On this day in Boston Celtics history, the storied franchise reluctantly let Hall of Fame big man Wilt Chamberlain pull down an NBA-record 55 rebounds along with 34 points and 4 assists and still managed to win the game against his (then) Philadelphia (now, Golden State) Warriors when the final buzzer sounded.
The historic rebounding feat, which occurred in a 132-129 win for the Celtics on Philly’s home court, has yet to be bested since with the Big Dipper (Chamberlain hated the nickname ‘Wilt the Stilt’) setting a record for the ages on that night despite not coming away with the win.
“I got 55 rebounds against the Boston Celtics in one particular game,” related Chamberlain in a clip posted by Twitter user TodayInSports3.
“The thing that I remember the most about the 55 rebounds was, when the game was over, I was probably more tired than I’ve ever been in my entire life,” he added.
“I was also probably as happy as I’ve ever been because not only did it help us to win a game (editor’s note; it seems Wilt’s memory is off here), but it was against the best rebounder I ever knew of, and against the best team to ever play the game of basketball. I knew that this is what I was supposed to do if I wanted to dominate the game — was to rebound.”
“There also was something very gratifying about it; you go up there and you grab that ball and you squeeze it and say, ‘It’s mine,'” explained Chamberlain.
(AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
It is also the birthday of longtime Boston Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman, born this day in 1945 in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Gorman began calling Celtics games with Boston icon Tommy Heinsohn in 1981 after a career as an aviator for the U.S. Navy in the 1970s, forming the industry’s longest-tenured duo until Heinsohn’s passing earlier last year (rest in peace).
A Hall of Famer and five-time Emmy award-winner, Gorman has also covered NCAA basketball and the Olympics games over the course of his storied career.
He shares that birthday with former Boston power forward Brandon Hunter, who came into this world on this day in 1980 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
A product of his hometown Ohio University, Hunter would be drafted 56th overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Celtics, and play a total of 36 games for them in his rookie 2003-04 season.
(AP Photo/John Spivey)
He would be left unprotected by Boston in the 2004 NBA expansion draft that was held in part to populate the newly-formed Charlotte Bobcats (later, Hornets), who took the Ohio native and dealt him to the Orlando Magic.
Hunter averaged 3.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a Celtic.
Ex-Celtic floor general Dave Bing was born today as well, in 1943 in Washington, DC.
Playing his college ball with Syracuse University, Bing would be drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the 1966 NBA draft as the sixth overall pick and would play stints with that team and the (then) Washington Bullets (now, Wizards) before signing with Boston as a free agent.
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
It would be the final season in his storied career as a player, in which he averaged 13.6 points, 2.7 boards, 3.8 assists, and a steal per game.
Bing would many years later become the mayor of the city of Detroit after retiring as a player.
Finally, former Celtics forward Shavlik Randolph was born today too, in 1983 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Randolph — a grandson of former New York Knick forward Ron Randolph — played collegiately for local Duke University, and played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat and overseas after going undrafted.
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In 2013, he was able to convert a ten-day contract into a rest-of-season deal, then returned to the team in 2015 in a three-team deal from the Phoenix Suns.
In 21 games over two seasons, the Duke product averaged 3.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game with the team.
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