Josh Pastner, the head basketball coach of the University of Memphis, opened up Pandora’s box in a recent interview by saying that a reel-to-reel tape of NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain’s historic 100-point game might exist, among other interesting tidbits from Wilt's career.
According to Nick Menta of The 700 Level at CSNPhilly.com, Pastner unveiled the following jaw-dropping details about his father's connection to Chamberlain's career after the Memphis Tigers' 79-69 win over Temple on Saturday:
My father was the ball boy for the 76ers for many, many years, and he and Wilt Chamberlain were very close. ... And Wilt Chamberlain always felt somebody was trying to get him on timeouts with assassination through drinking. And he drank 7-Up or Sprite, one of the two. And my dad always had to taste it before Wilt– He made my father drink it before [he] would taste it to make sure my dad didn’t conk out. But Wilt took care of my father. They always went around. Like my dad said, he never had a front seat; Wilt sat in the back when he was driving because his legs were so long.
Apparently not only did Chamberlain believe someone was trying to kill him by poisoning his refreshments on the sidelines, he also made the team's ball boy taste-test those drinks for his protection. And he was refueling on the bench with soda. A sugary, carbonated beverage.
I mean, I knew dietary habits of athletes 50 years ago weren't what they are today, but drinking soda during games?
Pastner's story time gets even more intriguing from there when he alludes to the possibility that a tape of Wilt's 100-point game may actually exist.
And in fact, my father and his father taped the game reel-to-reel in the second quarter when it was in Hershey, Pennsylvania in the 100-point game. They started when he had like 30-something; they thought it was going to be a special night. They gave it to Wilt — the 100-point game — and Wilt gave it back to my dad and my dad’s dad. He gave it back to them, they boxed it up, and he’s still trying to find it. He’s got all kinds of boxes, and he doesn’t know if he lost it. He’s trying to find the sucker. ... I mean he’s got jerseys of Wilt, pictures.
In Chamberlain's storied NBA career, he made 13 All-Star appearances, won four MVP awards, was named to the All-NBA First Team seven times and won two NBA championships.
He firmly etched his name in basketball lore, however, with the 100-point outburst.
Now the NBA community is being told that the tape of one of the most incredible single-game performances ever may actually have endured the test of time. Those who know of its existence just have to find it.
Granted, the odds of finding the tape in working condition probably aren't great, considering it would have to be more than 50 years old—Chamberlain's 100-point game occurred on March 2, 1962.
With that said, my parents' water-warped record albums that had been trapped in various garages for approximately 25 years still work like new. So cross your fingers for a glimpse of history, NBA fans.