Skip to main content

When Sam Jones went after Wilt Chamberlain with a stool

Wilt-Chamberlain-Sam-Jones

April 1st, 1962, Game 5 of the East Finals. The Boston Celtics are playing the Philadelphia Warriors, with the series tied at 2-2. That's the day April Fools became April Stool day in Boston. For a moment, the game almost turned into a WWE event, courtesy of Sam Jones and Wilt Chamberlain

At 6'4", 200 lbs Jones had to get creative around Wilt. He threw an elbow on one play, and it hit Wilt right in the solar plexus. Chamberlain groaned in pain as he was trying to catch his breath. The moment oxygen returned to his lungs, Wilt came after Jones. Not wasting a moment, Jones knocked a photographer off his stool to use it in self-defense. 

Jones tried to take a swing at Wilt with the stool, but at that time, both benches cleared. Bill Russell stopped Wilt from getting to Jones, who still managed to let him know what's coming next.

“Wilt was looking over his shoulders pointing at me, and he said 'Sam Jones I'm gonna make you eat this stool,' and I was saying 'Wilt Chamberlain, I'm gonna crack your kneecaps.'

Sam Jones, Wilt Chamberlain Archive

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The fight was broken up, and the Celtics won the game. With a 3-2 lead, the series was moved to Philadelphia. At the beginning of the game, Chamberlain told Jones the paint is off-limits for him that night. Jones took him up on that challenge. 

“The first time I got the ball, I went in for a layup. He did not try to block the ball at all; he blocked my body. He put me flat on my back, and I remember him coming in, getting close to me, and saying, 'The next time you come in here, I'll put you flat on your back' as he was picking me up.” 

Sam Jones, Wilt Chamberlain Archive

Driving into the paint was a risky proposition to begin with in those days. The events from the night before, trying to swing at Wilt with a stool, didn't help. After his first attempt, Jones got the message. 

“I said, 'I won't be back.' That whole night, I did not come back into the paint.”

Sam Jones, Wilt Chamberlain Archive

The box score showed it. Jones had 15 points on 31.6% shooting. The Warriors won the game 109 -99 and earned Game 7 in Boston. Back on home court, Jones was back to himself and led the Celtics in scoring with 28 points in a 109-107 victory. 

Both Chamberlain and Russell didn't lead their team in points or shot attempts, but both pulled down 22 rebounds. The craziest part? They both played 48 minutes. Someone send that box score to Mike Budenholzer. 

Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley

"Patrick Beverley in the playoffs is an issue" — Iman Shumpert speaks on Patrick Beverley's value to the Los Angeles Lakers

Not everyone can see it right now, but Shumpert understands the importance of Pat Bev to the Lakers.

kobe-bryant-shaquille-o'neal-min

"It was an unmitigated slaughter calling out Shaq on everything" — Kobe Bryant savagely criticized Shaquille O'Neal in an unreleased statement

Sports Illustrated's Howard Beck talked about at the unpublished Kobe interview where he apparently ripped Shaq like never before.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

"He’ll give you the shirt off his back" — Juwan Howard's Michael Jordan story reveals the other side of Black Jesus

Juwan Howard expected to get trash-talked to death upon seeing Michael Jordan in Los Angeles.

Boston Celtics legend Kevin Mchale, Marcus Smart, Blake Griffin, Grant Williams, Malcom Brogdon

“The team honestly is stronger than any one coach” — Kevin McHale explains why Ime Udoka's scandal did not crumble the Boston Celtics

Celtics legend Kevin McHale admitted that he thought Udoka's suspension would significantly affect the Boston Celtics

New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin and forward Carmelo Anthony

"Multiple points of opposition" — Jeremy Lin addresses Carmelo Anthony's rumored jealousy and who squashed Linsanity

Rumors suggested that Carmelo Anthony played a part in the New York Knicks' decision not to re-sign Jeremy Lin.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving and New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury

“They hate your existence because you’re persistent and consistent” — Stephon Marbury has Kyrie Irving’s back

Marbury also said that Kyrie is a true leader and someone he wants his son to look up to.

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and point guard Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson opens up on Tom Thibodeau’s rigidity — “He wanted everybody to be just, like, Army serious all the time”

Tom Thibodeau seemingly wanted his players to be as serious as him, but that approach has seen a mixed bag of results in the past years.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Magic Johnson and guard Byron Scott

Byron Scott reminisces on Showtime Lakers feasting on home-cooked meals prepared by their moms

Scott's story shows how much of a tightknit family the Showtime Lakers were.