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After 54 years as Nets constant, scorer Herb Turetzky hangs up his pens

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Nets announced Thursday that Herb Turetzky, their official scorer since the franchise’s foundation 54 years ago, has decided to hang up his pens and retiring.

Official word came in a press release and on social media...

“For 54 years, I’ve had the best seat in the house,” Turetzky said in a statement. “It’s been a joy to work with so many incredible people over the years, and I am very proud to be a part of this great organization.”

“We want to extend our sincerest appreciation to Herb for his more than five decades of faithful service to the organization,” said Sean Marks. “Herb is part of the fabric of Nets basketball, and it’s fitting that he was able to finish his career in his home borough. Herb, his wife, Jane, and their family will always be a part of the Brooklyn Nets family.”

“We are all grateful to Herb for his enduring impact on the Nets organization,” said John Abbamondi, CEO of BSE Global. “For over five decades, Herb had a front row seat to the development and evolution of our franchise, and he will forever hold an unparalleled place in Nets history. We are looking forward to welcoming Herb and the Turetzky family back to Barclays Center this season so he can enjoy his first-ever Nets game as a fan following 54 years of incredible service.”

Plans to honor Turetzky will be announced at a future date, the Nets said. He is now Nets official scorer emeritus.

A native of Brownsville, Brooklyn, Turetzky joined the franchise in 1967, its first year when they played as the New Jersey Americans in the ABA. Turetzky followed the team from the Teaneck Armory to the Island Garden to the Commack Arena to Nassau Coliseum to the Meadowlands and finally back to his beloved hometown. He’s worked for owners who have included a New Jersey trucker and the co-founder of a Chinese e-commerce giant.

From that first game vs. the Pittsburgh Pipers on October 23, 1967, Turetzky logged game after game and logged milestone after milestone as the Nets noted in Thursday’s press release announcing the retirement.

That game began a career that spanned more than 2,200 games and was eventually certified as a record for professional basketball games scored in the Guinness Book of World Records. Turetzky also worked 1,465 consecutive regular season and playoff games, beginning in the 1984-85 season and concluding in Oct. 2018. Turetzky’s tenure saw him score games in nine home arenas with more than 500 players donning a Nets uniform in that time. He was on hand to score the greatest moments in franchise history, including ABA championships in 1974 and 1976 and consecutive trips to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003.

Along the way, he dealt with injury and illness, including COVID-19 last year which he described as “scary as hell.”. But he was the constant through the franchise’s ups and downs,

“I’ve never left that seat since,” he told Sports Illustrated earlier this year. “I’m still here and I’m still going.”

Turetzky reminisced about his career highlights in that story by Ben Pickman, but none were higher than when he was pulled into the Nets locker room shower the night in spring 1976 when the New York Nets beat the Denver Nuggets for Julius Erving’s second ABA title.

He’s also served as the link across the franchise’s history, even organizing reunions for the team’s former players. Pickman quoted Dan Anderson who scored 41 points in the Americans’ first game as saying, “He’s really been my only contact with the team since I played.”

“He’s a treasure,” Erving, Turetzky’s favorite player, said of him. “He’s part of the original franchise. Who else has that?”