Fifty years ago today, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single NBA game. It is a record that has stood the test of time and will probably never be broken. It’s right up there with Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak.
It’s an enigma, a fairy tale, something so far beyond our comprehension that is almost seems made up.
There isn’t even any film of that record-setting game. All we have is a single picture of Wilt holding up a piece of paper that someone wrote “100” on and that’s it.
The question that everyone has been asking since then is, Can it be done again? The answer is, probably not. The game is too different now.
Wilt played all four quarters in that game 50 years ago. He got his 100th point with 46 seconds left in the game.
No coach today would let their superstar stay in the game that long and risk getting injured, no matter how close to the record he was.
The closest anyone has come to the record is Kobe Bryant when he dropped 81 on the Toronto Raptors back in 2006 and Bryant lobbied then coach Phil Jackson to stay in the game.
There have only been five players in NBA history to score 70 or more points in a single game: Bryant, Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, David Thompson and Davis Robinson.
Michael Jordan’s career high was only 69 points. With a list of players like that falling short of 100 it makes one think that the record is safe.
However, there may be two players in the league today who could challenge Wilt for that record.
LeBron James: No one in the league has his talent or athleticism. He has been playing at such a high level he is almost unguardable. He seems to be able to score at will.
The only real question is, does he want to score 100 points in a game? It doesn’t appear that he does. His highest scoring game was 56 points against the Raptors back in 2005.
But if he ever gets it in his head to score 100, watch out, it might just happen.
Kevin Durant: He is another player he can score at will. And unlike LeBron, his team relies on him to score. And score big. He has already racked up one 51 point game this year.
He is very quickly becoming an unstoppable player. He can play inside and out. He has a great passion for the game and if anyone would have the desire to score 100 it would be Durant.
Keep in mind, too, this is only his fifth year in the league. We have yet to see the best from Mr. Durant.
It’s been said that records are made to be broken and we’ve all seen seemingly “impossible” records come crashing down before our eyes.
Legendary players have been overtaken by young superstars. It’s the nature of sports. But this record may stand the test of time.