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Original Issue

THE QUESTION: Has the advent of giant players like Wilt Chamberlain thrown the game of basketball seriously out of balance? (Asked of pro basketball players)

Boston Celtics
If you include the colleges and semipros in your question the answer is yes. If you restrict it to the pros the answer is no, because it's only a question of time before each club will have a man to counter Chamberlain.

Minneapolis Lakers
Yes, but I'm glad to see another man to offset the greatness of Bill Russell and in the same division as the Celtics. The pro game is thrown out of balance until other teams around the league can come up with similar players.

Cincinnati Royals
No. The game has been speeded up so much that running style counteracts height to a certain extent. Years ago, George Mikan really could take advantage of his height and stay under the basket. Today, the big men can't do that.

Syracuse Nationals
It's definitely thrown the game out of balance. Tall men like Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell can stay reasonably close to the basket and make a standing defense. This tends to nullify the flashy type of play, resulting in a more standstill game. I am very much in favor of extra points for longer shots.

St. Louis Hawks
No. He's going to make pro basketball more interesting. Great player that he is (and he's going to get better), Chamberlain can be handled. We will have to take him outside and keep him away from the basket. A new rule prohibits any man standing in the 12-foot lane more than three seconds. This will help.

Detroit Pistons
The coaches have been forced to concentrate on height. In that sense the giant players have thrown the game out of balance. I know that the big men have got to make a living, but so have the little men. If these giants keep coming up, they eventually will throw all the little fellows, like myself, out of the game.

New York Knickerbockers
No. It's merely a question of adopting different tactics to cope with the big man. We can't handle him under the basket, so he has forced a different type of offense. Now we play with three forwards and two guards, leaving the area under the basket open. The big man is forced to guard his man in the corner.