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What if?

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It happens to me every once in a while - I dream about one of my fantasy players having a great night and getting me back into the championship race.

Michael Jordan had 69 points against Cleveland one night in March of 1990. I'm old enough to remember David Thompson going for 73 against Detroit in 1978. And Kobe Bryant's 81-point night versus Toronto was a pretty good night, but not the best.

No, there is only one best when it comes to the NBA and there is no debate as to the game and the player - Wilton Norman Chamberlain and the night was March 2, 1962 - 50 years ago Friday.

Imagine you had Chamberlain on your fantasy team and when you opened up the newspaper the following day (in those days there was no Internet and most of the games weren't televised like today) you were stunned by the following line in the Philadelphia-New York box score.

Player Pos Min FGM FGA FTM FTA Reb Ast PF Pts
Wilt Chamberlain C 48 36 63 28 32 25 2 2 100

Chamberlain scored 23 points in the first quarter and had 41 points at halftime. The rest of the Warriors began to really feed him the ball in the second half and he scored 28 in the third and topped it off with 31 points in the final stanza. Look at the line score again - the notoriously bad free throw shooter (51.1 percent for his career) went 28-for-32 from the line.

Chamberlain also hauled in 25 rebounds and distributed a couple of assists, but for the most part it was the big man left, right and down the middle.

The Big Dipper as he was known, would have been the greatest fantasy player of all time in 1961-62. He led the league in scoring, averaging 50.4 ppg, in rebounding with 25.7 per game and played 48.5 minutes per game, which is remarkable given that an NBA game is 48 minutes long (the Warriors played seven overtime games and a total of 10 overtime periods). In all, the Philadelphia Warriors played 3,890 minutes that season and Chamberlain was on the floor for 3,882 minutes - all but eight minutes.

The legend of Chamberlain didn't stop with that one game or one great season. The seven-footer out of Overbrook High in Philadelphia and Kansas University led the league in scoring and rebounding in his rookie season. He topped the league in scoring seven times and rebounding 11 times. He averaged 30.1 ppg and 22.9 rpg over his 16-year career. In 1967-68, he decided he wanted to lead the league in assists and did exactly that, handing out a league-high 702 assists.

I'm just wondering what he would have gone for in my auction league?

The current record is $183 (out of a starting amount of $280), which was spent on Shaquille O'Neal after his 29.7 ppg, 13.6 rpg and 3.8 apg in the 1999-00 season.

Would Chamberlain have cracked the $200 mark?

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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