Watch: ‘Blank on Blank’ animated interview with Wilt Chamberlain
A 1992 interview with Wilt Chamberlain has been brought to life via animation as part of the PBS Digital Studio’s “Blank on Blank” series.
David Gerlach, a former television producer and print journalist, has created a series bringing previously unheard interview tapes to audiences.
The 7-foot-1 Chamberlain played with the Lakers from 1968 to 1973, winning the NBA championship in 1972. He recalls the difficulty of being 7-feet tall as a teenager.
“Can you imagine going through America at that time, a man of color, a little boy of 14-years old at that height? I was looked upon as a freak,” Chamberlain said in an interview with Ann Liguori. “Today when you see someone of my size ... people think sports, basketball, dollar signs. They don’t think circus freak or what have you.”
Chamberlain’s size, speed and athleticism helped him become one of the most dominant players in the history of the league.
“They cast me as the villain everywhere I went,” Chamberlain said. “Villains are kind of hard to know on a personal level. You see them as mean, insensitive-type people. Also when you have this great size, sensitivity once again is not given to you.”
“They talk about all these things that you can do and whatever,” he said. “Never do they say, ‘Are you gentle or really sensitive about things?’ and we are.”
Chamberlain won his first NBA title in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers. He passed away in 1999 at the age of 63 of congestive heart failure.
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