Happy Anniversary: 50 Years Since Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 Point Game
Decided to go with a different picture from the obvious.
On March 2, 1962, exactly 50 years prior to today, Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors lit up the New York Knickerbockers for 100 points in a single 169-147 victory. That mark is still the most points ever recorded in an NBA game by a single player, with Kobe Bryant‘s 81-point effort a not-so-close second place.
Wilt Chamberlain’s spectacular performance that night was unprecedented and will never, ever happen again for a few reasons.
For one, a physically and athletically gifted player like Wilt Chamberlain was just so far ahead of his time. Rarely anybody playing professional basketball was over seven feet tall at that time, let alone 7’1″ and athletic enough to inspire stories (maybe “tales” is a better word) of seeing a man dunk from the free throw line without a running start. While you still don’t see a player like Wilt Chamberlain everyday, we have Dwight Howard who has similar advantages, and several seven footers and athletic 6’9″-plus big men who could at least resemble competition for Chamberlain more than anyone on the court with him in March 1962.
Second, the rules are different. Points that added to Chamberlain’s total against the Knicks would warrant a ref’s whistle and an offensive goaltending call. But then again, Wilt would probably draw a lot more foul calls and free throws these days.
So in a time where we’re always in a rush to find the “next” whoever, let’s celebrate something that we can statistically say we haven’t seen since, and we won’t see again.
(SN: The points in this article aren’t meant to knock Wilt. If he was playing today, he’d probably max out at say…88.)
Words By Julian Michael Caldwell