Sports Nicknames - Goliath, The Big Dipper, Wilt, the Stilt

Wilt Chamberlain would go down as one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA. In addition to his impressive performances and illustrious achievements, his 7ft 1in height earned him entry into the list of tallest players in the history of the NBA. While he used the added height advantage to good effect, Chamberlain's height also fetched him a handful of exciting and creative nicknames.

Wilt Chamberlain profile illustration.  Drawing.  Art.  One of the most iconic basketball players of the past.  Nicknamed Wilt, the Stilt

Initial Start to the Career:

Chamberlain started his college career in 1955 as he played for Kansas Jayhawks. Based on his impressive performances, he became the Mr. Basketball USA in the same year and was also named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 1957. On the basis of his phenomenal track record, the Jayhawks retired the Jersey number 13 as a tribute to the star player. In the 1959's NBA draft, Philadelphia Warriors picked him up.


Just like many other star basketball players, Chamberlain also got his nicknames at the high school and college levels. The obvious reason behind his nicknames was his height, which made him distinct from his fellow players. As Chamberlain became famous, the nicknames attracted greater and wider attention until it got to a point where his nicknames became a part of his identity.


Goliath means a tall, strong, sturdy, and powerful person. With deep origins in Bible and Hebrew culture, the term Goliath is used to refer to superhumans with huge physical attributes and gigantic physique. Since Chamberlain was 7ft 1in tall and weighed 275 lbs, Goliath was his most obvious and naturally occurring nickname. His friends at the high school started calling him Goliath, the nickname which eventually became famous all around the US as the press and fans used it to refer to the Big man.

However, Chamberlain openly expressed his displeasure at the nickname as he considered it a total exaggeration of his massive-built.

Wilt, the Stilt:

The native speakers would know that Stilt means the large poles that acrobats use to rise high above the ground to perform different tricks. The tall poles add an extra bit of height and offer an elevated viewpoint. In the case of Wilton Chamberlain, it always seemed like he was standing on top of these stilts as he came down from 7 ft 1 in height.

On the basis of that, the nickname Wilt the Stilt became particularly famous and prominent as it rhymed well and made sense too. Just like his other nickname, Chamberlain did not like this tag much, but his friends used it frequently to refer to him.

The Big Dipper:

This is one of the more liked nicknames of Chamberlain. He himself admitted that he liked being called the Big Dipper. The backstory is that Chamberlain had to bow his head down while passing through the doors. Some of his college teammates noticed the activity and started calling him the Big Dipper as the big guy dipped his head down while passing through the doors.

Dipper Dunk:

When you are 7 foot 1 inch tall, Dunks are not a problem for you. The same was the case with Chamberlain, whose dunking ability became famous as the 'Dipper Dunk.' Commentators and fans often used dipper Dunk to refer to his astonishing Dunks.

Achievements and Accomplishments:

Wilt chamberlain was a two-time NBA Champion (1967 and 1972) and also the NBA Finals MVP in 1972. He was named the NBA MVP four times in 1960, 1966, 1967, and 1968. He made it to the NBA All-Star Game 13 times, which included 10 consecutive appearances between 1960 and 1969. He was the NBA All-star game MVP in 1960. That year, he also won the award of NBA Rookie of the year, as he had been drafted in 1959.

In addition to that, he was a 7-time NBA Scoring Champion and 11-time NBA rebounds Champion.

He finished his career with 31,419 points at 30.1 points per game, 23,924 rebounds at 22.9 rebounds per game, and 4,643 assists.

He was included in the 35th, 75th, and 50th Anniversary teams of the NBA. LAter, he was added to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978.

Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, and Los Angeles Lakers retired the Jersey Number 13 in his honor.


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