Wilt Chamberlain never saw his thirty thousandth point go through the net and get frustrated.

Wilt Chamberlain never saw his thirty thousandth point go through the net and get frustrated.

All it was to Wilt Chamberlain was another record. For all others, it was simply history. On February 16, 1972, the man who once scored 100 points in a single game and broke multiple records during his NBA career became the first player to reach 30,000 career points.

The Phoenix Suns were playing the Chamberlain’s Lakers, and it was an odd night in Los Angeles. Chamberlain never witnessed his thirty thousandth point pass through the net. He wasn’t overly thrilled after the game.

Ever since he stepped onto an NBA court, Wilt Chamberlain effortlessly made the game appear effortless. The 7-foot-1 athletic center won MVP and Rookie of the Year as a rookie in the 1959–60 season. With an average of 37.6 points and 27.0 rebounds, he concluded the season. Playing 46.4 minutes per game, he further demonstrated his durability.

Remarkably, over the next two seasons, his numbers improved. He achieved historic results in his third year. Today sixty-one years ago, he scored a game-high 107 points to lead the New York Knicks to a 169-147 victory. Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds per game for the season. The fact that he played an average of 48.5 minutes per game in a season with only 48 minutes of play was the most remarkable aspect of it. The fact that he didn’t win MVP that season is the biggest joke ever.

In addition to scoring 100 points in that game on March 2, 1962, he also grabbed 25 rebounds. He rewrote the record books as well. In that game, he broke nine records. Chamberlain, who had a dismal career record as a foul shooter, shot 28 of 32 from the line that evening.

During his first six NBA seasons, Chamberlain led the league in scoring. In his first four years, he also led the league in rebounds. Over the course of his career, he led the NBA in minutes played nine times and in rebounds eleven times.

Chamberlain’s deficiency in NBA titles is a point of criticism. While Bill Russell, the center for the Boston Celtics, won eleven championships, he only won two. Throughout his career, Russell was constantly on better teams, but Chamberlain’s legacy seems to be negatively impacted by this.

Another criticism of Chamberlain was that he prioritized his stats over victories. On February 16, 1972, Chamberlain closed it down, as if that was in doubt.

That evening, the Lakers played the Suns, and Chamberlain achieved yet another record. Upon reaching 30,000 points in his career, he became the first player in NBA history. It was just another NBA day to him.

Nor was Chamberlain’s thirty thousandth point a basket. After Suns center Neal Walk was called for goaltending in the third quarter, he was given the credit for the points.

Ironically, Chamberlain’s late goaltending call cost the Lakers the game as the Suns prevailed 110-109. The Lakers had a 51-8 record going into the contest. Following it, Chamberlain was questioned by the media about his historic evening.

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