Meschery had 10 productive seasons within the N.B.A. earlier than he launched into an extended second profession as a highschool English instructor. A broadcast poet, he’s the one former N.B.A. All-Star who has been inducted into the Nevada Writers Corridor of Fame.
The Nice Learn
Extra fascinating tales you may’t assist however learn all the best way to the top.
But for all their different accomplishments, Attles and Meschery perceive that their legacies are tied, in some small measure, to that night time in Hershey, the place Chamberlain shot 36 of 63 from the sphere, made 28 of 32 free throws, then caught a journey again to New York — he lived in Harlem on the time — with a few gamers from the woebegone Knicks.
“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 mentioned, laughing.
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 number of video games every season. For his or her sport in opposition to the Knicks, the constructing was solely half full. The picket courtroom 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 shouldn’t be made obtainable for public consumption with out prior approval by the league. (The Warriors offered Attles and Meschery with a duplicate of the fourth quarter so they might take heed to it.)
However the sport produced surprising 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 mentioned.
To Meschery, Chamberlain was extra of a looming presence — no less than 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 school 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 school defenders for Kansas, finally left faculty 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 popularity as a defense-minded guard. (His nickname? The Destroyer.) A scrappy ahead, Meschery joined the Warriors the next season.