Wilt gets USPS towering tributes

Lakers Phila

Wilt Chamberlain was a super-sized superstar with a personality to match.

Makes sense that his postage stamp would be super-sized as well.

News leaked out last month – six years after longtime Philadelphia Tribune sportswriter Donald Hunt founded a campaign to immortalize the NBA giant on a U.S. postage stamp – that Chamberlain indeed would be so honored this winter. Now, the images for the two Limited Edition Forever stamps are official, appearing in the USPS philatelic catalog that hit the streets Wednesday and shared later in the day with NBA.com.

Here is some info on the stamps’ release, which will be held Dec. 5 in conjunction with the Philadelphia 76ers’ game at the Wells Fargo Center against Oklahoma City in Chamberlain’s hometown.

The U.S.Postal Service and Philadelphia 76ers, in conjunction with the National Basketball Association (NBA), will formally dedicate the Wilt Chamberlain Forever stamps — the first of its kind featuring an NBA player — in a halftime ceremony featuring a special three-dimensional tribute video using the team’s state-of-the-art court projection system. Throughout the night, the Sixers will celebrate the life and legacy of the legendary Chamberlain with videos during breaks in play. Tickets for this 7 p.m. game will be available to the general public beginning Oct. 8 via Sixers.com.

The stamps, just over two inches tall each, are about a third taller than a typical commemorative stamp height of approximately 1.5 inches. Kadir Nelson, of San Diego, CA, created the two stamp image portraits of the NBA superstar. One is based on a photograph of Chamberlain in a Philadelphia Warriors uniform; the other is based on an image of Chamberlain in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. The word “Wilt” is featured in either the top right or left corner of each stamp. Art director Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, designed the stamps.

The stamps are striking in appearance and appropriate in their size. Chamberlain’s feats were Ruthian, Bunyanesque even: scoring 100 points in a game, averaging 50.4 points in 1961-62, scoring 60 points or more on 32 occasions, stringing together 126 games with 20 points or more and posting career averages of 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds and 45.8 minutes.

No puny 1.5-inch stamp was going to do justice to the iconic Big Dipper.

20 Comments

  1. Kristjan says:

    Great. Wilt is the basketball GOAT and he deserves all the respect can get. Great gesture. Respect.

  2. The Angry Buddhist says:

    Wilt not only holds the most records on the court but in bed too.

  3. drbop says:

    Simply THE best EVAH!!!

    Repeat……

    SIMPLY THE BEST EVAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. George Oliver says:

    Congrats to Donald Hunt for his tremendous effort to make this happen. Growing up in Philly during the 60’s, I saw that Wilt was a giant among his peers because of his athletic feats. This is honor is truly deserving of him and it finally happen during the same year that his teammate, Guy Rodgers was finally inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. It was long overdue, but it was truly worth the wait. Philly loves Wilt and Guy forever, God Bless them

  5. MJistheGOAT says:

    USPS should make one for the GOAT MJ

  6. justin says:

    where is your precious LeBron fanboys?

  7. marlon green says:

    That’s a great honor. Especially since he will be on a stamp before the all mighty MJ. It’s nice to see OTHER great legends get some attention for once. I will be trying to get my hands on some of those stamps because those bad boys will be worth something in the future.

  8. bellespapa says:

    Wow, fantastic stamps! I live in Europe, but certainly going to do my best to get these.
    What keeps amazing me btw, is that there still are so many people out there discussing who was the best basketball player ever. And that there are even people saying that that was Russel, Jordan, or even more questionable: James.
    Because, and I believe it was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar himself who once put it very simply: if you want an answer to that question, just open any NBA records book.
    It’s Wilt guys, and no-one else.
    And I will go on record saying there will be no-one ever to play this game that will be better and more dominant than Wilt was. A great and funny personality he was too. I miss him.

    • Lovins says:

      The record books show he was most dominant INDIVIDUAL force the game has ever seen. But basketball is a team sport and the ultimate object is to win. And when you win 2 championships in the same era that another guy wins 11, you cannot possibly be the greatest.

      Not to mention his scoring averages were drastically lower in the playoffs, whereas most other greats raised their games in the playoffs (example – Jordan 33.4 career ppg playoffs compared to 30.1 regular reason; Wilt only 22.5 ppg playoffs compared to 30.1 regular season).

      Still an awesome stamp though!

      • PAWIII says:

        Jim Brown only won one title. There is little argument that he was the greatest running back of all-time, even though several others have won more titles, e.g. Jim Taylor. And remember, Ted Williams won NO championships, and is considered, by many, to be the greatest hitter of all time. Are you then going to say that Olajuwan was as good as Wilt because he also won two. And then there is Elgin Baylor, who won none. But Bailey Howell is better, because he won several?

  9. bellespapa says:

    Wow, fantastic stamps! I live in Europe, but certainly going to do my best to get these.
    What keeps amazing me btw, is that there still are so many people out there discussing who was the best basketball player ever. And that there are even people saying that that was Russel, Jordan, or even more questionable: James.
    Because, and I believe it was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar himself who once put it very simply: if you want an answer to that question, just open any NBA records book.
    It’s Wilt guys, and no-one else.
    And I will go on record saying there will be no-one ever to play this game that will be better and more dominant than Wilt was. A great and funny personality he was too. I miss him.

  10. Albono says:

    The Lakers. awesomely represented!

  11. LBJ says:

    Wilt Chamberlain getting his face on a stamp will not win him any championships. He need to join Cleveland to play with the “KING” LeBron James. We will trade the lakers the wildling Anderson Varejao and world mvp Kyle Irving for Wilt to bring his 100 pts game tp play with our “KING”

  12. harriethehawk says:

    He was never fouled out in his entire regular and post season? Amazing for a big guy..

  13. funkmong says:

    The Big Dipper! Seriously a Super-Star…

  14. mansleg says:

    The GOAT in terms of athletic prowess and stats!!!!!

  15. jake s. says:

    much respec

    • BIG JACK says:

      Until Jabbar broke the all-time scoring record, it was held by Wilt. This record should have an asterick next to it, because the rules were different. Case in point, if one of Wilt’s teammates shot the ball and missed, then Wilt tapped it in, or dunked it in, or laid it in, then those 2 points were credited to the original shooter…not to Wilt.
      It has been estimated that Wilt would have had an additional 8000 points credited to him throughout his career. That would have taken Jabbar, or any body else, yeeeears to catch up to that record if ever.
      Wilt dominated EVERY game so much, for so long, that he actually caused it to be changed. Because of him, they raised the basket and widened the foul lanes.
      I saw him play many times when I was a kid (when my father could afford to take me) and every time he was a gentleman to the fans. He respected them. He earned his respect by how he played the game, and how he was to others. Not like nowadays, where players walk onto the court and think that they deserve respect just because they are there.
      They have a long way to go to learn what kind of man Wilt was, and what he did for the game.
      He was a man who lived an exemplary life in the public eye.

      • PAWIII says:

        The basket has remained at the same height – 10 feet – since Dr. Naismith invented the game. Points from a tip-in are awarded to the player tipping.