Golden State Warriors

This Date in NBA History (Oct. 24): Wilt Chamberlain makes his historic NBA debut

On Oct. 24, 1959, Wilt Chamberlain played his first game in what turned out to be a legendary NBA career.

In his NBA debut, Chamberlain led the Philadelphia Warriors to a victory over the New York Knicks with a game-high 43 points to go along with 28 rebounds and one assist. He shot 17-for-27 from the field and 9-for-15 from the free throw line.

According to Stathead, it's the most points and rebounds a player has ever recorded in their NBA debut. Maurice Stokes and John Drew are tied in second place with 32 points while Bill Walton trails Chamberlain with 24 rebounds.

That was the start of a Hall of Fame career for Chamberlain, one that saw him win two championships, one Finals MVP award and four MVP awards in addition to earning 13 All-Star selections, 10 All-NBA selections and two All-Defensive Team selections. He led the NBA in assists once, scoring seven times and rebounding 11 times.

Chamberlain finished his career with averages of 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. His No. 13 is retired by the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.

Also on Oct. 24...

  • 1959: Four-time All-Star Johnny Green made his NBA debut
  • 1975: Three-time All-Star George McGinnis made his NBA debut
  • 1975: One-time All-Star World B. Free made his NBA debut
  • 1976: Five-time All-Star Dennis Johnson made his NBA debut
  • 1990: Orlando Magic centre Nikola Vucevic was born in Morges, Switzerland
  • 2018: Stephen Curry scored 51 points in Golden State's win over the Washington Wizards
  • 2019: Vince Carter became the first player in NBA history to play in 22 seasons

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