Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-Level Sport Modified the NBA

“He was making an attempt to sleep within the again, and he may overhear them speaking about dropping him off by the facet of the freeway,” Meschery stated, laughing.

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The sport was, in some ways, unremarkable. It was staged at Hershey Sports activities Area, an impersonal concrete shell the place the Warriors performed a couple of video games every season. For his or her sport in opposition to the Knicks, the constructing was solely half full. The wood court docket was initially designed for curler skating. The sport was not televised, and solely a few newspaper reporters made the two-hour journey from Philadelphia.

Even now, the radio broadcast isn’t made accessible for public consumption with out prior approval by the league. (The Warriors supplied Attles and Meschery with a replica of the fourth quarter so they may hearken to it.)

However the sport produced sudden magic, and it has continued to be mythologized — becoming for a determine like Chamberlain, who did little to dispel the tales, actual or imagined, about his life. Even to teammates, Pomerantz wrote, Chamberlain may appear indifferent and “past their attain,” although Attles was nearer to him than most.

“Only a terrific individual as soon as you bought to know him,” Attles stated.

To Meschery, Chamberlain was extra of a looming presence—a minimum of at first. In 1957, as a highschool senior in San Francisco, Meschery appeared on NBC’s “The Steve Allen Present,” together with the remainder of the nation’s highschool and faculty all-American picks. As they gathered onstage, Meschery glanced over his shoulder.

“And Wilt is standing proper above me,” Meschery recalled.

Chamberlain, who was dominating faculty defenders for Kansas, ultimately left college early to play for the Harlem Globetrotters, then joined the Warriors in 1959. Attles, who thought he was sure for a instructing job at a junior highschool in Newark, made the Warriors as a fifth-round choose in 1960, crafting a status as a defense-minded guard. (His nickname? The Destroyer.) A scrappy ahead, Meschery joined the Warriors the next season.

“I used to be in Wonderland,” he stated. “I used to be simply this child from the West Coast, and there I used to be, taking part in with Wilt Chamberlain for God’s sake.”

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