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Henry Liao

Reminiscing Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point NBA Game, part 2

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There were mixed recollections of what happened in the frantic moments after Wilt Chamberlain scored his 100th point on March 2, 1962 while leading the Philadelphia (now Golden State) Warriors to a 169-147 victory over the New York Knickerbockers in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Chamberlain and Harvey Pollack, the official scorer who was the Warriors’ public relations director at the time, were among the people who insisted the game concluded after Wilt netted his 100th point.

Yet there were others who disagreed.

“If my memory is correct, they got the players back on the court, got the fans back in the stands and finished the game,” remembered Warriors player Ed Conlin, who watched the final moments from the bench. “I couldn’t say that the game ended at regulation time or not. I don’t think anybody has been in a game that never finished, but … who knows?”

Harry Goff, one of those who attended the historic contest, wrote in the Harrisburg Patriot-News that “a dozen or so over-anxious fans rushed on the floor … and the game was delayed until police cleared the area and play was resumed.”

The Associated Press story filed that night stated that “when Wilt hit 100, a few seconds before the end, the fans swarmed onto the court. The game was held up until they were removed.”

“It wasn’t the case that they stopped the game and gave Wilt the game ball,” said the Knicks’ Johnny Green. “The game continued.”

That’s not true, says Chamberlain’s teammate Al Attles, who backed up Wilt with 17 points on a perfect 8-for-8 field-goal, 1-for-1 free-throw shooting.

Attles recalled that after Chamberlain’s final bucket, “the fans ran on the floor and the game ended. I still think that the game ended before the actual horn blew because there were just too many people on the floor and there was no way they could have gotten them off. You would think you would remember it.”

Chamberlain played the full 48 minutes the night he scored in triple figures. He registered quarter scores of 23, 18, 28 and 31 points, going 36-for-63 from the field and 28-for-32 from the free-throw line.

“The Big Dipper” totaled 69 points after three quarters of action.

The Warriors realized early that Chamberlain was red-hot offensively, so they fed him the rock repeatedly. The Knicks, on the other hand, tried to stall and then attempted to mob him with defense in their effort to slow his production.

Recalling the feat during the 25th anniversary of his milestone in 1987, Chamberlain boasted he could have scored more if the Knicks had not stalled.

“Scoring 100 points is a lot, but … I maybe could have scored 140 if they had played straight-up basketball,” said the 7-1 center. “Once we were far ahead, the Knicks disregarded trying to win the game and without regard to whether they would win or not, I could have scored a lot more.”

Incidentally, while Wilt was collecting 100 points, three men from the losing Knicks squad were scoring 30 or more – Richie Guerin (39), Cleveland Buckner (33 off the bench) and Willie Naulls (31) – a rare occurrence in the NBA in itself.

The Philadelphia-born Chamberlain passed away on October 12, 1999 at the age of 63.

Last December 5, the Philadelphia 76ers (one of the three teams that Wilt played for in his distinguished 14-year NBA tenure from 1959-73, the others being the Philadelphia/San Francisco/Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers), held a ceremony to dedicate a stamp depicting Chamberlain during halftime of a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Wilt Chamberlain Limited Edition Forever stamps feature Wilt in poses with the Philadelphia Warriors and LA Lakers.

Chamberlain is the first and only NBA player to appear on a U.S. postage stamp. His stamps are just over two inches tall, or a third to twice the size of a typical commemorative stamp, according to the United States Postal Service. The word “Wilt” is on the corner of each stamp.

Among the people in attendance during the ceremony was Pollack, a statistician during Chamberlain’s 100-point game and the man responsible for making the famous “100” sign that Wilt held after the game.
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  1. Joescoundrel's Avatar
    That 1962 season was just totally ballistic. Wasn't that the same year Oscar Robertson averaged a triple-double? They dubbed it "The Year of the Exploding Scoreboard".

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