Irony is in the fact that there is no video of Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors on March 2, 1962.
It is impossible to see it right now.
It is unlike anything else. It is unlikely that anyone will ever see anything like it.
Wednesday marked the 60th anniversary the most significant scoring effort in NBA history. Chamberlain scored 100 points, with Chamberlain scoring 36 field goals and 28 free throws in the Warriors’ 169 147 victory over the New York Knicks. This was in a game that was played in front of about 4,000 people in Hershey Pennsylvania. This might be the closest the NBA comes to breaking a single-game record.
Chamberlain disagreed with this sentiment, as it is recorded.
He said, “I believe it can be broken,” in 1987, just before the 25th anniversary the historic night.
No. Not even close.
Kobe Bryant scored an incredible 81 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ win against Toronto. This is the closest anybody has come to Chamberlain. David Thompson had 73 points, Elgin Baylor scored 71 and David Robinson scored 71. Devin Booker scored 70 points.
That’s it. It’s amazing to think about: Only 19 players have gotten within 30 points of 100 and only five others have gotten within 30. Even though 3-pointers are now the norm, remember that Chamberlain set the record in the 1980s. Few have been within 30 points of it.
Booker scored 70 points in 2017. Stephen Curry and Carmelo Anthony each scored 62 points in the past decade. James Harden, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, and LeBron James have all reached the 60-point mark four different times.
It’s a 60-piece piece, which is obviously enormous.
It’s not even close to the record.
It becomes clear why no one has ever come close to the numbers.
Two 50-point halves are required to reach 100 points. Bryant’s 42-point victory against Washington in 2003 was the most successful first-half in 25 years. Bryant’s 55 against Toronto in 2006’s 81-point match and Booker’s 51 against Boston in 2017’s 70-point match are the only two 50-point second halves.
Don’t forget the 50-point halves. Let’s take a look at four quarters of 25-point scoring. Curry has been able to have a hot streak unlike anyone else in the past 25 years.
Curry’s first quarter career high was 25 points. 26 points in the second quarter. 28 points for the third quarter. For a fourth quarter, it is 21 points.
This is the best of his best, his hottest and four best quarter-season performances he has ever seen.
These points add up to exactly 100.
It is impossible to imagine him shooting four quarters in one evening. Even for the most skilled shooter, it seems unlikely.
There are many other hints, so another 100-point night is unlikely to occur.
Chamberlain took 63 shots on that field night. Since then, no one has ever taken more than 50 shots in a single game.
Chamberlain played the entire 48 minutes of that match. This is a rare occurrence. Chamberlain was there all the way until the end, in what would have been considered a blowout. For fear of a $40 million-a-year player getting hurt, few coaches would do that with Chamberlain.
All of this makes the record look safer and more secure.
The record is also perfect as it stands now.
It’s 100. This is a perfect round number. Chamberlain is 100 when you think about the NBA. Because they don’t exist, fans don’t think about the highlights of that particular game. He is often seen holding that piece of white paper with the number 100 written on it, as if he was taking pictures of history.
Someone said, “It’s an embarrassing record that I would hate to break,” after the game.
Wilt Chamberlain was that person.
He was not interested in chasing that one.