The reasons Wilt Chamberlain was “very, very much” offended by Shaquille O’Neal’s top 50 players…

The reasons Wilt Chamberlain was “very, very much” offended by Shaquille O’Neal’s top 50 players…

Wilt Chamberlain appeared to take offense at Shaquille O’Neal’s 1996 decision to skip the NBA’s 50th Anniversary Team unveiling ceremony. The already strained relationships between the two dominant centers didn’t help.

In 1997, Chamberlain was asked if he was disappointed with the Los Angeles Lakers big man at the time for skipping the ceremony during an interview on Howard Stern’s radio show.

The Association revealed its list of the top 50 active and retired players at the time to commemorate the signing of the NBA charter 50 years ago. The All-Star Weekend in 1997 honored the best of the best.

O’Neal was conspicuously absent, though, as the bruiser was recuperating from a knee injury at the time. Two other legends were unable to attend the event: Jerry West, who was scheduled to have surgery at the same time as the event, and Pete Maravich, who had passed away in 1988.

Shaq could have joined, of course, if he had wanted to. Ultimately, it wasn’t like he was seriously hurt. Just two games were missed by him before the midseason break, and he participated in the first game right away. Therefore, it’s understandable why Chamberlain would be upset with himself for choosing not to spend this historic evening with the other 47 superstars.

Additionally, it would have been a gesture of respect to the other legends who were able to attend if O’Neal had made a concerted effort to attend the festivities.

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