he cast over our game is unlikely ever to be matched."

  • Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers coach: "It's a shock to all of us in the basketball community. This is a guy whose impact changed the rules of the game ... he changed the interior part of our basketball game."

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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