A rare broadcast of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game is being added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
On Wednesday, the Library announced that fourth-quarter coverage of Chamberlain’s March 2, 1962 scoring outburst – still the most points ever scored in an NBA game – was one of 25 new recordings to be added to the Registry, along with the likes of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” the Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go” and Metallica’s Master of Puppets.
The game, which pitted Chamberlain’s Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks, was played in Hershey, Pennsylvania and was only broadcast by a Philly radio station. The Registry’s copy actually comes from two sources – one recorded by a college student, the other by a Warriors fan who had recorded each of the team’s possessions on a Dictaphone – that were combined and cleaned up by NBA archivist Todd Caso.
In the 50-plus years since Chamberlain’s 100-point game, only Kobe Bryant has come close to breaking the mark. In 2006, he torched the Toronto Raptors for 81, singlehandedly outscoring the opposition 55-41 in the second half. Over the course of his career, Chamberlain actually put together six of the ten highest-scoring games in league history – all of which came before the NBA added the 3-point line.
The broadcast of his 100-point game is one of a handful of sports recordings in the Registry, along with a broadcast of the 1938 fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling and the fourth game of the 1941 World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees.