Originally Posted by Owl
I'm too not sure that I'd endorse Wilt's character with regard to honesty. And I haven't read through the whole thread, but in "Wilt: Just another ..." his first book (his autobigography, written at the end of his career, rather than his later books which were more opinion/musing based and which included claims of 50" vertical and 20,000 women) he claims to have run up from around center court (could dig up the quote if anyone really cares) for his free throw dunks. No mention of 3 steps (which I don't personally believe, but Wilt did have very long lengs so would cover greater disances in fewer strides). I tend to doubt 3 strides and don't know whether or not he was breaking the plane of the ft line (as I vaguely seem to recall Dr J doing for his free throw line dunk), to me it's not really that relevant. Wilt was a tremendous athlete and anyone who thinks he was only good because he was playing in an predominantly white league doesn't know their history.
I didn't endorse it as honesty. I just don't think he's a flat out liar
. I'll clarify - I think he's the kind of person who's a story teller that embellishes events. Events that very likely occurred. Which doesn't make him a flat out liar IMO - he's a guy who exaggerates in order to be entertaining or satisfy his ego. If that's lying in some peoples eyes fair enough, but to me there's a difference between exaggeration and straight up lies. Lies, in my mind, come out of nowhere, exaggeration ultimately stems from truth...
I don't take his comments word for word, but if he says he free throw dunked and Tex also says he free throw dunked I don't toss out Wilt's verification - It's still viable to use as long as you take how he says it with a grain of Salt. I believe Tex is more on the money of how
Wilt dunked it. The details of Wilt's stories is where he likes to enhance, so I discard those in a literal sense and translate as follows: 20,000... 50 inches... 70ppg... = "A lot of women, very high, I'd dominate" - all probably true.
I'd read through the thread. His high jump approach was exactly 3 strides, I've posted video footage of it - it shows he accelerates VERY fast in 3 steps and indeed covers a lot of ground - if he practices his jumps that way and is used to jumping that way it makes sense he did it in 3 strides. That's exactly
how Tex Winter described witnessing Wilt dunking and Tex at the time had never seen Wilt before, he didn't know a thing about Wilt's Track and Field abilities he was just scouting him for the first time Wilt's freshman season. Wilt never said 3 steps as far as I know. Tex Winter claimed it, and Tex is the one who had the rules changed. He described Wilt's ability to free throw dunk in 3 steps on two different occasions. Once in 1956 (when he pushed to have free throw dunking banned) and once again in 2011 as he described in more detail what he saw Wilt do. It seems very plausible based on his length, speed, and leaping ability. No other athlete had the combination of things going for them he had, they shouldn't be the benchmark for Wilt. His maximum reach is higher than Yao Ming, his speed in the 40 was 4.6 according to Kansas City Chiefs coach Hank Strom, and his Vertical - see above - very likely ~40". If anyone wouldn't need full court to dunk from the ft line it's going to be him it doesn't matter if nobody else has done it yet, they don't have all that going for them.