I have never heard a single one of the stories mentioned above. From what I have gathered here, and in aviation magazines (this is discussed monthly here, honestly) was rather simple.
Designing the gear, the wheels were either smaller and closer together, or the whole gear assembly was just smaller. The loading on the ground was a bit high, so they stretched out the gear a bit, maybe with bigger wheels, I don't remember. Anyway, it was very close to the end of the design phase, and with a bigger gear, they would have had to goof with the center wing box and all that jive to get it to fit. Someone figured out that a gear tilted forward would squeeze right in, so there you go.
As I said, I have garnered this information from the same question being asked 1000 times on this site, and every time the reply has been "Titled forward to fit in it's bay" nothing more or less.
I will be thrilled if there is more to it, but I'll want proof first.
They're not handing trophies out today