He was the antagonist, the giant, the boss of the last level of videogames, hated by his opponents for his excessive power on the pitch and looked down on by his teammates because having him next to him meant accepting an extra role.
He died exactly 22 years ago, too soon. If he were still alive, he would be 85 today. And to remind him he would reply with a mocking look and a joke like “I’ve already made a hundred, what do you want now?”. Another would have fired a fake smile, and perhaps the gist of the concept is here: Wilt Chamberlain didn’t brand himself. He is one of the 5-6 strongest basketball players, certainly the strongest of an era in which at a certain point even the rules changed almost as if to limit his excessive power, but for sure he is the least supported champion ever, the the more booed, the less acclaimed. Chamberlain was the antagonist, the giant, the boss of the last level of videogames, hated by his opponents for his excessive power on the pitch and looked down on by his teammates because having him next to him meant accepting an extra role. He was the one to be knocked down by all means, he was the one that the fans did not like because it was enough for him to do his own to dominate without even putting in the wickedness of a Jordan or a Kobe, he was the one that the day when he missed one match out of a hundred the others ninety-nine did not count. Had he lived today, the narrative bass drum would have sewn on him the handsome villain suit of McGregor, Ibrahimovic or Fury. Maybe he wouldn’t have accepted it, he would have entrenched himself in a media exile in Bielsa. Or they would have crucified him and made ridiculous at the first concept expressed against the current. Because Chamberlain was like this: he never branded himself, never.