Wilt Chamberlain, with his 7 ft 1 frame, tight shirts, multiple romances and oustanding athletic achievements represents the epitome of 70s playboy sportstar. He remains one of most successful and notorious basketball players in history, holding world records in scoring and durability – most notably achieving 100 points in a single game.
The NBA equivilent to Shaft, he wore low buttoned shirts and bright flares with his signature moustache and blinged-out jewellery. His L.A. home, where he lived with several Great Danes and two cats, was equally bold, featuring ostentatious gold hot-tubs, mirrored ceilings and purple shagpile carpets. He embraced his ethnicity in an era when that was still rare and created a celebrity noteriety within basketball which few have matched since. His sporting strip is equally iconic – the yellow or purple Laker’s vest representative of the 70s colour palette, or his brightly starred Harlem Globetrotter’s regalia. His name has since become a phrase in itself synonomous with success, embodied within his Number 13 vest or a custom-tailored suit.
"The NBA equivilent to Shaft, he wore low buttoned shirts and bright flares with his signature moustache and blinged-out jewellery"
“Wilt the Stilt” became as notorious for his off-court antics as for his proficiency with hoops, reportedly bedding over 20,000 women. Many linked this to his pride and superhero persona, as he feared the vulnerability that may come with intimacy. However, before his death he made the statement, “Having a thousand different ladies is pretty cool, I’ve learned in my life. However I’ve also found out that having one woman a thousand different times is more satisfying.”
Text by Mhairi Graham