ON A HIGH BLUFF
My compliments to Frank Deford on his "foresight" (Another Big Bluff by Big Wilt, Jan. 25). I've witnessed one of the 76ers' successes since Wilt's homecoming: the night the 76ers met the "invincible" Celtics. Wilt outdefensed "Mr. Defense" ( Bill Russell), handed out six assists and grabbed 26 rebounds (high in the game). He did manage not to be high scorer, nevertheless the 76ers won 104-100.
Keep up the "big bluff," Wilt.
How can a man score 100 points a game, grab 55 rebounds a game and be told he isn't trying? Sure Wilt Chamberlain has his faults, but no one is perfect, not even Mr. Deford, I'm sure. Before you pick on Wilt any more, check the statistics.
Congratulations on your accurate appraisal of Wilt Chamberlain and his antics. Wilt, in my estimation, is the symbol of the deteriorating NBA. There was a time when basketball greats (like Dolph Schayes and George Mikan) could shoot from all over the court. Today a star like Wilt is taking a long shot from four feet out. Chamberlain's foul-shooting percentage wouldn't even qualify for a junior high school foul-shooting tournament.
Something had better be done about the NBA. People just don't want to see "Jolly Green Giants" like Wilt dunk 100 points in one night. They want to see good teams with good players play good ball. In other words, today people want to see college basketball.
If Wilt's "limited style" was an imposition on the rest of the San Francisco team, how did they manage a division title in 1964? Maybe this is just another chapter in the "bum rap" series that Wilt has been shouldering every time his team loses.
Wilt is not a "one-time attraction," as the third-largest crowd to see a pro game in Philadelphia basketball history proved when Wilt made his homecoming appearance against his ex-teammates, the Warriors.
Finally, your prediction that the trade will have "little effect" on this year's standings is just too much to swallow. With the "Big Dipper" at center, Hal Greer and Larry Costello behind him and rookie Lucious Jackson taking off some of the pressure, the 76ers will end up a strong second in the East. And when the final score is tabulated, it will no longer be the Boston Celtics who are the world champions but the Philadelphia 76ers.
The only true sentence in the whole article was: "Chamberlain is one of the genuine superathletes of his generation."
How could a person write such an article on a man who has done so much for basketball? I am from Philadelphia, am 13 and receive a limited allowance, but I would give my entire allowance for 10 years to see Mr. Deford play Wilt, one-on-one, with Wilt on his knees, blindfolded and mittens on his hands. You know who would win.