Herb Turetzky saw 27 different coaches call the shots for the team he followed for a lifetime, and over 500 players don the uniform. He kept score in eight different home arenas over 54 years. And before he retired in October 2021, owner of the Guinness World Record for most professional basketball games ever scored, he spoke of pride, he spoke of fulfillment, and he spoke of romance.
“We drive in every day and every night coming here I smile,” Turetzky told NBA.com on his 50th anniversary with the Nets. “It’s romantic, thinking of where we’re going… If [Barclays Center] was ever here when we were young, it would have been the greatest thing in the world. That’s what it feels like today.”
Then, upon his retirement: “I am very proud to be a part of this organization.”
Turetzky, who scored more than 2,200 games and was, up until this season, the only scorer the Nets ever needed, died Monday, the team announced. He was 76.
“Everyone here is thinking about his family and he was a beloved figure within the organization and beyond,” Steve Nash said Tuesday night before the Nets were set to take on the Rockets. “We just want to make sure his family recognizes how important he was to the franchise and how much our thoughts are with them at this time.”
Turetzky, who was born in Brooklyn and attended Long Island University, became scorekeeper by accident — a piece of somewhat legendary Nets lore. He went to the very first New Jersey Americans game at the Teaneck Armory in 1967 and was conscripted into service by coach Max Zaslofsky. And then, he simply never stopped.
His final game was June 2021, and at one point, he worked 1,465 consecutive regular season and playoff games. The franchise named him official scorer emeritus in a November ceremony at Barclays Center, and dedicated the scorer’s table in his name.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jane, daughter Jennifer, son David, daughter-in-law Heather, and grandchildren, Jack and Harper.