Saturday, March 2, 2013

March 2, 1962: Wilt Chamberlain Knocks Down 100

On March 2, 1962, in front of a home crowd in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scored a record setting 100 points during a 169-147 victory over the New York Knicks. In December of '61 Chamberlain surpassed Elgin Baylor's record of 71 points in a game when he scored 78 in a 147-151 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. A few months later Wilt shattered his own record with the legendary 100 point performance. He set a mark that has hardly been challenged since. Chamberlain was a beast, at 7' 1" with skills to match his height, he was an offensive force that could not be stopped. He holds numerous NBA records but none of them are more impressive than the 100 point performance. It is a record that might just stand the test of time. 

     On that night at the Hershey Sports Arena only 4,124 fans sat in the stands, they would witness the best individual performance in the history of the National Basketball Association. The Knicks didn't have a man that could slow him down. By the end of the first quarter he had dropped 23 points, and by halftime he had 41. In the third quarter he scored 28 to bring his total to 64.With the crowd chanting "Give it to Wilt!!! Give it to Wilt!!!" His teammate obliged and Wilt kept hitting basket after basket. The only thing the Knicks could do was try and foul his teammates to keep the ball out of his hands. The Warriors countered with some fouls of their own to offset the New York strategy. There was no strategy that was going to prevent him from crushing his previous record.

     With just 46 seconds left in the contest Chamberlain scored his 100th point of the game. Play was halted as fans rushed the court in celebration of the phenomenal feat. Chamberlain went to the locker room during the mayhem where he was met by a public relations director named Harvey Pollack. The P.R. man then handed him the piece of paper with 100 written on it. A photographer snapped a picture of Wilt holding up that piece of paper and it became one of the most iconic photos in sports history.

     Wilt was 36 for 63 from the field and 28 for 32 from the foul line, which is pretty damn remarkable for a guy who shot just 51% from the line over the course of his career. It was the game of his life and a game that will talked about for generations to come. Everything about this one is great besides there is no footage. The NBA was an upstart league and far from what it is today, it is not only the greatest game ever played but it's the greatest game never seen, those 4,124 in the house might not have realized how historic this game would become.

While there is no actual footage there was a radio call which is included in this great video:

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