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Warriors To Honor NBA Legend

The lines outside The Arena in Oakland formed earlier than usual last Monday night when the Golden State Warriors played the Denver Nuggets. That's sure to be the case again on Monday as Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers visit the arena at 7:30 p.m. for Hardwood Classics Mondays – presented by Verizon Wireless.

Fans arrived early a week ago for a chance to take home a part of the Warriors past, as 50 of the first 5,000 were lucky enough to score an authentic Mitchell and Ness HWC Nate Thurmond jersey. On Monday, 50 lucky fans will have a chance to take home the authentic HWC jersey of perhaps the greatest all-time player in franchise and NBA history, the legendary Wilt Chamberlain.

Chamberlain's gold and blue No. 13 "San Francisco" jersey from the 1963-64 season is certain to be one of the most popular giveaways of the HWC Monday night promotion.


Listen to audio and view still photographs from Wilt's 100 point point performance in Hershey, PA.
Monday's game marks the third of six Hardwood Classics Mondays. The Warriors will be wearing their popular throwbacks, as will the 76ers. GQ Magazine recently ranked the Warriors' "The City" jerseys, with the classic Cable Car design on the back, among the greatest uniforms of all time in any sport.

Fans lined up to have the jersey signed by Nate Thurmond during the December 27 giveaway.
(photo: warriors.com photo)

Legendary coach and player Alvin Attles was recognized in the first HWC game against the Washington Wizards. The Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets and Wizards are all taking part in the league-wide “Hardwood Classics” promotion this season.

Wilt Chamberlain was basketball’s most awesome force the game has ever seen. From the moment Chamberlain played his first NBA game, for the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1959-60 season, it was apparent he would be one of the greatest players the game has ever known. In his professional debut against the New York Knicks, Chamberlain scored 43 points and grabbed 28 rebounds, a portent of things to come. He finished the season averaging 37.6 points and 27.0 rebounds per game, and in the process won the NBA's Rookie of the Year, All-Star Game Most Valuable Player and NBA Most Valuable Player.

In 1962, Chamberlain moved with the Warriors franchise to San Francisco, and led the league in scoring in both 1962-63, and 1963-64. Chamberlain's statistical accomplishments are written in indelible ink in the NBA's record books. He holds the NBA single-game records for points in a game (100), most consecutive field goals made (18) and most rebounds (55). Chamberlain's 50.4 point per game scoring average during the 1961-62 season may never be broken.

I still don't think people realize how good Wilt Chamberlain was.

- Alvin Attles

"The one thing that I say is that no player had the magnitude of Wilt Chamberlain _ and that's in all sports," said Attles, one of Wilt's teammates. "Of all of the great players, in all of the sports, no one ever changed the game so drastically as Wilt did."

It was Chamberlain's presence alone that prompted the league to adopt changes to the rules, which included widening the lane, instituting offensive goaltending and revising the rules governing inbounding the ball and shooting free throws.

"I still don't think people realize how good Wilt Chamberlain was," Attles said. "I saw him every day for four or five years and he just never got the credit he deserved. I guess nobody likes Goliath."

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