I had never before been stuffed. I had never before witnessed my teammates—or anybody else—being stuffed. It had never occurred to me that such a thing could happen in a basketball game. Where Wilt came from and how he got there I still do not understand, but this much I do know: from that moment my innocence was forever, irretrievably lost. To this day there is a tiny part of me that is gun-shy. There is always the chance, on the easiest, most wide-open layup in the most casual two-on-two game, that the shadow of that giant hand will descend from the heavens and contemptuously flick my shot into nowhere. Was Wilt's block my first intimation of life's tenuousness and uncertainty?
Wilt Chamberlain, to this day, is remembered for his offensive heroics. Well, that's a mistake. And no less an authority than I can attest to it.