Jan 13, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT
You won’t find many coaches across the country that are more well-liked than Josh Pastner.
He’s charismatic, he’s always going to give you good quotes, he knows about the people that cover the team and, perhaps most importantly, he’ll always call you back.
Here’s a perfect example of what makes Pastner a media darling. After the Tigers knocked off Temple in Philly on Saturday, Pastner — whose familial roots are in the city — told the writers in attendance, unprompted, one of the greatest stories you’ll ever see. Just read on (transcription via The 700 Level):
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.
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.
So Josh Pastner’s dad was so close to Wilt Chamberlain that he was his in-game soda taste-tester.
And he has film of Chamberlain scoring an NBA record 100 points in a game. He wasn’t done, either, going on to explain how his grandfather on his dad’s side of the family died in his seat during an Eagles game at Veteran’s Stadium and that since he was a 40-year season ticket-holder, the Eagles memorialized him by naming the seat after him.
There were also rumors that Pastner’s family was Lenny Dykstra’s chewing tobacco provider, the guy that braided Allen Iverson’s hair, and Rocky’s real trainer, but confirmation for those stories will have to wait until Pastner makes his next trip to Philly.
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