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Wilt, 1962: The Night of 100 Points and the Dawn of a New Era Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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From Publishers Weekly
On March 2, 1962, in a drafty, half-full, 8,000-seat arena in Hershey, Pa., Wilt Chamberlain (aka the Big Dipper) scored a stunning 100 points in a single game against the New York Knicks-a watershed moment for the fledgling NBA. Drawing on interviews he conducted with various team members, fans, journalists and referees, Pomerantz (Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn) recreates this historic night in startling detail, bringing everyone from Chamberlain, to the Knicks' defensive player Darrall Imhoff, to the caustic journalist Jack Kiser to vivid life. For Pomerantz, Chamberlain and Imhoff "symbolized pro basketball's accelerating generational shift writ large: the agile black athlete, swift and strong, moving freely against a white opponent who, though young, earnest, and determined, seemed... a handsome blond shrine to a bygone era when all of the players were white." Pomerantz explores the racial tension of the era through Chamberlain's experiences, fluidly transitioning from the action on the court to moments in the player's life and then back again. In one instance, he's finger-rolling a ball into the basket, and in the next, he's at Big Wilt's Smalls Paradise, the Harlem nightclub he part-owned, talking about how many good African-Americans were left out of the league due to its racial quotas. Throughout this surprisingly touching narrative, Pomerantz does a remarkable job of making Chamberlain, the world he inhabited and that mythic night shine all over again. 8-page b&w photo insert.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The game in which Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks, on March 2, 1962, belongs on the short list of modern sports' defining moments. Robert Allen Cherry discusses the event in his fine biography, Wilt: Larger than Life (2004); but Pomerantz looks in more detail at the accomplishment and places it in its rightful context. He notes, for example, that Chamberlain's 100 points is 51 percent better than David Thompson's 1978 second-place total of 73. And the 100-point game was merely consistent with Chamberlain's unconscious 1961-62 season averages of 50 points, 25.7 rebounds per game. The 100-point game also announced a fundamental change in the style in which basketball would henceforth be played and in the racial makeup of the men who could and would play it. While Pomerantz writes a suspenseful narrative of the game, he also delivers an engaging, full-bodied portrait of one of the great athletes of our time. An excellent companion to Cherry's biography but also a sports book that can stand on its own. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
This book is a very accurate account of that night and the time in which it occurred. I always felt blessed to grow up in that small town in the 50s and 60s. That game in the Hershey Arena was one for the ages. My classmate, Kerry Ryman, is the kid who stole the ball that night. I visited Kerry shortly after Wilt died and we shared memories of those times and that night.
Any basketball fan or student of the 1960s is bound to enjoy Gary Pomerantz's telling of the story.
But Chamberlain "did to the NBA game what Elvis did to traditional popular music; he placed it in a new context," writes Pomerantz. Chamberlain moved the game above the rim and quickened the scoring pace.
Chamberlain averaged an amazing 50 points a game during the 1961-62 season for the Philadelphia Warriors. The highlight came on March 2, 1962, in Hershey, Pa., when he scored 100 points against the New York Knicks.
Pomerantz uses Wilt's 100-point game as the "Dawn of a New Era." He does an excellent job of putting the reader in the game (although there was no television coverage and no New York papers covered the game). Pomerantz interviewed 250 people for the book, including 56 who were among the scant crowd of 4,124 in attendance.
A reader will learn a lot about the early days of the NBA and the culture of the 1960s through this book. In 1962, the NBA struggled with attendance, often having doubleheaders (two games for the price of one). Sometimes, the Harlem Globetrotters would be the first game and the NBA teams would match up in the nightcap. On Wilt's 100-point night, the NFL Philadelphia Eagles played the Baltimore Colts in an exhibition prior to the Warriors-Knicks matchup. High-scoring NBA games were frowned upon, and Chamberlain,who was not a gate attraction, was frequently criticized for his scoring and number of shots taken. Unbelievably, there were only 37 blacks in the NBA.
Pomerantz offers interesting profiles of the players and coaches involved in Wilt's 100-point game. Wilt's drive to 100 points is vividly and excitedly recreated. He had 69 points entering the fourth quarter, and the Knicks felt like he was embarrassing them. They were determined to keep him from scoring 100. It was 1 vs. 5 down the stretch. There were no easy shots. Chamberlain earned every point.
Any basketball fan should find this book fascinating.