It’s been 61 years since Wilt Chamberlain dropped 100 points in a game (the highest ever in NBA history) and yet the record hasn’t been broken — or will possibly never be. The 2-time champion’s incredible scoring record remains one the greatest achievements in sports and will forever be associated with Chamberlain's career. Chamberlain marveled about his greatest feat but as he aged, he realized that he wasn’t so proud of it after all because of how he performed.
“The 100-point game will never be as important to me as it is to some other people. That’s because I’m embarrassed by it,” Chamberlain said as reported by The Athletic. “After I got into the 80s, I pushed for 100 and it destroyed the game because I took shots that I normally never would. I was not real fluid. I mean, 63 shots? You take that many shots on the playground and no one ever wants you on their team again.”
Looking back at Chamberlain’s 100-point game
Chamberlain’s 100-point game took place on March 2nd,1962 when his Philadelphia Warriors faced the New York Knicks. Wilt scored 41 points in the first half and added 59 as the game went on until the 4th quarter in which the Warriors defeated the Knicks 169-147. The big man shot 57.1% from the field in 62 shot attempts and converted 28 out of 32 of his attempts from the charity stripe.
The reason why Chamberlain admitted that he eventually was embarrassed by his 100-point performance was that he took 62 shots, which was out of the ordinary. The next highest-scoring player for the Warriors on that night was Al Attles who had 17 points. No player had more. Wilt revealed that if he placed himself in the shoes of his teammates, he wouldn’t want to be on his team ever again.
One memory Wilt will never forget
While Chamberlain realized the hard truth about his 100-point performance, what he admitted he won’t forget was the memories he made with his opponents on that night. The Warriors legend revealed that he ended up taking the drive home with the Knicks team because he lived in New York. Luckily, he had a close relationship with some of their players and he managed to ride with them on the way back home when he also happened to eavesdrop on their conversations which included his legendary achievement.
"And another guy named Cleveland Buckner, who was sitting in the back seat in another guy and they let me sit in the front seat next to the driver, Willy. And I immediately went to sleep, but I would wake up and they were talking about the game. And they kept saying, 'Can you believe this SOB scored 100 points against us?’” Chamberlain said.
Although Wilt’s 100-point performance will never be forgotten, it was wise and humble of him to admit that it wasn’t his proudest moment after all. That one doesn’t necessarily have to have the perfect game to do such incredible things. At the end of the day, he thought about his teammates and that’s what mattered to him most.