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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s perhaps the greatest one game performance in the history of basketball, maybe all of sports; Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game. There is no video, there is limited audio, and there are were fewer than 5,000 people who saw the game live. The Sixers now own just about the best piece of memorabilia from the game, the court it was played on. They’re also going to give Sixers fans a chance to own part of it as well.
The court was purchased from Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, who have had the court since the game in 1962. The game was played at the Hershey Sports Arena on March 2nd of that year. The Sixers plan to display the court at the Wells Fargo Center, at the Sixers practice facility in Hershey, as well as the Basketball Hall Of Fame in Springfield, MA.
Basketball fans also have a chance to own an actual piece of the court. All fans in attendance for the Sixers March 2nd game against the Warriors will receive a 2″ x 2″ specially mounted piece of the floor. To help celebrate the 5oth anniversary of the game, the Sixers will also honor Chamberlain during a halftime ceremony. Chamberlain, who passed away in 1999, played the legendary game as a member of the Warriors, who were located in Philadelphia the time. Attendance at the 50th anniversary game is likely be five times as many people who saw the original game, which was just over 4,000.
“It’s the greatest bobblehead in the history of the NBA,” Sixers CEO and Co-Owner Adam Aron said of the giveaway when he spoke to the WIP Morning Show on Tuesday.
Listen to the WIP Morning Show interview Adam Aron:
Things like the court giveaway and the team’s improved play have had an effect on fans so far. “Based on the pace we’re going, we will have more tickets sold and more ticket revenue, for 33 games this year, than they had for 41 games this last year,” Aron said of the team’s increased attendance this year. The Sixers got their 20th win on Monday night in their 29th game, it took them 45 games last season.
One of the first things the new Sixers ownership did this year was address the team’s mascot situation by saying goodbye to its mascot, Hip-Hop. After an initial fan vote, the Sixers have delayed the announcement of a new mascot. Yesterday, a minor internet dust-up occurred when Aron asked fans what they’d think of bringing back Big Shot, as mascot that the team said goodbye to in 1996. When asked if the team was bringing Big Shot back, Aron said, “I didn’t hint anything, I was asking a question. Today is not the day for mascots, today is the day for Wilt Chamberlain.”
“Wilt Chamberlain is without any doubt one of the most legendary individuals to ever play basketball,” Aron said via a press release. “It is an honor for 76ers Managing Owner Joshua Harris and all in our ownership group to celebrate with our fans the 50th Anniversary of Wilt scoring 100 points at an NBA game. We cannot stress enough how excited we are to have found the original court on which Wilt once soared. Preserving the court in Philadelphia, in Hershey and at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a thrill. So, too is sharing a little bit of this rich history with our fans attending the 50th Anniversary of the greatest scoring performance of all-time in the NBA.”
Chamberlain shot 36-63 in the game, and 28-32 from the free throw line. He had 25 rebounds, and even managed two assists. To put Chamberlain’s performance in perspective, NBA teams are averaging about 95 points per game during the 2011-12 season.