That’s right, exactly 50 years ago tonight — March 2, 1962 — former Philadelphia Warriors legend Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points, in Hershey, against the New York Knicks,
Chamberlain hit 36 baskets on an NBA-record 63 shots that historic night. He scored 23 points in the first quarter, 18 in the second, 28 in the third and 31 in the fourth. Most amazingly, Chamberlain, a career 51-percent free throw shooter, went 28-of-32 from the stripe.
“Phenomenal,” said Sixers coach Doug Collins of the accomplishment. “I wish I would have been there to see it.”
Opinions vary on whether it will ever be duplicated.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Collins, whose career-high was 57 points in a college game. “Defenses are too sophisticated. They’re going to get the ball out of your hands and make someone else score.”
Kobe Bryant has come the closest since, dropping 81 on Toronto in 2006.
“It’s inevitable. It’ll eventually happen,” he said.
Chamberlain’s fiercest rival, Bill Russell, told USA Today recently that there is no chance. We strongly suggest you read the entire article by Jeff Zillgitt — it’s a great read to quote my city editor.
“It would have to be a gimmick,” Russell said.
BEAM ME UP, SCOTTIE. Scanning for local celebrities, we found Flyers star Scottie Hartnell. He’s sitting courtside and acknowledged the crowd upon entering the arena.
NO MONTA. We tried to catch up with current Warriors scoring machine Monta Ellis, who is sixth in the NBA in points per game at 22.2, about the rumors he could be headed to the Sixers. Unfortunately, he spent the 45 minutes the locker room was open to the media pregame shooting jumpers. We’ll try again after the game.
HALFTIME TRIBUTES. The Sixers’ new ownership has a plethora of tributes planned for Wilt at halftime, including an appearance by one of his teammates, Al Attles, who scored 17 points on that memorable 100-point night in Hershey.
More to come …