Herb Turetzky has been the best and the only scorer that the Brooklyn Nets ever needed, but he recently passed away at age 76 in his beloved home at Whitestone, Queens. As a dedicated basketball fan, Turetzky had primary lateral sclerosis, which causes an issue in the nerves of the brain system to send messages on movement. He attended the basketball games with his wheelchair.
Over the past 54 years of his outstanding work, Turetzky’s responsibilities included recording field goals, rebounds, assists, fouls and free throws. In tough times, Turetzky has always been there for his team and became the historian for more than 2,200 Nets home games. Erving, who led the New York Nets to A.B.A. championships in 1974 and 1976, said, “He brought so much class and care to the scorer’s table, not a place where you necessarily look for that. The job is drudgery for some people, but not for Herb. He cared so much for it, and his reputation preceded him everywhere.”
Turetzky’s story actually began when he had taken his future wife from Long Island University to see the game for the Pittsburgh Pipers. Turketzky had free tickets and he didn’t want to lose any opportunities as he and his wife had no money. At the time, Turetzky noticed that the scorer’s table was empty. The general manager spotted Turetzky and knew of Turetzky’s involvement with the Amateur Athletic Union team as a coach. So, the general manager requested Turetzky to keep score.
From there, Turetzky got involved with the Nets’ games where they played in the Nassau Coliseum and the Prudential Center. Turetzky said, “When I did my 900th straight game, they covered it on NBA TV. 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.” Because of that, Zuretzky got into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. Later on July 14th, 2020, Turetzky was recognized by the Guinness World Records for most games he had seen as an official scorer in NBA history.
In November 1968, Turetzky took a break from scoring the games. He had trouble controlling his car on the Long Island Expressway and crashed into someone else’s car. The other driver died. Turetzky said, “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 would later return to the Nets’ games in the following season.
His incredible abilities to balance both work and friendship is what keeps the team moving forward. The players of the Brooklyn Nets felt fortunate having Turetzky by their side, and he will be deeply missed.