Who is Your “Assist Man” (from New York Minute Magazine)

It is often referred to as the most remarkable feat in the history of American sports.  A little over fifty years ago, a 7-foot-1, 275-pound center (and former Kansas Jayhawk) by the name of Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points while leading his Philadelphia Warriors to a 169-147 victory over the New York Knicks in a professional basketball game. It happened on March 2, 1962, at the Sports Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania. People have called it the greatest individual achievement in sports history…but after doing a little research, I have begun to take issue with the idea that the accomplishment was all about Wilt.

There were some other players on the court with Chamberlain that night.

The Warriors point guard in that game was Guy Rodgers.  His name is mostly a quick mention or a footnote in the encyclopedia of articles about Wilt’s record-setting contest.  I was a junior in high school when my father drove me to a basketball camp where I had the opportunity to meet Guy Rodgers.  I didn’t know enough to be impressed, but I clearly remember how awestruck my dad was to talk with him.

Chamberlain’s dominance as a player is unquestioned; Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight once remarked that Wilt was possibly the greatest all around athlete in American history.  But there is something too often overlooked in all this talk of the record.  Something I think even Chamberlain may point out if he were still with us:

No player, no matter how gifted, could accomplish such a feat on their own.

In that very game, Guy Rodgers had an eye-popping twenty assists to go along with his own 11 points.  That means he was instrumental in assisting sixty points and responsible for over a third of the total points scored in the game. The four-time NBA all star and All-American from Temple University played a vital role in the “The Stilt’s” century scoring mark by protecting the ball, advancing it up the court, and delivering the ball into Wilt’s skilled hands.

Rodgers went on to play for the San Francisco Warriors and average a double-double in assists and points the following season.

We so often attribute success to our hard work, our resolve, and our own talent…

Read the full Article here @ New York Minute Magazine.



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