NBA Hall of Famers, champions and Philadelphia sports legends gathered Thursday to honor the late legendary statistician known as “Super Stat,” Harvey Pollack.
The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission dedicated an official state historical marker in front of Xfinity Live to recognize Pollack, who passed away last June at 93 years old.
“He literally reinvented the sport,” Sixers chief executive officer Scott O’Neil said. “It’s almost unfathomable to think what life would be without Harvey’s influence. He’s part of the fabric of the Sixers.”
Pollack began his NBA career as the assistant publicity director for the Philadelphia Warriors in the league’s inaugural 1946-47 season. He was the NBA’s longest tenured employee when he passed away.
Pollack was revolutionary in his analysis and incorporation of statistics. He created categories from assists and rebounds to 48-minute projections and dunks. He also is credited for the term “triple-double.”
“He was such an innovator,” Hall of Famer and two-time champion Billy Cunningham said. “When you watch TV, ‘They’ve got to keep them off the offensive boards, they have 15 tonight.’ That’s Harvey Pollack.”
Pollack is known for his involvement in one of sport’s most iconic photos. After Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in 1962, Pollack wrote the number “100” on a piece of paper for Chamberlain to hold up for a photographer.
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Former Sixers general manager Pat Williams recalled a conversation he had with Pollack about the famous shot.
“[He] said, ‘What people don’t know is that in junior high school I flunked penmanship,’” Williams said. “That’s our boy. Quite a character. We miss him terribly.”
The historical marker commemorates Pollack as the following:
“Innovator of basketball statistics and player evaluation. NBA statistician from 1946 to 2014 with the Philadelphia Warriors and 76ers. Known as ‘Super Stat,’ he revolutionized analysis by creating categories such as rebounds, assists and turnovers. A Temple graduate, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. His annual NBA statistical guide was in demand worldwide.”
Today, sports are heavily immersed in analytics, from talent evaluation to game planning to reporting. Pollack forever has an imprint on the way the games are seen.
“I would actually place Mr. Harvey Pollack at the same level as No. 13, Wilt Chamberlain,” Sonny Hill, Sixers executive advisor, said. “That’s the impact that he’s had on the game of basketball.”