November 28, 1955 Wilt Chamberlain to Philadelphia in 1959

Knicks Coach Joe Lapchick revealed to the press that the NBA had granted draft rights to University of Kansas freshman Wilt Chamberlain to the Philadelphia Warriors 4 years in advance. A spokesman for league president Maurice Podoloff said that the decision was made in the league's spring meeting. The spokesman stated, "I don't recall Chamberlain's name was mentioned, but the rule dealt with all high school players who might be regarded as potential professional stars who leave their home cities to go to college in a district where their is no pro team. The club must announce when the player starts his college career that it intends to exercise its territorial rights privilege and must take the player even if he doesn't develop and the player must go to a college outside the territory of any club in the league." The vote was 7-1 in favor of the rule and the only dissenter was Knicks boss Ned Irish.

Joe Lapchick was not happy with the decision as he called Chamberlain, "the greatest player in the game today." He stated, "Everybody but my boss let him go to Gottleib." Lapchick said, "the Warriors already have one of the best groups of young players. The league created a monster when it let Chamberlain go to Philadelphia. It was a grave error. The Warriors already featured young stars such as Paul Arizin, Tom Gola, and Neil Johnston on the roster. Lapchick feared the Warriors would have a huge advantage over other teams and result in a lack of fan interest in the league.

Wilt Chamberlain scored 2,252 points in 3 years at Overbrook High in Philadelphia and moved on to Big 7 basketball power Kansas coached by legendary Phog Allen. On November 18 in a game between the Kansas freshmen and varsity in what he called an off-night, Chamberlain scored 42 points and grabbed 24 rebounds in an 81-71 win over the varsity team. Phog Allen who up until this time was advocating for 12 foot high baskets but became strangely silent on the issue called Chamberlain, "the greatest player in the world".

It would be a very interesting time indeed to see how the predicted Philadelphia Warriors "dynasty" would turn out by adding Wilt Chamberlain.

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