Herb Turetzky, Nets’ Official Scorer for 54 Years, Dies at 76


After one season in Teaneck, Mr. Turetzky followed the Nets to Long Island, where they played in three arenas, including the Nassau Coliseum; then to three homes back in New Jersey, including the Prudential Center in Newark; and finally to Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Between 1984 and 2018, he scored 1,465 consecutive games.

“When I did my 900th straight game, they covered it on NBA TV,” he told the New Jersey newspaper The Record in 2012. “Charles Barkley was on, and when they made that comment to Barkley, all he said was: ‘Nine hundred straight Nets games? Boy, that man’s seen a lot of bad basketball.’”

“I have seen some bad games,” he added, “but I’ve seen some great ones.”

In 2020, when all the bad and great games — and those in between — added up to 2,206, Guinness World Records certified them as the most by an official scorer in N.B.A. history.

Mr. Turetzky was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

Herbert Stephen Turetzky was born in Brooklyn on Dec. 19, 1945. His mother, Rose (Pearl) Turetzky, was a bookkeeper for the maker of Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup. His father, Sam, was a plumber. Herb played basketball at the Brownsville Boys’ Club (now the Brownsville Recreation Center), where he also learned how to run a scoreboard and maintain a scorebook.

After he graduated from L.I.U. in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, he was a teacher and then a principal at a Brooklyn elementary school. After that, he worked as a grants writer for the New York City Board of Education and owned a trophy business. He earned two master’s degrees, in education and in administration and supervision.

All the while, Mr. Turetzky was traveling to Nets home games. His longest break from his scoring duties began in November 1968, when he was driving to a game in Commack, on Long Island. He lost control of his car on the Long Island Expressway, crossed a grass divider and crashed into an oncoming car. The driver was killed.

“I was in a coma for about six weeks and broke my entire left side up, creating some muscular damage, had a concussion, broke my jaw,” he told The Asbury Park Press in 2005.



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