On October 24, 1959, Wilt Chamberlian made his NBA debut with the Philadelphia Warriors and scored 43 points to help claim a 118-109 victory over the New York Knicks.
Chamberlian stood at 6-foot-11 in high school, when a reporter originally called him “The Stilt” and the name stuck with him throughout his career. Hundreds of college scouts offered him a spot on the basketball team and he chose University of Kansas and played as a Jayhawk until ’58. He left college to play with the Harlem Globetrotters.
Chamberlian finished his rookie season with honors like Rookie of the Year and MVP. He made 13 post-season appearances and has two championship rings.
The 1978 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee is most famous for scoring a record 100 points in one game. He still holds the record today.
The game was the beginning of a record setting 1,045 consecutive games, his entire career, without a disqualification. The record was broken in 1991 by Moses Malone, who was with the Atlanta Hawks at the time.
Chamberlian stirred controversy when he would jump from the foul line to the basket to get the free throw point. Because of him, the rules changed and he became one of the worst free throw shooters in the league.
Chamberlian passed away on October 12, 1999 of heart failure in his own home. His legacy, however, lives on. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said, “Wilt was one of the greatest ever, and we will never see another like him.”