On This Day In Sports History; March 2nd
Wilt's 100 point game, Bounty Gate.
On this day in sports history, Wilt Chamberlain dropped 100 points against the New York Knicks and the Bounty Gate scandal is addressed leading to multiple suspensions.
In 1962, the New York Knicks squared off against the Philadelphia Warriors who were led by 13 time NBA All Star and 4 time MVP, Wilt Chamberlain. The Kansas alum was in his third season with the Warriors when he broke not just the single game scoring record that is still in tact today, but he broke multiple others.
Chamberlain set the record for most points in a half with 59, most field goals made AND attempted when he went 36 for 63, and the most free throws made in a game as he went 28 for 32.
What I find so interesting about this game is the mystique that still hangs around it because there is really only one way to confirm that Wilt dropped 100 and set other records; the radio broadcast. This matchup was not televised and no video recording of the game has ever been recovered. The stadium in Hershey, PA was only at half capacity and no members of the New York media were in attendance.
Personally I believe that Wilt did drop 100 points because he was 7’1 and regarded as one of the best athletes of all time playing against a starting lineup that averaged a height of 6’5. And the center guarding him was 6’10, 220 pound Cal grad, Darrall Imhoff. The matchup was favorable and Wilt was a freak of nature.
The next event that occurred on March 2nd in sports history was in 2012 when the NFL acknowledged the Bounty Gate scandal that led to the suspensions are tainted legacies of multiple coaches and players in the New Orleans organization.
The story is that Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was operating a bounty system to injure opposing players. Recordings were released from a meeting prior to the Saints playing the 49ers where Williams wanted his players to target quarterback Alex Smith and go for Frank Gores head. This system ran from 2009 to 2011 when Williams was with the team.
It’s also reported that when Williams was the defensive coordinator with Washington and Buffalo, he ran similar bounty related systems where he’d pay players to target already existing injuries on players or go for their head.
Following the leagues acknowledgement of this hideous program, Williams was suspended for the season and couldn’t apply for coordinator vacancies until 2012. Along with Williams, Sean Payton received a year long suspension and general manager Mickey Loomis received an 8 game suspension.
While the majority of the Saints defense participated, four players received league punishment. Former Rookie of the Year linebacker, Jonathan Vilma received a full season suspension, defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove was given 8 games, edge rusher Will Smith got 4 games, and linebacker Scott Fujita got 3 games that he had to serve on his new team, the Cleveland Browns.