Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sixers' Pollack passes at 93

PHILADELPHIA - The father of analytics, legendary Sixers statistician Harvey Pollack, passed away Tuesday night at the age of 93.

An last original employee of the NBA, Pollack began his career in 1946 as the assistant publicity director for the Basketball Association of America's Philadelphia Warriors. He spend the last 28 seasons as the Sixers' director of statistical information.

"He may never have laced up his sneakers, but few have done more to advance the game, in the NBA or Philadelphia basketball, than Harvey," Sixers CEO Scott O'Neil said. "He did what he loved until the end, and shared that love of statistics and basketball with his family, who we remember at this difficult time.

"We count ourselves incredibly lucky to have had his wealth of knowledge, indomitable spirit, passionate drive and love for our sport with us here in Philadelphia and with the Sixers for so many years. He will be missed while his legacy will endure." 

Pollack was in Hershey on March 6, 1962, when then-Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain scored an NBA record 100 points against the New York Knicks and he was the one who scribbled "100" on a piece of paper and gave it to Chamberlain to hold for what is now one of the most iconic photos in sports.

Often refereed to as "Super Stat" Pollack created many of the current basketball statistics, things like offensive and defensive rebounds, steals, turnovers, blocked shots plus-minus and minutes played. He was the first to actually count the number of dunks for players and coined the term triple-double.

Pollack's annual statistical information guide was a must-read for fans and media alike and he was  honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

"There has never been an NBA without Harvey Pollack," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. "He documented NBA history for nearly 70 years with passion, curiosity and a relentless work ethic. Harvey has been a true caretaker and ambassador of the game, and he will be sorely missed."
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