Wilt’s Humble Reaction To 100-Point Game

March 2, 2012 by staff 

Wilt’s Humble Reaction To 100-Point Game, On March 2, 1962 Wilt Chamberlain scored more points than anyone has in an NBA basketball game. Playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, he dropped a 100-point bomb on the New York Knicks in a 162-147 Warriors’ win.

Only about 4,000 fans saw the game, which was played in Hershey, Pennsylvania. There was no TV and the only working photographer left after the first quarter.

Gary Pomerantz, author of “Wilt, 1962: The Night of 100 Points and the Dawn of a New Era,” told Here & Now‘s Robin Young that, “Wilt’s 100 point game stands like a monument or even taller as the statistical Everest of American sports.”

In the history of professional team sports in America, there is no statistical equal of the Dipper’s hundred-point game, no other individual accomplishment in a single game so remarkable and outsized. Such a declarative statement is possible because of the way basketball is played. Chamberlain that night handled the ball more than 125 times, including his sixty-three shots from the floor, thirty-two free throws, and twenty-five rebounds. Extended over forty-eight minutes of play, the Dipper’s performance became a marathon of excellence that not only broke the existing scoring record in regulation (which was, of course, his own record), it exceeded it by twenty-seven points-and that year only six other NBA players averaged 27 point a game.

Baseball allows for moments of greatness, but not for sustained effort that builds mountainous numbers in a single game; certainly, no batter will hit ten home runs one night, no pitcher will have forty strikeouts. Football aficionados celebrated a Gale Sayers game in December of 1965 when, in a 61-20 Chicago Bears victory over San Francisco on a quagmire at Wrigley Field, he rushed for four touchdowns, caught a touchdown pass, and returned a punt eighty-five yards for another touchdown-six touchdowns on 336 all-purpose yards.

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