How Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game changed the NBA
Meschery enjoyed 10 productive seasons in the NBA before embarking on a lengthy second career as a high school English teacher. A published poet, he is the only former NBA All-Star to be inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.
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Yet for all their varied accomplishments, Attles and Meschery understand that their legacy is tied, in a small way, to that night in Hershey, where Chamberlain shot 36 of 63 from the field, made 28 of 32 free throws, then resumed the way back. in New York – he was living in Harlem at the time – with some unfortunate Knicks players.
“He was trying to sleep in the back and he could hear them talking about dropping him off at the side of the freeway,” Meschery said with a laugh.
The game was, in many ways, mundane. It was staged at Hershey Sports Arena, an impersonal concrete shell where the Warriors played a few games each season. For their game against the Knicks, the building was only half full. The wooden court was originally designed for roller skating. The game was not televised and only a few reporters made the two-hour trip from Philadelphia.
Even now, the radio broadcast is not made available to the public without the league’s prior approval. (The Warriors provided Attles and Meschery with a copy of the fourth quarter so they could listen to it.)
But the game produced unexpected magic, and it continued to be mythologized – befitting a figure like Chamberlain, who did little to dispel stories, real or imagined, about his life. Even to his teammates, Pomerantz wrote, Chamberlain could seem detached and “out of their reach,” though Attles was closer to him than most.
“Just a great person once you get to know him,” Attles said.
For Meschery, Chamberlain was more of an looming presence – at least at first. In 1957, while a high school student in San Francisco, Meschery appeared on NBC’s “The Steve Allen Show,” along with the rest of the American high school and college selections nationwide. As they gathered on stage, Meschery glanced over his shoulder.
“And Wilt is standing right above me,” Meschery recalled.
Chamberlain, who dominated college defensemen at Kansas, eventually left school early to play for the Harlem Globetrotters, then joined the Warriors in 1959. Attles, who thought he was destined for a high school teaching job of Newark, did the Warriors. as a fifth-round pick in 1960, earning a reputation as a defense-minded guard. (His nickname? The Destroyer.) A scrappy forward, Meschery joined the Warriors the following season.