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Old 07-18-2013, 06:26 AM   #1
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Default What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

All the talk about Wilt being era specific are not interesting because it's just speculation cannot be proven either way. What might be proven however, is his speed.

Based on this video, what do you think was his top speed:

http://youtu.be/S8JuK2dVky0?t=53s
http://youtu.be/S8JuK2dVky0?t=11m50s


The length of the NBA court is 94 feet or 28.65 meters.

Usain Bolt's top speed was 27.79 miles per hour or 12.42 meters per second.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

I'm also very impressed by his speed, hops, etc. The best athlete (physically) to ever play this game.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

His speed is called damn!
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamgine
All the talk about Wilt being era specific are not interesting because it's just speculation cannot be proven either way. What might be proven however, is his speed.

Based on this video, what do you think was his top speed:

http://youtu.be/S8JuK2dVky0?t=53s
http://youtu.be/S8JuK2dVky0?t=11m50s


The length of the NBA court is 94 feet or 28.65 meters.

Usain Bolt's top speed was 27.79 miles per hour or 12.42 meters per second.
What is the length of the top of the key to the top of the key (and I mean the half-circular part beyond the FT line not the FT line itself). If you can give me that precise distance I can give you an idea of how fast his velocity is, but even then I'm not sure it will be his "peak" velocity because his "peak" velocity only happens for about 2 or 3 strides in a short span before he needs to slow down
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

Better yet, what is the distance from the half circle at the top of the key to the half-court line? Based on the 2nd clip during the SFU game that stands the best chance to capture the brief moment he's at a high velocity I think.

BTW... I doubt he's anywhere NEAR Usain Bolt speed. He's undoubtedly fast though. I can believe the 4.6 40 yard dash claim by HOF coach Hank Stram. That's the same 40 time Lebron measured last off-season.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

http://www.basketball-goals.com/bask...ns.htm#bbcourt

Based on that dimension/drawing/chart, the top of the circle is 25 feet from the end line. Half court is 57 feet. The difference, 32 feet, is the answer you wanted.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CavaliersFTW
BTW... I doubt he's anywhere NEAR Usain Bolt speed.

Yeah, let's not give the doubters ammunition with stuff like that. Bolt makes Bob Hayes look slow, and he's the fastest NFL player of all time.

Wilt's 100 time was 10.9? I'm guessing that equates to around 4.6 or 4.7.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchesk
Yeah, let's not give the doubters ammunition with stuff like that. Bolt makes Bob Hayes look slow, and he's the fastest NFL player of all time.

Wilt's 100 time was 10.9? I'm guessing that equates to around 4.6 or 4.7.
Wilt's 100 time is not known - I would treat that number as if it is nothing but hear-say because literally that's all that it is. That number cannot be traced to any official Track and Field event he participated in because in college he never competed in that event. Perhaps in High School he ran it but even then, he only shows up on the high-jump in the Philadelphia city-league record books. The only thing he competed in in college was the high jump and triple jump. And I've only ever heard his KU track teammates mentioned one other thing he did (during practices) and that was (as they put it) "jog" the 440 in about 49 seconds (He didn't compete in the 440 because KU had guys that ran it in the 47's at the time). So - I'm not saying he didn't - or couldn't run run a 100 in 10.9, all I'm saying is that that number is untraceable to any source and has no supporting information.

Last edited by CavaliersFTW : 07-18-2013 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

In the first video, I'm estimating Wilt's top speed to be inbetween 17.5-19 miles per hour.

Still not even close to Bolt's 27.79 miles per hour. But it might be very good among non runners. And who knows if that was his best. I would guess Wilt's best top speed to be around 19 MPH.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

The distance from the top of the half circle of the key to the half court stripe is precisely 22 feet.

Wilt covers exactly that distance in the Colorado clip in 0.9 seconds
Wilt covers exactly that distance in the SFU clip in 0.825 seconds

I slowed the footage down by a factor of 10 and analyzed frame by frame to come up with precisely when he went from one line in question to the other line in question. (9 seconds, and 8.25 seconds)

If Wilt remained at the pace of 0.9 seconds per 22 feet over the distance of 1 mile it would take him 216 seconds to complete 1 mile. Or, at 0.825 seconds per 22 feet 198 seconds to complete the mile.

In miles per hour that is:
16.7mph **EDIT (16.7mph is his speed the first half) - he averaged 18.2mph after crossing half court)**
18.2mph is also the speed he covered the distance in the SFU game

Now, I do not believe those figures represent his peak speed - as he only had about 2 or 3 steps head start before he was within the 22 foot "ruler" I used. He is also so big and takes such long strides he had to slow down almost immediately after crossing half court so I don't think he ever reached his full stride over any measurable sort of distance. But those figures definitely appear to be his average speed within the 22 feet I measured. What's most impressive to me, is his acceleration. He reaches those speeds almost immediately. Later tonight I can upload video of this if you guys would like, right now got to leave and head to work.

**EDIT** In the Colorado clip on the OTHER side of the floor (after he passes half court) the half court line to the other half circle is covered in 8.25 seconds - and this is despite him actually physically turning around. This is the same time it took him to cover that ground in the SFU clip.

So that means in both clips he's seen covering a 22 foot distance at a speed of 18.2mph

Last edited by CavaliersFTW : 07-18-2013 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

That's not an impressive speed in a vacuum. But considering his size, and the lack of acceleration time, and that most runners reach a peak speed after X amount of feet (most 100m runners get faster with each 10m split until they hit their max).... it's quite impressive.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

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Old 07-18-2013, 03:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

Interesting article on the fastest players recorded in the NBA 2 seasons ago

Young Wilt's 18.2mph clip on the court is very fast, he'd be up with the modern NBA's top point guards if the measurement is correct:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/bas...ard/index.html

Tony Parker peaked at 20.9mph 2 seasons ago
Ricky Rubio peaked 19.4mph 2 seasons ago

And Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, Brandon Jennings and Calderon only managed to peak in the 17's range. Derrick Rose (who's team wasn't constantly monitored with equipment like the others) peaked at 17.0 mph when he played at the arenas that tracked this advanced data. All these players save for Derrick Rose had basically all their home games with which to analyze footage, a much larger sample size to determine top speed than Wilt's 5 game NCAA stretch (though to be honest, I haven't seen any other clips of Wilt's from the half dozen NBA or his 2 other NCAA games that indicated he ran faster than during the Colorado or SFU game in this 5 game NCAA stretch).

Last edited by CavaliersFTW : 07-18-2013 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

Athletic and flexible girls?
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: What was Wilt Chamberlain's top speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CavaliersFTW
Interesting article on the fastest players recorded in the NBA 2 seasons ago

Young Wilt's 18.2mph clip on the court is very fast, he'd be up with the modern NBA's top point guards if the measurement is correct:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/bas...ard/index.html

Tony Parker peaked at 20.9mph 2 seasons ago
Ricky Rubio peaked 19.4mph 2 seasons ago

And Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, Brandon Jennings and Calderon only managed to peak in the 17's range. Derrick Rose (who's team wasn't constantly monitored with equipment like the others) peaked at 17.0 mph when he played at the arenas that tracked this advanced data. All these players save for Derrick Rose had basically all their home games with which to analyze footage, a much larger sample size to determine top speed than Wilt's 5 game NCAA stretch (though to be honest, I haven't seen any other clips of Wilt's from the half dozen NBA or his 2 other NCAA games that indicated he ran faster than during the Colorado or SFU game in this 5 game NCAA stretch).

Are these with or without a ball?
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