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Judy Reznick, ‘Mrs. Whammy’ and a fan in her own right, passes away at 87

One half of the Whammys, the couple who became Brooklyn celebrities while hexing opponents at Barclays Center, has died.

Charlotte Hornets v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

“Mrs. Whammy,” Judy Reznick, an avid Nets fan in her own right as well as the faithful companion of her husband “Mr. Whammy,” Bruce Reznick, died Sunday in Brooklyn. She was 87.

Judy Reznick, adorned in her own Nets jersey, accompanied Bruce to hundreds if not thousands of games in East Rutherford, Newark and Brooklyn for 25 years, cheering both the team and her husband as he stood behind the basket trying to put a “hex” on opponents as they shot free throws. The couple would also hold up homemade handwritten posters exhorting Nets players to do their best. The two, often accompanied by their grandson Adam, would stand on the floor as the team warmed up, offering advice and encouragement to players before each game. The Resnicks were fixtures at Nets games for a generation, but the Reznicks were more than fans, more than fixtures in the new Brooklyn arena. The Reznicks gave the Barclays Center a wholesome family feel from Day One.

Doug Bearak, a member of the Brooklyn Brigade who was particularly close to the couple, broke the news Monday...

It brings me great pain to share that Mrs. Whammy passed away yesterday. Judy was a staple within the Nets community. She was like a grandma to me and the players. I hope the team honors her this upcoming season. My thoughts are with Bruce and the rest of her family.

The couple developed relationships with everyone from owners Bruce Ratner, Mikhail Prokhorov and Joe Tsai (who they regularly offered counsel) to the ordinary fans who adored the energy, charm and charisma of these colorful characters … as well as players from bench warmers to the game’s biggest stars...

Players including Steph Curry copied Mr Whammy’ signature hand gestures, showing the couple respect and joining in the fun.

Among the first to offer his condolences Monday was Spencer Dinwiddie, who left the Nets and then returned and who shared a close connection with the Reznicks...

Indeed, many of the team’s fans posted their favorite images of the couple along with condolences...

They became so popular in fact that last Halloween one young fan dressed up as Mr. Whammy in a good natured prank...

Born in Chicago in 1936, Judy Reznick met her husband while the two were high school students in Miami, she at Miami Beach High School, he at Miami High School. They continued their education together at the University of Miami where she was a cum laude graduate of Miami’s School of Education. After marrying, she taught first grade in Florida while Bruce finished law school. In 1960, they moved to Brooklyn where she served as office manager at Bruce’s law practice while raising the couple’s three children.

Starting in the late 1990s, the two began attending New Jersey Nets games and by 1998, they had become season ticket holders at Continental Airlines Arena. When the team moved to Brooklyn, the Reznicks became Nets celebrities. It was Ian Eagle, the Nets long-time broadcaster, gave Bruce the nickname for which he became known throughout the NBA: “Mr. Whammy” after his signature hex sign. Judy not only encouraged her husband’s signature hand gestures, but joined in the fun of rooting for a new team in her adopted hometown. She celebrated with him when he made opponents miss their free throws.

So effective were the Whammy hexes that LeBron James once complained about them to referees and a study last season showed opposing teams shot only 70.3% from the line at Barclays Center, eight points lower than league average for the season!

On Monday, the Nets and Tsai offered their own tribute via Twitter, no doubt the first of many...

She is survived by Bruce, her husband of 66 years; three children, Jacki, Russell and Janice as well as four grandchildren, Matthew, Andrew, Rebecca, and Adam.

May her memory be a blessing.