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by Cameron Moore (6th)

Hi, readers! Question of the Month is back with an ongoing debate in basketball for years: Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game. So, was his famous game what it actually was?

Basketball fans have gone to war over this topic, but I am here trying to give the actual, realistic answer. Plus, with Joel Embiid scoring 70, Donovan Mitchell and Damian Lillard scoring 71, and Luka Doncic scoring 73, another question arises: Is it actually possible?

Joel Embiid recreates Chamberlain’s famous picture after scoring a franchise-record 70 points vs the San Antonio Spurs, photo courtesy of Bleacher Report.


First of all, however, why is this game so controversial? Well, obviously, people are suspicious of the 100-point part. I should also mention that only 4,124 people came to Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania, another suspicious piece of the puzzle. The most interesting part, however, is that the final 46 seconds of the game was apparently not played after the celebrations, quoted by Wilt himself. Based on this information alone, it is easy to describe the famous 100-point game fake and staged by the NBA, which was 15 years old at the time, needing publicity to remain afloat.

There is, however, an official statline from the game. Chamberlain’s stats are crazy: he shot 36-63 from the field (yup, 63 shots!) with 25 rebounds, 2 assists, and went 28-32 from the free throw line. The last stat was impressive for Chamberlain, who was not a very good free throw shooter.

The legacy he left, however, may be just as impressive as his stats. This game and the remainder of his career with the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors (now the Golden State Warriors), Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers cemented himself as a basketball legend. To this day, all three teams have retired the number 13 in Wilt’s honor, making his jersey number the first to be retired by three teams in NBA history. Thus, it is not surprising that the NBA’s ratings skyrocketed, and we all know how that stands today: a big-4 billion-dollar league that has the third-highest annual revenue of any sports league in the world.

So, is it accomplishable today? The NBA has seen a big scoring surge this season, as I mentioned at the beginning of the article. While PPG has gone up and down every year, this season may be different. Five players this season have scored more than 60 points in a single game; in this season alone. This includes Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who scored 73 points in one game this season. He is one of two players (Joel Embiid) to score more than 70. Embiid currently leads the league in scoring, and appears a ridiculous four times in the top 20 scoring performances; again, this year alone. Whoever tries to score 100 only needs a good night and him getting the ball a lot. This is absolutely possible.

But, the big question you’ve all been waiting for: do I think it’s real?

It’s a hard one to answer because of all this inconclusive evidence. However, in 1988, people found a copy of the fourth quarter of Wilt’s famous game. Radio announcer Bill Campbell, who worked for the WCAU radio station in Philadelphia, says he regretted not recording the entire game. This also included Campbell’s famous call of Chamberlain’s 100th point, which debunked the famous “46-second myth” and gave us a close-up of the game we had never seen--or, I guess one that we had never heard--before. There are many other sources that agree with me about this. Plus, there was no LeBron, or Steph, or Jordan. Other than Bill Russell, Chamberlain was the face of the league, facing off against a Knicks team that finished second-to-last in the East that year.

In my eyes, this is real. But, I would love to know what you guys think of this.

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