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By Shawn Clarke, NBA Contributor - Archive - Email
Wilt's record will never be surpassed

Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single game back on March 2, 1962.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - There are several instances that will quite possibly never occur again: Cutting dependence on foreign oil, humans landing on the moon and relying on information from obsolete encyclopedias courtesy of today's technology and the rapid pace in which it is obtained.

Many other events are up for debate, including Wilt Chamberlain's 100 points scored in a single game against the New York Knicks back on March 2, 1962 in Hershey, Pa. Social media wasn't around back then and one could imagine how many Twitter followers and Facebook friends Chamberlain would have accrued because of that performance, and also for his many other accolades achieved both on and off the court (wink, wink).

Chamberlain once said nobody likes to cheer for Goliath, and he was a physical specimen to say the least, towering over seven feet with a wingspan like a pterodactyl. Known by many as "The Big Dipper," Chamberlain used his prodigiously long body to dominate the league and was in rare form that day back in 1962.

With no fouls for time in the paint and no three-point line, it was apparent his teammates needed to get him the ball inside often as possible. It's often pondered as to how many of Chamberlain's points came via dunk since he could just drop the ball into the cylinder on his tippy toes.

Often criticized for shooting too much, Chamberlain never boasted or bragged about his epic performance when reflecting on the moment. It's been 50 years since "Wilt the Stilt" single-handedly sent the Knickerbockers packing and arguably the single greatest performance in American sports will be remembered Friday night, when the Philadelphia 76ers host the Golden State Warriors at Wells Fargo Center in front of fans, friends and those tied to the historic game.

Chamberlain once said in an interview 25 years after his 100 points that he probably would have scored 150 for the way New York was playing defense.

As great American swimmer Mark Spitz once said, "Life is true to form; records are meant to be broken."

Not in Chamberlain's case, however.

Basketball has changed tremendously since then with alterations to rules, and the talent level in those days is no match for what it is now. Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant came closest with an 81-point performance back in 2006 because he was hot right off the tip and had the option of knocking down balls worth three points. Draining shots from downtown wasn't in Chamberlain's repertoire, but he could probably succeed had he tried.

Here are some other magical single-game performances in the sport:

  • Chamberlain 78 points in 1961, 73 points (twice) in 1962.
  • David Thompson 73 points in 1978.
  • Chamberlain 72 points in 1962 (he averaged 50.4 ppg in 1961-62).
  • David Robinson 71 points in 1994.
  • Elgin Baylor 71 points in 1960.
  • Chamberlain 70 points in 1963.
  • Michael Jordan 69 points in 1990.

  • Reaching the 60-point mark is not extinct in the NBA these days, with Chamberlain on the end of most of those, and even Tom Chambers and Gilbert Arenas have reached that number. If there is a candidate to hit the century mark in a single game -- and there won't be -- Bryant has the best shot. He has scored 60-plus points five times in his career, but there's just no chance that anyone could even flirt with Chamberlain's 100.

    Bryant's 81 points were a nice try and even that mark may never be touched unless the NBA develops a five-point shot. No chance unless MTV buys out the league.

    While the celebrated image of Chamberlain holding up "100" on a piece paper is burned into sports history, there are many honors achieved in other platforms. Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, swimmer Michael Phelps' eight gold medals in Beijing in 2008, Darryl Sittler's 10 points in an NHL game back in 1976 and Joe Malone's seven goals in one contest during the 1920 campaign come to mind when discussing single-game feats. Adrian Peterson rushed for 296 yards in a game during his rookie season of 2007, and there are plenty of others left out, of course.

    Nothing's ever built to last and most records are actually meant to be broken. When discussing basketball's apex of single-game production, Chamberlain's absurd accomplishment is safe and secure.

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