History

Season Of Giants: Remembering the 1961-62 season

NBA.com Staff

Throughout the 2011-12 season, NBA.com celebrated the 50th anniversary of a legendary season that included Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game against the New York Knicks.

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Part I: 50 years later, 1961-62 season stands tall in NBA history

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

The 1961-62 season stands stands out as a relic that might as well have been preserved in Jurassic amber.

Part II: In ’61-62, Wilt’s numbers were otherworldly

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

Somebody once said there are lies, damned lies and statistics. Then there was Wilt Chamberlain.

Part III: Wilt’s season still astounds peers

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

The teammates and rivals who played with and against Wilt Chamberlain provide the best perspective on a man who averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds during the 1961-62 season.

Part IV: Bellamy’s rookie season all-but forgotten

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

Walt Bellamy’s numbers were impressive — 20.1 ppg, 13.7 rpg, .516 FG pct over a 13-year career for a half-dozen teams. But he accomplished most of that work below the radar in 1961-62.

Part V: Wilt became NBA’s first celebrity athlete

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

Though never a marketing giant in his time, Wilt Chamberlain was the NBA’s first celebrity athlete, an outlandishly large, supremely gifted talent who made jaws drop for what he could do on the basketball floor and turned that into a larger-than life lifestyle that made him tower over American culture.

Part VI: Pollack forever a part of Chamberlain’s moment

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game is best known, perhaps, by an iconic photo that can trace a good part of its roots back to a man known as the “Stats Guru.”

Part VII: Hershey Park Arena lacks Wilt’s presence today

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

On the night that Wilt Chamberlain left his mushroom cloud of 100 points over the NBA, the Hershey Sports Arena was already 25-years-old-going-on-infinity and now, another half-century later, it is as if the clock has merely stopped ticking.

Part VIII: Game ball a mysterious part of NBA history

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

John Thompson sits down with Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell to talk

about the challenges they faced as they entered professional basketball.

Part IX: ‘Wilt 100’ aims to peel back layers of mystery behind moment

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

“Wilt 100”, an NBA TV original film narrated by Wilt Chamberlain’s chief rival and good friend Bill Russell, tells the tale of what is perhaps the greatest single-game performance in sports history.

WILT 100

NBA TV presents an hour-long documentary focusing on one of the great sports accomplishments: Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points in a single game (which took place on March 2nd, 1962) in Hershey, Pa., against the New York Knicks.

Part X: Even today, Chamberlain’s game still unbelieveable

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

From a perch a half-century later, the 100-point game by Wilt Chamberlain remains the most dominating one-game performance ever in sports, a feat so overwhelming that many have spent the years sneering at it.

Part XI: Big O: An all-around talent like the league has never seen

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

The Big O: That single initial was a perfect fit for a set of skills that was as well-rounded as any that ever were.

Part XII: Of all of Wilt’s mind-numbing numbers, a ‘zero’ stands out

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

Of all the numbers surrounding Wilt Chamberlain in his storied career, one stands out as the most mind-boggling of all.

Part XIII: Two giants: Russell, Wilt scrapped on court, laughed off it

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

Despite sometimes fierce competition on the court, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, two giants of their generation, became fast friends off if it.

Part XIV: ’61-’62 Celtics quietly continued the building of a dynasty

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

In a Season of Giants, the Boston Celtics spread out the dropcloths and whitewashed the fences, interested more in efficiency than effect.

Part XV: Traces of Chamberlain still remain at his old L.A. palace

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

If these walls could talk, would they tell the story of a number — 20,000 — that is even more outlandish than the 100 points once scored in a single NBA game?

Part XVI: 50 years later, Wilt’s mark on the NBA is unmistakable

By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com

In an age of phones that think and cars that talk, it’s difficult to appreciate what a singular figure Wilt Chamberlain was 50 years ago.