Wilt Chamberlain (center) playing for Los Angeles Lakers in the 1969 NBA finals against the Boston Celtics. Public domain photo
Wilt Chamberlain (center) playing for Los Angeles Lakers in the 1969 NBA finals against the Boston Celtics. Public domain photo

The Los Angeles Lakers will honor Wilt Chamberlain at tonight’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center in connection with the U.S. Postal Service issuing two stamps depicting him.

A video of Chamberlain’s career highlights will be shown. Chamberlain, who died in 1999 at age 63, played the final five seasons of his 14-season career with the Lakers, helping lead them to the NBA Finals four times, including their first championship in Los Angeles in 1972.

Extra tall limited edition forever stamps of Wilt Chamberlain highlight both his Philadelphia and Los Angeles careers. Image courtesy of USPS

Chamberlain is the first NBA player to be immortalized on a stamp.

One stamp depicts Chamberlain with his first NBA team, the Philadelphia Warriors, and the other, with the Lakers. In a nod to Chamberlain’s height of 7 feet, 1 inch, the stamps are each twice the size of the original forever stamp, which depicted the Liberty Bell.

“He dominated the court and we felt he should dominate the mail with these stamps,” Mark Saunders, a media relations representative with the U.S. Postal Service told City News Service.

Chamberlain was originally going to be part of a set of four stamps of basketball stars issued by the Postal Service, but that idea was dropped because “he was such an icon he deserved a stamp for himself,” said Saunders, who declined to say who the other basketball stars were considered.

— City News Service

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