‘Nobody roots for Goliath’
Certain times make me wish I was born in a different era. This special day is one of them.
Friday marks the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest individual achievements of any athlete alive or dead.
Let us all stand united and give Wilt Chamberlain a huge ovation on this magic anniversary of his 100-point basketball game. Back when the Golden State Warriors hailed from Philadelphia, Chamberlain rang up triple digits himself against the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
No pro basketball player has ever achieved this feat. Kobe Bryant came closest with 81 in 2006, a mind-boggling accomplishment in its own right.
At 7-foot-1 and 260 pounds, Wilt the Stilt never got the accolades that even sub-par players get these days. Now, thanks to social networks and mobile apps, anyone can literally give themselves an Interweb pat on the back or Tweet about the minutia of their day. And people eat it up.
As written candidly by Dick Friedman over at Sports Illustrated, the play-by-play of Wilt’s masterpiece may have progressed like this on Twitter:
“Wilt 23 through 1Q #BigDipper”; “Dippy Dips to 41 at half #Staytuned”; “Stilt 69 through 3 #Celtsbite!”; “Pass from Ruklick, DIPPERDUNK, 100!!!! #Wiltcentury”.
To add mystique to the event, no footage exists of the game. The enduring image of this special event is a photo of Wilt with a handwritten “100” on a piece of paper, courtesy of Harvey Pollack, then Phily’s publicity director.
The man who said “Nobody roots for Goliath,” didn’t get it exactly right. I was rooting for Wilt’s achievement all during Friday night’s cleverly-scheduled Warriors’ game against the Sixers. Which they lost.