Wilt Chamberlain is the most dominant player in basketball history.
When Larry Bird was asked who was the greatest NBA player of all time, his answer was simple. “Open up the record book and it will be obvious who the greatest is,” said Larry Legend. Chamberlain holds 72 NBA records, 68 of them by himself. His statistics are mind-numbing and his impact on the game was so profound that the rules were changed in an attempt to slow him down. Consider some of the Big Dipper’s accomplishments.
Wilt has four of the top five scoring seasons in history. In 1961-62, the year in which he poured 100 points on the New York Knicks in one game, the big man averaged 50.4 points per game. Michael Jordan averaged 37.09 in his best season.
The Stilt is the only player ever to lead the NBA in points, rebounds and assists in the same season.
When a player scores 30 points and collects 30 rebounds in a single contest, it’s called a 30-30 Game. Chamberlain had 103 of them. All other NBA players combined have 28.
In 1,205 career games, including playoffs, the Big Dipper never fouled out.
Chamberlain led the league in rebounding 11 straight years, and once hauled in 55 boards in a single game. Wilt has the top seven rebounding seasons in NBA history.
Wilt scored 60 or more points in a single game a record 60 times. Kobe Bryant is next on the list, with 6 career 60-point games.
Last season, Michael Westbrook brought the triple-double back into vogue, when he recorded double digit points, rebounds and assists in an NBA-record 42 games. On February 2, 1968, Chamberlain recorded the only double triple-double in history, scoring 22 points, collecting 25 rebounds and handing out 21 assists against the Detroit Pistons.
Scoring 50 points in an NBA game is hard to do. Michael Jordan had 31 career 50-point regular season games. Kobe Bryant did it 26 times. The Big Dipper poured in 50 or more points 45 times in one season, and had 118 for his career – the most in history.
The double quadruple – collecting 40 points and 40 rebounds in one game – is the rarest of feats. Wilt is the only player ever to accomplish it, and he did it eight times.
Wilton Norman Chamberlain was so dominate, Dr. Naismith’s Official Basketball Rules were changed in an attempt to contain him. The lane was widened to keep Wilt farther from the basket, the offensive goaltending call was instituted, and free throws were required to be shot from behind the charity stripe. The supremely talented Chamberlain had a 50-inch vertical jump and could leap from behind the free throw line and dunk the ball. Talk about unstoppable!
On this date in 1961, Wilt Chamberlain scored 59 points, pulled down 36 rebounds and played 58 minutes as the Philadelphia Warriors lost, 136-135, to the New York Knicks in double overtime.