Wilt Chamberlain's Love Life: Did He Sleep With '20,000' Women?

By | September 26, 2019

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CIRCA 1974: Former NBA star Wilt Chamberlain poses for this photo with young women for the Wilt's Athletic Club circa 1974. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

In his 1991 book A View From Above, Wilt Chamberlain claimed he'd slept with 20,000 women over the course of his career. Also known as Wilt the Stilt and The Big Dipper, Chamberlain was one of the greatest scorers in NBA history -- on and off the court, apparently. Of all his impressive statistics, the "20,000 women" number seems the most far-fetched and least verifiable, and the book kicked off a debate over whether such a number was even possible.

20,000 different women is a hard figure to ignore. However, Wilt Chamberlain’s life was filled with stories and facts that seem impossible. The same could be said about his NBA career. Looking at his statistics, they bear no resemblance to anyone else’s. So how much of Wilt’s love life was fact or fiction?

No Such Thing As Boring Mathematics

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Chamberlain Eschewed the Normal Route of College to the Pros, Spending a Year with the Globetrotters (Mental Floss)

Wilt Chamberlain unknowingly gave us the most interesting math problem ever posed. Naturally, readers worked out how many women Wilt Chamberlain needed to sleep with to reach 20,000 by the time his statement was published. Apparently, if Chamberlain started his count at the age of 15, he would have needed to sleep with 1.4 women every day until he was 55. On the face of it, that seems impossible and it’s about to get more implausible.