Sixty Years On, Wilt’s 100 Remains Undisputed

The greatest single-game record in the history of the NBA and all major professional sports leagues in North America was set sixty years ago by Philadelphia Warriors’ Wilt Chamberlain against the New York Knicks. As former NFL coach Bill Parcells would say, “And it’s not close for second.” This is the story of that incredible accomplishment.

Squeezed into the eastern portion of the state, Hershey, Pennsylvania, is home to around 15,000 people. It is located about 100 miles west of Philadelphia and 15 miles east of Harrisburg, the state capital. Though Brussels and Switzerland would like to take a word, to some it remains the Chocolate Capital of the World. It is the location of Hersheypark, a sizable amusement park with more water rides and roller coasters than you can count on your fingers. And for those who enjoy sports, there’s the Hershey Bears, who have been a regular member of the American Hockey League since 1938.


Hershey is near Philadelphia enough that during the early and languid days of the NBA, the Hershey Sports Arena, which was formerly home to the Bears hockey team, hosted regular regular-season games for the Warriors, one of the founding teams of the league that was founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America.


Indeed, there were multiple Warriors games played at the Hershey “neutral site” in each of the team’s final four seasons as The City of Brotherly Love before they relocated to San Francisco. Those trips even had a sort of established routine, with one taking place the week after Christmas and the other on the first Friday in March. (This consistency was made possible by the fact that in those years, Warriors owner Eddie Gottlieb, who was born in Kyiv in 1898, designed the NBA schedule.)


And so it came to pass that the Warriors paid what ended up being their last visit to Hershey on Friday, March 2, 1962. It ended up being the Philadelphia Warriors’ final regular-season game played in the state of Pennsylvania. It was game 76 out of an 80-game season; the club would play its final four games on the road to wrap up the regular season. (In the early 1970s, Hershey experienced a brief comeback as a venue for NBA games when the 76ers visited for three seasons. In order to cover the hole left by the Warriors’ migration to the west, the Syracuse Nationals franchise relocated to Philadelphia in 1963 and changed their club name.)

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