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Today in Performance Sneaker History: Wilt Chamberlain Sets NBA Record in Converse All-Stars

Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain set a number of historic feats throughout his legendary NBA career. Perhaps the most impressive and noteworthy accomplishment of all is his famous 1962 100-point performance in a single game. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Wilt, a center who was truly one of the greatest scorers of all time.

On February 14, 1966, Chamberlain was a member of the Philadelphia 76ers roster, facing off against the Detroit Pistons. It was Wilt’s seventh season in the league, and after scoring 41 points in the game, he broke Bob Pettit’s record as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with a total of 20,884. This record would remain in place for more than eighteen years, until 1984 when fellow Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the all-time leader. As it stands today, Wilt’s final total of 31,419 points is still the fourth best of all time. The only players to outscore “The Stilt” have been Kareem, Karl Malone, and Michael Jordan.

Chamberlain’s sneaker of choice for a good portion of his career was the Converse “Chuck Taylor” All-Star Hi Top. One of the most popular sneakers of the era, the All-Star was favored by many professional ballers during this time period. Its rubber sole and canvas upper may seem primitive in today’s world, but at the time it provided the support and traction necessary for players of all sizes.

The All-Star model has gone on to become the best selling sneaker of all time, and tomorrow, February 15, Converse will pay tribute to the early style cues of the historic model. Differences from the contemporary model include a higher rubber cut on the outsole, increased cushioning, a larger toebox, and a high-grade canvas upper. Both the classic black and white colorways return tomorrow in their original form for a retail price of $70-85, and can be found at Concepts Cambridge in Massachusetts, Juice in Shanghai, Foot Patrol in London, and Haven in Canada.

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