Did Wilt Chamberlain ever get help?
Chamberlain's legendary 100 point game
New York City - The prehistory is legendary, the basketball game of NBA superstar Wilt Chamberlain on March 2, 1962, has been for 50 years. The 2.16 m giant scored a whopping 100 points in the 169:14 triumph of the Philadelphia Warriors over the New York Knicks. None of the eventual stars in the National Basketball Association (NBA) have come anywhere near this record since then. Kobe Bryant's record is 81 points, Michael Jordan made 69 points.
"I destroyed all the existing throwing records back then. I think that was my biggest game," said Chamberlain. The "master of the baskets" later became NBA champion each with Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Lakers, actually too little in view of his dominance at the time.
Several other records
Lakers star Bryant is number two in the ranking for the most points in a game, Jordan is only number eleven. Chamberlain, on the other hand, is represented six times in the top ten and 13 times in the top 20. The center, which died in 1999 at the age of only 63 years ago, holds a number of other records.
He got 55 rebounds in one match, played an average of 45.8 minutes per game, played 47 consecutive games without substitution and scored at least 50 points in 45 games during one season. With 31,419 points, he is the fourth-best point collector in the all-time NBA rankings. However, Chamberlain wrote sports history that Friday evening in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The Warriors occasionally roamed the province to gain more fans. Chamberlain had come a particularly long way, because he did not live in Philadelphia but in New York City. The then 25-year-old enjoyed life in the "Big Apple" to the fullest and never concealed the fact that besides basketballs, he mainly chased women.
"Because the regular season was almost over and our place was already determined before the play-offs, I took the night before to have a little fun," said Chamberlain. At eight in the morning he started the hour and a half train ride to Philadelphia. The team met there at 1 p.m. "I hadn't slept at all the night before. And I didn't sleep on the train because I was afraid I would wake up in Washington," said Chamberlain.
In Philadelphia he met friends with whom he dined extensively. He talked to his best friend, Vince Miller, on the 140-kilometer bus ride to Hershey. The team arrived at 3:30 p.m. and Chamberlain passed the time before the game with an air rifle in an arcade.
In the city after which the most famous US chocolate is named, there was nothing to suggest the NBA game, and so only 4,124 fans came to the game. None of them should regret it. Chamberlain already scored 41 points for the 79:68 break, but this was not unusual for the 2.16 meter long and 120 kilogram star. "I often came into the dressing room with 30 or 35 points, so 41 was nothing special," he said.
"Give the ball to Wilt!"
But in the course of the third quarter he realized that he could erase his previous best marks: 73 points in normal playing time, 78 points after three extra times. Incidentally, the three-point rule did not yet exist at the time. The hall speaker announced the current score of "Wilt the stilt" after each basket. Wilt, the stilt, kept getting the ball and didn't care whether three or four Knicks actors were guarding him. Even fouls didn't help stop him this time.
Because Chamberlain, otherwise known as a weak free-throw shooter, converted 28 of 32 attempts that evening. 36 of 63 throws off the field slipped through the net, both brands are still NBA records. The initially sleepy fans, in contrast to Chamberlain, were now totally over the moon, many shouted loudly: "Give the ball to Wilt!"
At this point, what was happening on the floor was already like a farce. In order to let Chamberlain get to the ball as rarely as possible, the Knicks did not play like a team that has to catch up. They exhausted the attack time and forced all other Warriors players to free throws with fouls. These did without simple throws in order to help Chamberlain to the magic mark. With 46 seconds to go, he managed the historic basket to points 99 and 100.
TV pictures do not exist
Spectators ran onto the field and wanted to hug Chamberlain, it took nine minutes before the game could be ended. There were even statements that it was not played to the end. TV pictures do not exist, just a short radio report and a few photos. On one of them Chamberlain is holding a slip of paper with the handwritten number 100 on it.
He allegedly didn't want to touch the ball after his last basket. To justify this, he is said to have said that 100 points sounded better than 102. He drove back to New York with some Knicks actors and fell asleep on the train. "But every time I woke up, I heard her say: Can you imagine that bastard scored 100 points against us?" (APA / dpa)
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