Being Big, or Being Wilt Chamberlain

Share |

There's something uniquely human about a crummy, limited, nervous-seeming 7-foot NBA player; as I hurtle into a pre-dotage too neurotic/stress-intensive for me to even enjoy pickup ball anymore, I find that the NBA player I feel the most like on the court is Andris Biedrins, all handcuffed and terrified and avoidant. I fear that I most resemble Hasheem Thabeet. This is not the hugest step down, admittedly -- I had some Hornacek-ian moments at my low, long-gone peak, but only a few of them -- but it's something. An overdetermined guard or overmatched wing player is one thing, and if it's a familiar NBA thing it's also clearly true that the defective player in question is a superhuman athlete with some crucial shortcoming. A self-conscious big man is different: seemingly there by physical accident and possibly against his will, he is condemned, anxious, someone who is very clearly and very uncomfortably at work out there in his shorts. Our basketball dreams, our happy memories of happy moments, are one thing; this is the opposite. There are times, most of them not on a basketball court, when we will all feel like Andris Biedrins out there. So, yeah, have a great day!

The converse of this is that dominant NBA bigs are almost impossible to understand, let alone love. Shaquille O'Neal was, for a decade, just a beefy 20-year-old bully dunking on an eight-and-a-half foot basket against a bunch of annoyed fourth-graders. Dwight Howard is actually just an annoying fourth-grader, a Skittle-stuffed Superman cracking up at his own Hangover II references. The results are the results, but the process is one big bullying ugh. I never saw Wilt Chamberlain play, but for all the superhuman implausibility of his stats (and seriously look at them) I can't say I ever felt I was missing much. He was bigger and deffer and dominated because of that, and if he wasn't quite the chuckling cologne-bomb that is Dwight Howard then he still wasn't my type of player. Anyway, I assumed this.

And he probably wasn't, honestly: even if he was more elegant than I imagine, Chamberlain was big enough and good enough to lack the crucial element of struggle that I look for in my favorite players. If the game seems too hard, almost punishingly so, for big men out there seemingly against their wills, then it will always seem too easy -- everything will always seem too easy -- for players big enough and good enough to simply apply their will to the game as Wilt did.

But if basketball is easy for these bigs, the rest of life is still the rest, albeit viewed from a higher vantage point. There's nothing especially profound about this observation, but it feels surprising, still, to remember it. So there's something bracing about this brief, wittily illustrated interview with Wilt Chamberlain, in which he discusses his various size-related insecurities. It's from Blank on Blank, a Kickstarter-funded endeavor that we're fans of over here; they did that amazing Muhammad Ali Space Odyssey video we linked to last year.

None of this means that Wilt Chamberlain was Just Like Us or even a good dude or anything but himself; that self happens to be someone who would sleep with a few thousand women and refer to himself by his full name. But he was also a person who felt like a freak on a bus, who didn't know what to do with himself, and so still someone dealing with fundamental human things, as real and nervous if less well-concealed than they are in the galumphal, dart-eyed, terrified performances of your Biedrins-es or Thabeets or Johan Petros. Players like Wilt don't remind us quite as plainly as the Biedrins/Thabeet/Petro axis of how hard it is to be a human being their size, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

There's something that I remembered recently (I referenced it in the Requisite Basketball Card Part of my Vice column on Derrick Rose) about Greg Oden. I wrote many, many rookie cards for Oden during my years at Topps, and found him a uniquely interesting player to write about: self-effacing and uncommonly willing to say things not pertaining to Playing On The Biggest Stage or Taking It To The Next Level or whatever. Oden, as he told it, wanted to be a dentist as a kid. He kept that wish into his teens, at which point it became harder and harder to imagine as his body became something strange and imposing and ungovernable. "I got big," was how he put it, which is the sort of thing that seems eloquent only in retrospect. It's mostly the body that gets big, though. The person more or less stays the same size.

Share |

Comments

i was surfing the internet for recommendation and got here across your blog. i am inspired by the safety you've got in economic credit to this weblog. It indicates how ably you come occurring at the back of the cash for this difficulty. cheap essay writing service

whats up, i have browsed most of your posts. This announcement might be in which I were given the most useful opinion for my studies. thank you for posting, maximum likely we are able to see more in bank account to this. Are you taking vicinity to this point of any subsidiary web sites as regards this subject. Blog Post

Wow! This could be one of the most useful blogs we have ever come across on thesubject. Actually excellent info! I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort. Bigg Boss 12

fine website, wherein did u come taking vicinity in the back of the warn regarding this posting? i am favorable i discovered it even though, poorly be checking via now soon to discover out what addendum posts you amplify. Sbobet Terpercaya

i adoration studying this article hence lovely!!exciting task! agen judi online

i adoration studying this article hence lovely!!exciting task! situs judi online terpercaya

totally exciting save posting. Gclub Sl

Excellent recommendation going almost for your blog, thank you for taking the epoch to portion in the middle of us. Amazing perspicacity you have on this, it's nice to locate a website that details so much intend very roughly alternating artists. numerous options

hello!! Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community. 925 sterling silver rings

properly artcile, however it would be bigger if in a ways along you may component greater no longer pretty this situation. keep posting. bigg boss 12 watch online

quite for your liking pronounce. I just stumbled about your blog and desired to publicize that i've in truth enjoyed reading your weblog posts. Any pretension i will be subscribing to your feed and that i hope you call anew soon. big thanks for the beneficial data. video downloader

that is in intention of reality exceptional to answer..informative pronounce is completely exceptional to entre..thank you loads! novel writing

this is this kind of beatific resource which you are providing and you come back to an goodwill it away for forgive. I hero worship seeing weblog that acquire the price of presenting a mood useful resource for clean. video downloader

Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Best Rugs Shop UK

whats up, i have browsed most of your posts. This announcement might be in which I were given the most useful opinion for my studies. thank you for posting, maximum likely we are able to see more in bank account to this. Are you taking vicinity to this point of any subsidiary web sites as regards this subject. im Internet

He was bigger and deffer and dominated because of that, and if he wasn't quite the chuckling cologne-bomb that is Dwight Howard then he still wasn't my type of player. Anyway, I assumed this.tantric massage london

i am every happy to discover your nation because it turns into not far off from height in my accretion of favorite blogs to go to. klicken Sie auf den Link

quite for your liking pronounce. I just stumbled about your blog and desired to publicize that i've in truth enjoyed reading your weblog posts. Any pretension i will be subscribing to your feed and that i hope you call anew soon. big thanks for the beneficial data. Dapoxetinkaufen.simpsite.nl

What a thrilling post, you have pointed out some excellent points, I as well believe this is a superb website. I have planned to visit it again and again. housekeeping

Great knowledge, do anyone mind merely reference back to it maids

that is in intention of reality exceptional to answer..informative pronounce is completely exceptional to entre..thank you loads! taxes in colorado

thank you to your attractive infomation. Judi Online

Players like Wilt don't remind us quite as plainly as the Biedrins/Thabeet/Petro axis of how hard it is to be a human being their size, but that doesn't mean it's easy.
Plan to Lose Weight

Really informative article post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing. Best Price UK

I love the way you write and share your niche! Very interesting and different! Keep it coming! Togel Online

interesting challenge for a weblog. i've been searching the net for fun and got here re your internet site. gorgeous pronounce. thank you a ton for sharing your knowledge! it is exciting to look that some people but complement an attempt into coping with their websites. i'll be actual to check verify inside the works anew particular quickly. im Web

This one is pleasurable. shop happening the pleasant produce an effect!.. Sekirara ni kiss Manga

Hey, thanks for this article post.Much thanks again. Keep writing A circular of applause for the blog post. Keep writing.Dorset Breaks

Thank you for your blog.Really thank you! Fantastic. lanyard printing services singapore

HOW DO I CHOOSE A TOPIC FOR RESEARCH?

As noted above, the project should be in an area of research that is interesting and relevant to information networking or information security - depending on your program of study.
It should also be an area where there is work that remains to be done; there should be some clearly-defined new knowledge to discover or some new techniques to be developed.
There also should be some way of quantitatively measuring your work's success. Therefore, you should choose a topic that is significant but not impossible!
You also need to choose a topic that is interesting to both you and your advisor/supervisor.
Finally, and most importantly, you should choose a topic that you will have fun working on.
WE HAVE PROJECT TOPICS ON MATHEMATICS EDUCATION TO PROJECT TOPICS IN BIOLOGY EDUCATION, RESEARCH PROJECT TOPICS, SOCIAL STUDIES PROJECT TOPICS, PROJECT TOPICS ON HEALTH EDUCATION, PROJECT TOPICS ON BUSINESS EDUCATION AND SO ON.
YOU CAN GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT WORK WITHIN MINUTES, JUST SEARCH FOR YOUR TOPIC OR HIRE A WRITER.PROJECT TOPICS ON BUSINESS EDUCATION

Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading. www.kplokusa.com/tubing-bender

Thank you for your blog.Really thank you! Fantastic. mother of the bride gown

thank you for your attractive infomation. blog for RC crawler

Your website is in fact cool and this is a friendly challenging article. canlı bahis siteleri canlı bahis oyna

Wow, this is really interesting reading. I am glad I found this and got to read it. Great job on this content. I like it. Green Card Lottery

Very informative post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome. London tv repair

I love the way you write and share your niche! Very interesting and different! Keep it coming! Sugar Mummy Website

Key thankies for the blog.Much thanks again. Great.Really enjoyed this post.Thanks Again. Great.Very neat article. Awesome.Great, thanks for discussing this article post.Really many thanks! Keep writing.I loved your website post.Thanks Again. Great.Looking forward to reading more. Good post.Much thanks again. Cool.one plus 5t repair

Hey thanks for the article post. Much thanks again. Awesome. one plus 5t repair

Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? Because I’m going to start my website soon, but I’m a little lost on everything. Many thanks! bandar bola tangkas

I really enjoy the blog article.Much thanks again. Really Cool. tapete croche leque

I loved your post. Much obliged.This is one brilliant blog article.Really thank you! Will study on...Awesome article.Really thanks! Awesome.Say, you got a great blog post.Really many thanks! Actually Great.Major thankies for the blog.Much thanks again. Great.
Uganda Entertainment News

I just thought it may be an idea to post incase anyone else was having problems researching but I am a little unsure if I am allowed to put names and addresses on here. data recovery in jeddah

this is really nice to read..informative post is very good to read..thanks a lot! http://letsberevolutionary.tumblr.com/post/173698464202/things-to-keep-in-mind-while-buying-vacuum-for

Thanks for discussing, this can be a fantastic article.Really getting excited about study more. Actually Great.
singapore koh management

Excellent article. Cool.Looking ahead to examining more. Good article.Really thank you!Thank you very for you post.Really getting excited about study more.I value the article.Really many thanks! Significantly obliged.Really liked this informative article post. Cool.Thank you for the blog.Really thanks! Fantastic.Weight loss Denver, CO

this is really nice to read..informative post is very good to read..thanks a lot! Warmtepomp prijzen

This was really an interesting topic and I kinda agree with what you have mentioned here! escort bodrum

i really like this article please keep it up. nha cai fun88

Wow, this is really interesting reading. I am glad I found this and got to read it. Great job on this content. I like it. likes