There will never be another Wilt Chamberlain in basketball. He was a force in college, in the pros and on and off the court throughout life. This giant of a man made history 50 years ago today when he scored 100 points in a single NBA game as the Philadelphia Warriors beat the New York Knicks in a 169-147 victory. It is a feat that may never be beaten.
Shortly after that day I had occasion to meet Chamberlain with my brothers. My older brother was a high school All American in basketball and along with my younger brother the three of us played on one of the most successful programs in
Because of the press attention my brother got to pose with Chamberlain and at 7 feet 2 inches and 275 pounds he was a giant, with arms bigger than my brother's thighs. My brother was at 6' 5" and 200 pounds.
"As time goes by," Chamberlain reflected more than three decades later, "I feel more and more a part of that 100-point game. It has become my handle, and I've come to realize just what I did."
As Oscar Robertson put it in the Philadelphia Daily News when asked whether Chamberlain was the best ever, "The books don't lie."
He retired as the all-time in career points with 31,419, which was later surpassed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Michael Jordan. He is tops in rebounds with 23,924. He led the NBA in scoring seven years in a row. He was the league's top rebounder in 11 of his 14 seasons. And as if to prove that he was not a selfish player, he had the NBA's highest assist total in 1967-68.
As if that was not enough in his personal autobiography Wilt revealed he not only scored on the court but off the court as well with over 20,000 women.