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Arguably the greatest individual performance in the annals of team sports took place 50 years ago today — March 2, 1962. That was when Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single game, leading the Philadelphia Warriors to a 169-147 victory over the New York Knicks.
That game didn’t actually take place in Philly, though. It was at the Hershey Sports Arena. The 76ers recently purchased the court from that game (it had been in storage) and are parceling it out in various ways. Part of it will go the Basketball Hall of Fame. Another part will be incorporated into the new practice facility that the Sixers plan to build within the next few years. And another part was cut up into 20,000 two-inch-square pieces, which will be given away to all fans attending tonight’s Philly/Golden State game. (Golden State, of course, is the same franchise Wilt was playing for 50 years ago. Very cool that they’re the Sixers’ opponent for this game, and kudos to the NBA schedulers for slating this match-up on the golden anniversary of Wilt’s 100-point night.)
When I first heard about this, I was a little leery. Cutting up a piece of history? Yikes. But then the Sixers sent me a piece of the court (shown above), and I have to admit that it’s a very nifty little thing to have, especially since they’re giving it away instead of selling it. And besides, it’s not like the court was doing anyone any good stowed away in a warehouse. (’Course, it helps that I got a green piece — favorite color and all, don’tcha know.)
I’m off to see my Mom today, and Phil is busy with jury duty, so everyone play nice, okay? Okay.
Shown below: the underside of my piece of the court.
Pretty ballsy: You probably know that each college basketball team gets to use the ball of its choice at home. So one team may use a Nike ball, another may use an Adidas ball, and so on. But have you ever thought about whether the different balls present challenges for the road team? I hadn’t, until I read this super-interesting article. Did you know, for example, that Wisconsin — and only Wisconsin, at least among the six major conferences — uses balls made by a small company called Sterling? I’d never even heard of that brand before. Anyway, the article is a fascinating read (translation: Wish I’d written it myself). Highly recommended.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Very sad story about how my alma mater sold its soul and is now paying the price. … Odd uni match-up the other night, as LSU hoops chose to wear gold at home, and Tennessee wore white. … Alex Giobbi notes that Catholic University has some pretty rad warm-up gear for a D3 school. … New roadside logo — in three different fonts — for the Milwaukee airport (from David Eric Boll). … A.J. Frey notes that the Mets are wearing their Gary Carter memorial patch on their BP jerseys. … Ole Miss has a pitcher named Mike Mayers (pronounced MY-urs), so — well, you can probably guess (from Michael Martin). … Here’s the best Pirates logo timeline you’ll ever see. … Two high school baseball teams in Arkansas are going to play a game while wearing boots, as part of a promotion to raise funds for veterans. “I’ll try to get you some pictures after they play the game,” says Joey Potts. … You know this was coming: a Jeremy Lin infographic (from Brad Eckensberger). … Here’s the official soccer ball for the 2012 Olympics (from Kenny Loo). … North Dakota has reached the point of cutting off its nose to spite its face over this “Fighting Sioux” thing (thanks, Brinke). … Awesome sweaters in this 1908 Cubs team portrait (from BSmile). … The Magic did the “el basketball-o” thing. As usual, I got a few e-mails saying, more or less, “It should be La Magia, not El Magic,” and apparently SportsCenter had something similar to say. But as I’ve explained many times, the NBA’s market research shows that most Hispanic fans really do refer to the teams as “El Magic” and “Los Bulls” and so on. … The might Fleer Sticker Project has come up with a bunch of new (to me) photos of the Orioles in solid orange. … Here’s a pretty good video showing Jose Bautista talking gloves with a Wilson rep (from Marc Bauche). … While looking for something else, I came across some veeeery interesting photos. First, check out the uniforms on these sanitation works at Yankee Stadium, circa 1942. Second, here’s a rare shot of the Astrodome with grass. And here’s the real prize: a 1963 shot of Hammerin’ Hank with massive NOB lettering — including a first initial! That’s because his brother Tommie was also on the team. … Really interesting article on the history of athletes who change their names. … Check it out: the world’s largest curling rock! Details here (from William Scheibler). … “I wouldn’t mind having this Notre Dame hoops jersey,” says Dan Cichalski. It’s an odd design — why put the number off-center, like on a baseball jersey? And what’s with the tapering insignia? Fun but weird. … Here are this year’s kits for the K-League (i.e., Korean soccer). One of the teams — Gwangju FC — is going with THOB (Twitter handle on back). Further details on that here (all this from Dan, who didn’t give his last name). … Steve Mandich wonders if anyone knows the story behind this photo of Ichiro in soccer jersey. … You have to like a catalog whose cover is emblazoned with “The Right Uniform at the Right Price,” even if they’re talking about gas station uniforms. … Oregon State wore their turquoise uniforms last night. … When my parents got married, they chose Feb. 22 as their wedding day because it was Washington’s Birthday. “That way, we figured our anniversary would always be a holiday,” my father once explained to me. Then the Uniform Monday Holiday Act came along, effectively creating Presidents’ Day, which scuttled my parents’ plans. Now there’s a legislative initiative to restore Washington’s Birthday. Too bad my father isn’t around to see it — he’d be pleased.