When thinking of Wilt Chamberlain, three numbers come to mind. One is the number 13, which Wilt the Stilt wore for the entirety of his career and was clearly not affected by its unluckiness. Another is the number 20,000, which is the incredibly difficult to believe, yet probably true, number of women that the Big Dipper claimed to have bedded during his lifetime. And the other, which is arguably even more impressive than the 20,000 chicks, is 100, the number of points that Chamberlain scored in a game on this day 55 years ago.
Yes, on March 2, 1962, Wilt set the virtually unbreakable NBA single-game scoring record by dropping a century in an offensive affair that saw his Philadelphia Warriors defeat the New York Knicks 169-147. Coming at a time when the NBA was still getting its feet under itself, the 7’1” freak of athlete Wilt Chamberlain was relatively unmatched in the NBA, with Bill Russell serving as his only adequate adversary.
Therefore, 100 points in those days is not nearly impressive as it would be nowadays, but it’s still highly impressive regardless. An offensive juggernaut, Wilt, who scored 90 points in a high school game, was known for being able to score at will throughout his career, and his 100-point game was the ultimate proof of that. Unfortunately, there’s no footage of the game, as, again, the NBA wasn’t in the best place at the time, and no media members even attended the neutral-court game that night at Hershey Sports Arena. Therefore, the only memento from the iconic game is Wilt posing for a postgame photo in the locker room while holding up a scrap of paper with “100” scribbled onto it.
Having set the record earlier in the season with 78 points in a triple overtime game, Chamberlain practically ensured that his record would never be broken with his 100-point stat line. That very season, Wilt became the first player to ever score 4,000 points in a season in what is still one of the most impressive seasons by an individual player in sports history.
Although Anthony Davis just broke Chamberlain’s All-Star Game scoring record, the single-game scoring record is, without a doubt, safe and secure. Kobe Bryant played practically the perfect game 11 years ago and could only come within 19 points of Wilt’s record, and if Kobe couldn’t will himself to hit the century mark, nobody else will either.
Wilt Chamberlain. The man. The myth. The legend. Sure, getting laid tens of thousands of times is pretty great, but scoring 100 points in a game is pretty awesome, too.