Today makes it 48 years since Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single game, one of the most most recognizable single-game records in the history of team sports. Writing for Sports Illustrated, Joe Posnanski talks about Chamberlain’s relationship with Frank McGuire. McGuire was Chamberlain’s coach during his 100-point game, and famously never took Wilt out of a game. Since Wilt never fouled out, he ended up averaging 48.5 minutes a game for that season. During that season, Wilt took 3,159 shots.
“Frank McGuire’s gift — people always said — was his ability to inspire confidence in people. Dean Smith would talk about how he loved golfing with McGuire because those were the days he made eight-foot putts. Lots of people said stuff like that. And McGuire made Wilt Chamberlain feel limitless. It’s not that Chamberlain ever lacked for confidence — after all, there was a story in the Saturday Evening Post calling him the greatest basketball player who ever lived. And that came out before Chamberlain played his first college game. But something about that combination — the brilliance of Wilt Chamberlain and the confidence of Frank McGuire — led to something magical.”
Wilt’s 100 means different things to different people. Most look at the number scrawled in charcoal on that piece of paper and are blown away by the sheer ability it takes to score 100 points in a single game. Others see the game as a microcosm of the excesses of Wilt’s career, with one of Wilt’s greatest achievements coming in a regular-season blowout that ended with the Warriors fouling the Knicks to get Wilt the ball back. However it is you feel about Wilt’s 100, it’s a perfect record for the ultimate volume scorer.