(This is another one of the occasional non-baseball posts on the Dazzy Vance Chronicles. Back to baseball tomorrow.)
By Glen Sparks
Wilt Chamberlain did something amazing 53 years ago tonight in Hershey, Pa. He made 28 of 32 free-throw attempts. Yuck, yuck. The notoriously poor foul shooter scored 72 other points that night on 36-63 shooting, becoming the first and still only NBA player to hit the century mark in one game.
You can read more about the record-breaking night in this post. In honor of Wilt’s 100-point effort, I am posting a quiz about Wilt and other NBA players, teams and coaches. The quiz has 13 questions in honor of Wilt’s uniform number. Good luck!
(This is Part II of the first non-baseball post in the history of the Dazzy Vance Chronicles.)
By Glen Sparks
You probably know the picture. It is black-and-white, more than 50 years old, and set in a musty locker room. Wilt Chamberlain, center for the Philadelphia Warriors, slender, muscular, not a bit of fat on his 7-foot-1-inch frame, holds up a piece of paper that reads “100.” A rubber band hangs on one wrist. His long legs look sharply bent. He is smiling, and, incredibly, he still looks fresh. Like he could do it again. Like he could do something mythic one more time. Wilt Chamberlain had just enjoyed that sort of game, and he enjoyed just that sort of NBA career.
The Warriors drafted Chamberlain in 1959. He averaged 37.6 points and 27.0 rebounds a game as a rookie. He followed that with an even greater sophomore campaign (38.4 points and 27.2 rebounds). He set the single-season scoring mark both times.
(This is the first non-baseball post in the history of the Dazzy Vance Chronicles.)
By Glen Sparks
Wilt Chamberlain did a whole lot of “are you kidding me?” sort of stuff in his NBA career.
He scored a record 100 points one game, grabbed a record 55 rebounds in another game, averaged a record 50.4 points one season. … This 7-foot-1-inch center even led the league in assists, a point guard stat, in 1968. … Ok, here is one: An NBA game lasts 48 minutes. Chamberlain averaged 48.5 minutes a game in the 1961-62 campaign. (He played in every minute of 79 of 80 games, plus overtime action.)
So, naturally, he gets to be a 2-inch postage stamp. The U.S. Postal Service and the Philadelphia 76ers plan to dedicate two Wilt Chamberlain Forever stamps during a halftime ceremony at a Dec. 5 game in Oklahoma City versus the Thunder.
Donald Hunt, a writer for The Philadelphia Tribune, led the effort to put Wilt on a postage stamp. The NBA legend joins other so-honored athletes such as Babe Ruth, Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens. Kadir Nelson, a San Diego artist, and author/illustrator of We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, designed the stamps. One illustration is of Chamberlain playing for the Philadelphia Warriors in his younger days. The other is of The Big Dipper playing with the Los Angeles Lakers as a veteran.