Wilt Chamberlain is a man whose statistics and accolades are so dominant that the NBA record books have been called his autobiography.
Every single scoring or rebounding volume or per-game record seems to have a ‘Wilt Chamberlain exception’ to it. When there’s an asterisk to a scoring record which says pre-merger, it’s usually to keep Wilt the Stilt out of the conversation.
Think about this – Wilt won Rookie of the Year after averaging 37.6 points per game for Philly. That was also the season when he won his maiden MVP trophy…! Wes Unseld is the only player to secure both honors, and he was no Wilt Chamberlain.
All of us who are even slightly into basketball stats have had our minds blown by his feats. There were numerous exaggerations about his abilities as a ladies’ man off the court. But what he did on it defied belief and logic at certain times.
You wouldn’t think it would be possible for an NBA player to be at his best after a night spent partying, right? Well, Chamberlain tallied his 100-point game after a strenuous party night with a lady friend, whom he reportedly dropped off home at 6 AM.
Wilt Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds per game through the course of the 1961-62 season. But perhaps the one record even more mental than this is how he only missed 8 total minutes of game time that year.
Norm Drucker detailed how Wilt Chamberlain was ejected once in the 1961-62 NBA season
Wilt played 3882 out of the 3890 minutes which the Philadelphia Warriors spent on NBA courts in 1961-62. The only 8 minutes he missed were as a consequence of an ejection in particularly remarkable fashion.
Norm Drucker, who was one of the league’s most reputed referees ever, officiated that game on January 3, 1962. The now-deceased legend says that the ejection took place due to successive technical fouls garnered by Wilt for being cavalier with the officiating crew:
When Chamberlain “yelled at Strom that he must be gambling on the game,” according to Drucker’s report, he slapped Chamberlain with a second technical, causing an automatic ejection. Drucker tacked on a third technical after “additional sequences of profane words” from Chamberlain.
Quite the way to mess your record up, one would think!