Undoubtedly, one of the best players to ever play the center position in the NBA was Wilt Chamberlain. He still holds the record for the most points scored in a game with 100 points.
Born in 1936 in Philadelphia, Chamberlain became the league MVP four times, had 13 All-Star selections, and won an All-Star Game MVP. But despite his greatness, the 7'1 center could only win a couple of championships during his illustrious career.
Nevertheless, those two NBA titles are still very prestigious since not everyone can win them all. But what kind of struggles and difficulties did "The Big Dipper" face before winning the gold?
Let's take a look back at Wilt Chamberlain's championship wins.
Ranking Wilt Chamberlain's NBA title runs according to difficulty
#2 LA Lakers vs New York Knicks (1972 NBA Finals)
The 1971-72 NBA season was the second-to-last season of Wilt Chamberlain's career. Chamberlain already had one NBA title in his bag at this point. But considering all the great things he has done in the league, Wilt just had to chase another ring before retiring. "The Big Dipper" was still a star during this title run, but the difference was that he no longer had to carry the load alone.
Chamberlain was surrounded by superstars like Jerry West and Gail Goodrich, who were both averaging nearly 26 points per game. Wilt no longer had to do much scoring and instead focused on securing rebounds for the Lakers. Chamberlain averaged 19.2 rebounds at the end of the 1971-72 regular season.
The 1971-72 LA Lakers were a force to be reckoned with. They set the record for the most NBA regular season wins in history at the time, with 69-13. With all that momentum on their side, there was no stopping the Lakers from winning it all during that particular season. True enough, LA advanced to the 1972 NBA Finals, where they went up against the New York Knicks.
Lakers vs Knicks in 1972 was a rematch from their 1970 Finals matchup wherein New York had the last laugh. It was a best-of-seven series between the two old rivals. LA ultimately won in five games. This Finals victory was the first time Wilt Chamberlain won the Finals MVP and the last time he would ever win a championship.
#1 Philadelphia 76ers vs San Francisco Warriors (1967 NBA Finals)
The 1967 NBA Finals was the first time Wilt Chamberlain won a championship in the NBA. The 60s were known to be the Boston Celtics era, led by the late Bill Russell. According to sources, it was the first time in 11 years that an NBA Finals matchup didn't involve the Celtics. It was refreshing to see new stars have their shot, especially with a player like Wilt, who was as dominant as Russell.
The Finals matchup was between the Philadelphia 76ers and the San Francisco Warriors. Chamberlain was still the franchise player for the Sixers and averaged 24.1 points and 24.2 rebounds in the regular season. Philly ultimately won the best-of-seven series against Wilt's old team in six games.
As expected, Chamberlain was dominant in the paint and averaged 17.7 points and 28.5 rebounds in the matchup. He also won back-to-back MVP titles.