Wilt Chamberlain Once Dislocated A Player’s Shoulder Just By Blocking His Shot

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Wilt Chamberlain Once Dislocated A Player’s Shoulder Just By Blocking His Shot


Wilt Chamberlain was the most dominant player in the NBA during his time in the league. He made his presence felt — grabbing 20 rebounds a game, dropping 50 points on a regular, even 100 once, blocking shots, and tallying double-double and triple-double records.

Just like the freak of natures of the modern NBA in the likes of LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal, Wilt was also one heck of a freak of nature who maximized his size and strength, allowing him to dominate the game. Given the fact that the majority of today’s fans weren’t able to catch a glimpse of Wilt, we really have a little idea of Wilt’s skills and immense power, aside from the insane stats he put up.

One story, though, would tell us just how powerful and strong Wilt Chamberlain was. Billy Cunningham, a four-time NBA All-Star and a part of the 1967 Sixers championship team that also featured Wilt, remembered and revealed an incident during his playing days that truly sums up The Big Dipper’s immense power.


“The greatest play I’ve ever seen was one of the last games of the 1966-67 season and were playing Baltimore. We [Philadelphia] were going for the best record in NBA history.

There was a play earlier in the game where Gus Johnson had dunked one over Wilt. Gus was a very strong player. I weighed 220 pounds, and with one hand Gus could push me out of the lane. The man was a physical specimen [6-foot-6, 230 pounds], all muscle. He loved to dunk and was a very colorful player. When he slammed it on Wilt, he really threw it down, and you could tell that Wilt didn’t like it one bit.

Later in the game, Gus was out on the fast break, and the only man between him and the basket was Wilt. He was going to dunk on Wilt–again. Gus cupped the ball and took off–he had a perfect angle for a slam. Wilt went up and with one hand he grabbed the ball–cleanly! Then he took the ball and shoved it right back into Gus, drilling Gus into the floor with the basketball.

Gus was flattened and they carried him out. It turned out that Gus Johnson was the only player in NBA history to suffer a dislocated shoulder from a blocked shot.”

[Source: Billy Cunningham, Tall Tales (by Terry Pluto) p. 236]


We are used to LeBron swatting shots into the stands, or Shaq breaking backboards, but we have never ever seen a player dislocated another player’s shoulder by simply blocking his shot. That’s something that should only happen in movies.

Facing Wilt must have been a scary thought. No wonder the league changed a couple of rules to prevent this one player from dominating. He was just too strong and dominant; the countless records he holds until today would also back that up. 

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