Dipper’s Domain: A Visit to Wilt’s house

LOS ANGELES — On a clear day you can see forever.

Or at least Mariah Carey‘s backyard.

The months-long project Season of Giants — a look at the historic 1961-62 NBA season — has taken me many places on the trail of Wilt Chamberlain. I have been to his native Philadelphia to visit many old haunts and to talk to many old friends. I have been to Hershey Arena, the site of Wilt’s historic 100-point game on March 2, 1962. I have been to the Wells Fargo Center on the night that two of Wilt’s former teams — the Warriors and 76ers — played on the 50th anniversary of that epic achievement.

But now I’m literally standing in what used to be Wilt’s backyard in the ritzy Bel-Air section on the West side of L.A., gazing slack-jawed at a view of downtown and the Staples Center far, far away.

This is Ursa Major, the out-of-this-world place that Wilt and architect David Tenneson Rich designed together in the early 1970s. It’s the home of the giant sunken living from with the huge fireplace, the wrap-around pool that had an entrance from inside the house, straight through the floor of the dining room and, of course, the upstairs master bedroom with the retractable roof, site of many of Wilt’s alleged 20,000 sexual conquests.

If the walls could talk.

Well, I listened close, but didn’t hear any juicy gossip, but an afternoon’s tour of the house and surrounding grounds gave another level of insight into the man who revolutionized the NBA and was the biggest sports celebrity of his time.

Join me here at NBA.com for all of the upcoming chapters in “Season of Giants” and for an up-close look at one of the most famous homes in the sports, coming soon.


  1. lengilman says:

    Tony you are 100% correct. The bulk of Wilts playoff games were when he took very few shots. That was as a Laker.
    Check out his scoring average as a warrior or Sixer.
    Check out how many times Wilt had 30, 40, or even 55 rebounds against Mr Russell.
    See who played with Russell and who coached Bill.
    Bill’s rookie season he played with 2 all star guards and the league rookie of the year.
    No Bill wasnt rookie of the year Tom Heinsohn was.
    Oh and Wilt was the 1961-62 All-Pro Center.

  2. Tony says:

    Wilt should have been the MPV of the 62 season period. Averaging 50 points per game is beyond belief, regardless of the era. It’s funny, that in 72, when Wilt won the championship with the Lakers, he averaged only 14-15 ppg, and led the league in rebounding and probably blocked shots. He even bested Kareem’s Bucks in the playoffs. So who got the MVP? Kareem did. Why didn’t Wilt win it for terrorizing the league with his defense and leading the Lakers to the title, just like Russell did in 1962? The press wasn’t always fair to Wilt, that is for sure.

  3. prix says:

    It´s just a history with Wilt…and Blake makes history today…posterize the poor little soft Pau… L.A fans can´t accept that…

  4. Wilt sleep with 20,000 women wilt was puttin in work wilt gets the life time player award,
    As great as wilt was in 61-62 he didn’t the win the MVP Bill Russell won it and wilt averaged 30 points for his career in the regular season but in the playoffs only averaged 22.5 ponits in 160 games in 13 years whats better then a good offense a better defense thats what wins rings defense and thats why Russell won over wilt in the playoffs.