If you have ever fallen down the rabbit hole of Barry Bonds’ statistics, you come across some pretty crazy numbers.
120 intentional walks at 39-years-old? Yup.
.609 on base percentage in 2004? Yes sir.
Bonds was almost definitely on steroids during the time he put up these numbers, but it’s impressive nonetheless. The all-time home run leader posted numbers people can only hope to put up in video games: just like NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain.
When the name Wilt Chamberlain gets brought up, most tend to think of two things: his 100-point game or that he claims to have slept with over 20,000 women.
On this day in 1962, Wilt Chamberlain hit triple digits.
➖ 100 PTS
➖ 36/63 FG
➖ 28/32 FT
➖ 25 REB
Still the most ever in one game. pic.twitter.com/JCsBn5srQk
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 2, 2020
But if you dive deep into the stats Wilt the Stilt put up over the course of his career, Chamberlain belongs right in the category of absurdity that Bonds falls into. In the 15 years that he laced up his Converse, he averaged 30.1 points and 22.9 rebounds. And no, that is not a typo: it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
During Chamberlain’s rookie season, he took 32 shots a game and averaged 37.6 points to go along with 27 rebounds. Can you even imagine someone in todays NBA averaging almost 30 rebounds every single night? Didn’t think so, because it’s impossible.
There is the argument that Chamberlain was playing against plumbers and butchers, and frankly I agree with it. But just like Bonds and his PEDs, Chamberlain’s era doesn’t take away from the stupidity of the numbers he put up. I mean, in the 1961-62 season, the big man scored a little over 50 points a game. So if you think watching James Harden go off night after night is crazy, just think of Wilt dropping 50 burgers night in and night out.
And like I mentioned, Chamberlain was a monster on the glass as well. In a 1960 game versus the Boston Celtics, the center set the NBA record for rebounds in a game with 55. Yes you read that right: 55 rebounds.
🗓 This Day in Stats, 1960: Wilt Chamberlain grabs an #NBA single-game record 55 rebounds in a losing effort to the Celtics. pic.twitter.com/oEtrGIwrrW
— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 24, 2018
Chamberlain was truly a marvel, and the figures he continually put up definitely speaks to that.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)
Featured image courtesy of Twitter / @PrezDaggers