Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-Point Game: The Real Story

Tell me, 52 years ago, who the Philadelphia Warriors were playing against when Wilt Chamberlain scored an NBA record 100 points, without having to do any research.


Should that prove to be insufficient of a test, proceed to identify a minimum of two players from the other team, and endeavor to have one of them be the player who began the game paired against the Big Dipper.


It’s difficult, is it not?


When we hear Wilt’s name, we’ve been trained to focus on the triple-digit score he scored in the scoring column on March 2, 1962, but we tend to ignore the details—details that, contentious as they may be, detract from the feat.

By the way, the following are the solutions to the challenges.


The team Wilt was playing against, the New York Knicks, had a 27-45 record going into the game and would finish in the second-worst slot in the standings. Among that vile group, Willie Naulls and Richie Guerin were the most well-known, but Darrall Imhoff was the one watching Wilt.


Congratulations if you were able to successfully finish both of those challenges. You belong to the overwhelmingly small minority. However, it’s likely that you’ve just heard tidbits of the 100-point narrative—usually the ones that aim to emphasize how exceptional Wilt’s outing is.

But don’t get me wrong.


To this day, Chamberlain’s performance stands as one of the greatest in NBA history. The fact that Kobe Bryant’s 81-point explosion is the closest anyone has come to the coveted 100-point mark outside of Wilt Chamberlain should say something.


That doesn’t stop it from being overhyped, though. Chamberlain’s feat will continue to be mythologized, giving the Hall of Fame center a little too much credit, until the background is as well-known as the score.


The Circumstance


The Knicks were in trouble from the start.


With a record of 46-29 going into the game, the Warriors led the way, while New York was far behind them in last place with 27-45. Furthermore, the fact that the underdogs were missing some of their best players is typically overlooked while admiring Wilt’s ludicrous scoring total.


By the end of the game, Phil Jordan, the starting center for the Knicks, wasn’t the only one absent, according to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:


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