List of career achievements by Wilt Chamberlain

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This article concerns the career achievements of Basketball Hall-of-Famer Wilt Chamberlain, who holds numerous NBA records in scoring, rebounding and durability. Among others, he is the only player in NBA history to average both 40 and 50 points in a season, score 100 points in a single game, and grab over 2,000 rebounds in a single season. He also won seven scoring, nine field goal percentage, and 11 rebounding titles in addition to an assist title.[1]

With an assortment of fadeaway jump shots, his favorite one-hand finger-roll and powerful dunks in the low post,[2][3] he scored 31,419 points, grabbed 23,924 rebounds, averaging 30.07 points (second best all-time behind Michael Jordan) and 22.9 rebounds (all-time leader) and was also very durable, standing on the hardwood an average 45.8 minutes.[4]

For his feats, Chamberlain was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, elected one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, ranked #2 in SLAM Magazine's Top 500 NBA Players of all time in 2011[5] and #13 in ESPN list "Top North American athletes of the century".[6] In honor of Chamberlain, his jerseys have been retired six times, by Overbrook High School, the University of Kansas, the Harlem Globetrotters, and the Warriors, 76ers and Lakers franchises.[7]

List of records and feats[edit]

Chamberlain holds 71 NBA records, 62 by himself.[8] Among his records are several that are considered unbreakable, such as averaging 22.9 rebounds for a career or 50.4 points per game in a season, scoring 100 points or 55 rebounds in a single game, scoring 65 or more points 15 times, 50 or more points 118 times.[7][9] During Chamberlain's time, defensive statistics like blocks and steals had not been recorded yet. However, according to Jack Ramsay, "Harvey said he used to tell one of his statisticians to keep track of Wilt's blocks in big games...One night, they got up to 25".[10]

NBA scoring records[edit]

  • Chamberlain also holds the next two spots with 44.8 in 1962-63 and 38.4 in 1960-61.
  • NBA Record - Most Points in a season (4,029 in 1961-62)
  • Chamberlain holds the next highest with 3,586 in 1962-63
  • NBA Record - Most Points Scored in a Game (100 vs. the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962)
  • NBA Record - Most Points Scored in a Half (59 in the 2nd half vs. the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962)
  • NBA Record - Most 50 Point Games in a season (45 in 1961-62)
  • Chamberlain holds the next most with 30 in 1962-63. No other player has had more than 10. Only Michael Jordan (39 including playoffs) and Kobe Bryant (25 including playoffs) have more than 20 in their careers.
  • NBA Record - Most 40 Point Games in a season (63 in 1961-62)
  • Chamberlain holds the next most with 52 in 1962-63. Michael Jordan is third with 37 in 1986-87.
  • Record shared with Michael Jordan.
  • NBA Record - Most Career Regular Season 60 Point Games (32)
  • Kobe Bryant is second with 5.
  • NBA Record - Most Career Regular Season 50 Point Games (118)
  • Michael Jordan is second with 31.
  • NBA Record - Most Career Regular Season 40 Point Games (271)[11]
  • Michael Jordan is second with 173.
  • NBA Record - Most Consecutive 50 Point Games (7 from December 16-29, 1961)
  • Chamberlain also holds the next three longest streaks with 6 in 1962, and 5 in 1961 and 1962.
  • NBA Record - Most Consecutive 40 Point Games (14 from December 8-30, 1961 and January 11-February 1, 1962)
  • Chamberlain also has the next most with 10 from November 9-25, 1962.
  • NBA Record - Most Consecutive 30 Point Games (65 from November 4, 1961-February 22, 1962)
  • Chamberlain holds the next two longest streaks with 31 in 1962 and 25 in 1960.
  • NBA Record - Most Consecutive 20 Point Games (126 from October 19, 1961-January 19, 1963)
  • Chamberlain holds the next most with 92 from February 26, 1963-March 18, 1964.
  • NBA Record - Most points per game by a rookie (37.6 in 1959-60)
  • NBA Record - Most points by a rookie (2,707 in 1959-60)
  • NBA Record - Most points by a rookie in a game (58 on January 25, 1960 and February 21, 1960)
  • NBA Record - Fewest Games Played to Reach 20,000 Points (499, achieved in 1966)
  • Michael Jordan, at 620 games, took the second fewest games.
  • NBA Record - Fewest Games Played to Reach 25,000 Points (691, achieved on February 23, 1968 against the Detroit Pistons)
  • Michael Jordan, at 782 games, took the second fewest games.
  • NBA Record - Fewest Games Played to Reach 30,000 Points (941, achieved on February 16, 1972 against the Phoenix Suns)
  • NBA Record - Most consecutive seasons leading the league in field goals made (7 from 1959-60 through 1965-66)
  • Shared with Michael Jordan
  • NBA Record - Most Field Goals Made in a season (1,597 in 1961-62)
  • Chamberlain holds the next 3 spots with 1,463 in 1962-63, 1,251 in 1960-61, and 1,204 in 1963-64
  • NBA Record - Most Field Goals Attempted in a season (3,159 in 1961-62)
  • Chamberlain holds the next four highest with 2,770, 2,457, 2,311, and 2,298.
  • NBA Record - Most Field Goals Made in a Game (36 vs. the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962)
  • Chamberlain holds the next highest with 31, and is tied with Rick Barry at third with 30
  • NBA Record - Most Field Goals Attempted in a Game (63 vs. the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962)
  • Chamberlain holds the next two most with 62 and 60.
  • NBA Record - Most Field Goals Made in a Half (22 in the 2nd half vs. the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962)
  • NBA Record - Most Field Goals Attempted in a Half (37 vs. the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962 (2nd half)
  • NBA Record - Most Field Goals Attempted in a Quarter (21 in the 4th quarter vs. the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962)
  • NBA Record - Most Free Throws Made in a Game (28 vs. the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962)
  • NBA Record - Most seasons leading the NBA in free throw attempts (9)
  • NBA Record - Most consecutive seasons leading the NBA in free throw attempts (6 from 1959-60 through 1964-65)
  • NBA Record - Most Free Throws Attempted in a season (1,363 in 1961-62)
  • Chamberlain also holds the next four spots with 1,113, 1,054, 1,016, and 991.
  • NBA Record - Oldest player in NBA history to score 60 points in a game: 32 years, 126 days (66 points vs Phoenix Suns on Feb 9, 1969)
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most points by a rookie in a game (53 vs. the Syracuse Nationals on March 14, 1960)
  • Pulled down a rookie playoff record 35 rebounds in the same game.
  • Chamberlain also scored 50 as a rookie against the Boston Celtics on March 22, 1960.
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most field goals in a seven game series (113 vs. the St. Louis Hawks in 1964)
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most field goals in a game (24 vs. the Syracuse Nationals on March 14, 1960)
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most field goal attempts in a game (48 vs. the Syracuse Nationals on March 22, 1962)
  • Record shared with Rick Barry
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most field goal attempts in a half (25 vs. the Syracuse Nationals on March 22, 1962)
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most field goal attempts in a three game series (104 vs. the Syracuse Nationals in 1960)
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most field goal attempts in a five game series (159 vs. the Syracuse Nationals in 1962)
  • NBA All-Star Game Record - Points in a game (42 in 1962)
  • NBA All-Star Game Record - Field goals in a game (17 in 1962)
  • NBA All-Star Game Record - Field goals in a half (10 in 1962)
  • NBA All-Star Game Record - Free throw attempts in a game (16 in 1962)
  • Chamberlain also holds the second most attempts in an All-Star Game with 15 in 1960.

Other selected scoring facts[edit]

  • 2nd highest career scoring average (30.07) — record held by Michael Jordan (30.12) [Note: Jordan scored 581 3-point field goals, which didn't exist at Wilt's time]
  • 2nd most free throws made in a season (835 in 1961-62) — record held by Jerry West
  • 2nd most free throws attempted in a Game (34 vs. the St. Louis Hawks on February 22, 1962) — record held by Dwight Howard
  • Chamberlain also holds third place with 32 on March 2, 1962.
  • 2nd most points in an NBA All-Star Game half (23 in 1962) — record held by Glen Rice; 2nd place shared with Tom Chambers
  • 2nd Youngest player to reach 30,000 points (35 years, 179 days) — record held by Kobe Bryant;[12]
  • 3rd highest scoring average in Elimination games (31.1) — record held by LeBron James (31.7) followed by Michael Jordan (31.3);
  • Wilt Chamberlains is the only player to record at least 50 points in an Elimination game (a feat he accomplished three times).

NBA rebounding records[edit]

See also: List of National Basketball Association top individual rebounding season averages
See also: List of National Basketball Association top rookie rebounding averages
See also: List of National Basketball Association players with most rebounds in a game
  • NBA Record - Career Total Rebounds (23,924)
  • NBA Record - Career Rebounds Per Game (22.9)
  • NBA Record - Most seasons leading the league in rebounds (11)
  • NBA Record - Most seasons with 1,000 or more rebounds (13)
  • NBA Record - Rebounds Per Game in a season (27.2)
  • Chamberlain also holds the next two highest averages with 27.0 in 1959-60 and 25.7 in 1961-62)
  • Chamberlain and Bill Russell occupy the top 18 spots on this list (9 each).
  • NBA Record - Total Rebounds in a season (2,149 in 1960-1961)
  • Chamberlain also holds the next six highest totals.
  • NBA Record - Rebounds in a game (55, Philadelphia Warriors vs. Boston Celtics, November 24, 1960)
  • Besides Bill Russell (11 times, including 3 playoff games, max of 51) only Nate Thurmond (42) and Jerry Lucas (40) have ever gotten at least 40.
  • NBA Record - Most rebounds per game by a rookie in a season (27.0)
  • NBA Record - Most rebounds by a rookie in a season (1,941)
  • NBA Record - Most rebounds by a rookie in a game (45 on February 6, 1960)
  • Chamberlain, as a rookie, also grabbed 43 rebounds in one game, 42 in two others, and 40 in another.
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most rebounds in a playoff game (41 against the Boston Celtics, on April 5, 1967).
  • Game 3 victory in the Eastern Division finals.
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most rebounds in a half (26 against the San Francisco Warriors on April 16, 1967)
  • Also an NBA Finals record.
  • NBA Playoff Record - Highest rebounding average in a playoff series (32.0 in a 5-game series against the Boston Celtics in 1967).
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most rebounds in a 5-game playoff series (160 against the Boston Celtics in 1967).
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most rebounds in a 6-game playoff series (171 against the San Francisco Warriors in 1967).
  • Also an NBA Finals record for a 6-game series.
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most rebounds in a 7-game playoff series (220 against the Boston Celtics in 1965).
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most rebounds by a rookie in a game (35 against the Boston Celtics on March 22, 1960)
  • Scored a then-playoff record 53 points (still a rookie record) in the same game (a Game 5 victory).
  • NBA All-Star Game Record - Most career rebounds in the NBA All-Star game (197).
  • NBA All-Star Game Record - Most rebounds in a half (16 in 1960).

Other selected rebound facts[edit]

  • 2nd most consecutive seasons with 1,000+ rebounds (10) — record held by Bill Russell
  • 2nd most rebounds in a half (31 vs. the Boston Celtics on November 24, 1960) — record held by Bill Russell
  • 2nd most rebounds in a quarter (17 vs. the Syracuse Nationals on February 5, 1960) — record held by Nate Thurmond, 2nd place is shared with three performances by Bill Russell
  • 2nd most rebounds in a 3-game NBA Playoff series (69 vs. the Syracuse Nationals in 1961) — record held by Bill Russell
  • 2nd most rebounds in a 4-game NBA Playoff series (106 vs. the Cincinnati Royals in 1967) — record held by Bill Russell
  • 2nd most consecutive games 20+ rebounds in the NBA Finals (12 over a series of games in the 1964, 1967, and 1969 finals) — record held by Bill Russell
  • 2nd most consecutive games 30+ rebounds in the NBA Finals (2 in 1967 finals, 2 in 1969 finals) — record held by Bill Russell; 2nd place is also shared by Bill Russell
  • 2nd most rebounds in a 5-game NBA Finals (vs. Boston Celtics in 1967) — record held by Bill Russell
  • 2nd most rebounds in a 7-game NBA Finals (vs. Boston Celtics in 1969) — record held by Bill Russell
  • 2nd highest rebounding average in the NBA All-Star Game (15.2) — record held by Bob Pettit
  • 3rd highest rebounding average in an NBA Finals series (28.5 in 1967) — first two spots held by Bill Russell
  • Chamberlain is the only player to grab more than 2,000 rebounds in a single season: 2,149 rebounds in the 1960-61 season and 2,052 in 1961-62.
  • Chamberlain's 1961-62 season stat line: 4,029 points (50.4 ppg) and 2,052 rebounds (25.7 rpg).

NBA versatility records[edit]

  • NBA Record - Highest single-season PER: 31.82 in 1963 season;
  • Wilt Chamberlain also holds the second spot, 31.74 in 1962 season, and the 5th, 31.63 in 1964;
  • NBA Record - Most consecutive triple-doubles (9) (March 8–20, 1968)
  • NBA Record - Most consecutive double-doubles (227)[13] (between 1964 and 1967 seasons)
    • Wilt Chamberlains also holds the 2nd (220) and 3rd (133) longest streaks.[14]
  • NBA Record - Most points scored in a triple-double game (53 points, along with 32 rebounds and 14 assists) (March 18, 1968)[15]
  • NBA All-Star Game Record - Most double-doubles (7)

Other selected versatility facts[edit]

  • Only player in NBA history to record a double-triple-double (20+ in three different categories)
  • On February 2, 1968 against the Detroit Pistons, he logged 22 points, 25 rebounds and 21 assists.[16]
  • 3rd most double-doubles in the Playoffs: 143
  • The first is Magic Johnson, with 157, and the second is Tim Duncan, with 144, achieved in 2013.[17]
  • 2nd most triple-doubles in a season: 31 in 1967-68 season.
  • The first is Oscar Robertson, with 41 in 1961-62 season.
  • Only player in NBA history to record a quadruple double-double (40+ in two different categories) (A feat he performed 5 times).
  • On November 4, 1959, Chamberlain, in his third game in the NBA, scored 41 points and grabbed a then-rookie record 40 rebounds against the Syracuse Nationals.
  • On January 15, 1960, Chamberlain, as a rookie, scored 44 points and grabbed 42 rebounds against the Boston Celtics.
  • On January 25, 1960, Chamberlain, as a rookie, scored an NBA rookie record 58 points and grabbed 42 rebounds against the Detroit Pistons.
  • On February 6, 1960, Chamberlain, as a rookie, scored 44 points and grabbed an NBA rookie record 45 rebounds against the Detroit Pistons.
  • On December 8, 1961, Chamberlain scored a then-record 78 points and collected 43 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • After critics called him a one-dimensional (or even selfish) player, Chamberlain led the league in total assists the next season, 1967–68, with 702 assists (he did not lead the league in assists per game): he remains the only center to lead the league in assists.
  • 4th most triple-doubles, career: 78

NBA durability records[edit]

  • NBA Record - Most seasons leading NBA in minutes played (8)
  • NBA Record - Most consecutive seasons leading NBA in minutes played (5, from 1959-60 through 1963-64)
  • NBA Record - Most career minutes played per game (45.8)
  • Bill Russell is second at 42.3
  • NBA Record - Most minutes played in a season (3,882 in 1961-62)
  • Chamberlain also holds the next four most with 3,836 in 1967-68, 3,806 in 1962-63, 3,773 in 1960-61, and 3,737 in 1965-66
  • NBA Record - Most minutes played per game for a season (48.53 in 1961-62)
  • Chamberlain holds the top 7 spots in this category
  • Chamberlain's 3,882 minutes played out of the team's possible 3,890 left an average of six seconds of rest per game.
  • A regulation NBA basketball game is 48 minutes long.
  • NBA Record - Most complete games in a season (79 out of 80 games in 1961-62)
  • NBA Record - Most consecutive complete games in a season (47 in 1961-62)
  • NBA Playoff Record - Highest average minutes per game in a playoff series (49.33 (296/6) against the New York Knicks in 1968)
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most minutes played in a three game series (144 against the Syracuse Nationals in 1961)
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most minutes played in a four game series (195 against the Cincinnati Royals in 1965 and the Atlanta Hawks in 1970)
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most minutes played in a six game series (296 against the New York Knicks in 1968)
  • NBA Finals Record - Most minutes played in a five game series (240 against the New York Knicks in 1973)
  • Chamberlain never fouled out of a regular season or playoff game in his 14 years in the NBA. His career average was only 2 fouls per game, despite having averaged 45.8 minutes per game over his career. His fouls per 36 minutes (a stat used to compare players that average vastly different minutes) was a remarkable 1.6 per game.[1]

Other selected durability facts[edit]

  • 2nd most minutes played in the NBA All-Star game: 388 — 2nd place shared with Kobe Bryant;
  • record held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (419)
  • 2nd oldest player to win Finals MVP award: 35 years, 8 months, 14 days old in 1972;
  • record held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38 years, 1 month, 23 days old in 1985)

NBA accuracy records[edit]

See also: List of National Basketball Association top individual field goal percentage seasons
  • NBA Record - Most consecutive seasons leading NBA in field goal percentage (5, from 1964-65 through 1968-69)
  • Tied with Shaquille O'Neal
  • NBA Record - Highest Field Goal Percentage in a season (72.7% in 1972-73)
  • Chamberlain also holds the second highest percentage with 68.3% in 1966-67
  • NBA Record - Most consecutive field goals (35 from February 17-28, 1967)
  • NBA Record - Most field goals in a game without a miss (18, Philadelphia 76ers vs. the Baltimore Bullets on February 24, 1967)
  • Chamberlain also holds the next two most with 16 (March 19, 1967) and 15 (January 20, 1967)
  • NBA Record - most free-throws missed in a single season (578 in the 1967–68 season)[18]
  • Chamberlain also missed the second most free throws in a single season at 528 in the 1961–62 season.
  • NBA Record - Most free throws missed in a game (22, vs. Seattle SuperSonics, December 1, 1967)
  • NBA Record - Most free throws missed in a half (12, vs. Syracuse Nationals, November 17, 1960)
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most free throws missed in a game (17, vs. Boston Celtics, April 12, 1966)
  • NBA Playoff Record - Most free throws missed in a half (12, vs. Boston Celtics, April 12, 1966)

Other selected accuracy facts[edit]

  • 2nd most seasons leading NBA in field goal percentage (9) record held by Shaquille O'Neal (10)
  • 2nd most free throws attempted in a game with none made (10 vs. the Detroit Pistons on 11/04/1960) — record held by Shaquille O'Neal (11) (12/08/2000)
  • 3rd most free throws attempted in a game with none made (9 at the St. Louis Hawks on February 19, 1967)
  • 3rd lowest career free throw percentage in NBA history (minimum 1200 attempts) record held by Ben Wallace

Accolades[edit]

In addition to his many statistical accomplishments, Chamberlain also had a successful career. He is a two-time NBA Champion (1967, 1972) and a six-time NBA Finalist (1964, '67, '69-'70, '72-'73), was voted NBA MVP 4 times (1959-60, 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68 seasons) and NBA Finals MVP once (1972), was elected to 7 All-NBA First Teams (1960-'62, '64, '66-'68) and 3 All-NBA Second Teams ('63, '65, '72) and is with Wes Unseld one of two players to have won the Rookie of the Year and the MVP awards in the same year. In addition, he was voted NBA All-Star Game MVP 1960 and also made two All-Defensive First Teams (1972, '73).[7]

  • Rookie of the Year (1959-60 season)
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP 1960
  • 4x MVP (1959-60, 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68 seasons)
  • 7x All-NBA First Team (1960-'62, '64, '66-'68)
  • 3x All-NBA Second Team ('63, '65, '72)
  • 2x NBA champion (1967, '72)
  • 1x Finals MVP (1972)
  • 2x All-Defensive First Team (1972-'73)
  • Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1978)
  • One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996).
  • Chamberlain ranked #2 in SLAM Magazine's Top 50 NBA Players of All-Time in 2009.
  • Chamberlain ranked #13 in ESPN list of top athletes of the 20th century

References[edit]

External links[edit]