Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Season Review: 1961-62

Wilt Chamberlain

The 1961-62 basketball season showcased the extraordinary talents of two players: Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson. Chamberlain, the Philadelphia Warriors center, achieved remarkable feats by averaging an astounding 50.4 points per game and setting a record-breaking 100-point game against the Knicks on March 2, 1962. This legendary performance, where Chamberlain shot 36-for-63 from the field and made 28 of 32 free throws, would forever be etched in basketball history.

Chamberlain also demonstrated his durability by playing almost every minute possible and breaking single-season league records for minutes per game (48.5) and minutes played (3,882). Meanwhile, Robertson accomplished something that wouldn’t be replicated for over half a century, averaging a triple-double with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists.

The league saw the addition of the Chicago team, which would later become the Washington Bullets, and their center Walt Bellamy won the Rookie of the Year title by averaging 31.6 points and 19.0 rebounds per game. Bellamy also led the league with a shooting percentage of 51.9%.

While Chamberlain was making history, the Boston Celtics were adding to their dynasty by winning a record-breaking 60 games in an 80-game season. Interestingly, no player from the Celtics appeared among the NBA’s top 10 scorers. The Celtics and the Philadelphia Warriors engaged in an epic battle during the Eastern Division Finals, with the Celtics emerging victorious in Game 7 thanks to Sam Jones’ clutch shot. In the NBA Finals, the Celtics faced the Los Angeles Lakers and overcame a series deficit to win their fourth consecutive championship in a thrilling Game 7 at the Boston Garden.

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The playoffs also witnessed the Philadelphia Warriors defeating the Syracuse Nationals in the Eastern Division semifinals, while the Detroit Pistons emerged victorious against the Cincinnati Royals in the Western Division semifinals. In the Western Division finals, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Pistons to earn a spot in the NBA Finals where they faced the Boston Celtics.

Here are the season leaders in the major statistical categories:

  • Points: Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors (50.4)
  • Assists: Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals (11.4)
  • Rebounds: Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors (25.7)
  • Field Goal Percentage: Walt Bellamy, Chicago Packers (51.9)
  • Free Throw Percentage: Dolph Schayes, Syracuse Nationals (89.7)

The season also saw Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics named the Most Valuable Player, while Walt Bellamy of the Chicago Packers received the Rookie of the Year award. In the All-Star Game, Bob Pettit of the St. Louis Hawks was crowned the MVP.


Q: Who achieved the highest points per game average in the 1961-62 season?
A: Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors had the highest points per game average with an astonishing 50.4.

Q: Did any player average a triple-double in the 1961-62 season?
A: Yes, Oscar Robertson of the Cincinnati Royals achieved the remarkable feat of averaging a triple-double with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists.

Q: Which team won the NBA championship in the 1961-62 season?
A: The Boston Celtics emerged as the champions by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in a thrilling Game 7.

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The 1961-62 basketball season witnessed exceptional performances by Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson. Chamberlain set records with his staggering points per game average and a historic 100-point game. Robertson achieved the rare feat of averaging a triple-double. The Boston Celtics continued their dominance, winning a record-breaking 60 games in an 80-game season and securing their fourth consecutive NBA championship. The season also marked the addition of the Chicago team, later renamed the Washington Bullets. Walt Bellamy stood out as the Rookie of the Year, while Bill Russell was named the Most Valuable Player. The season showcased unforgettable moments and outstanding achievements that have left a lasting impact on the history of basketball. Visit for more basketball insights and updates.