Wilt Chamberlain is gone, the Kangaroo Kid can't jump anymore and the Spectrum is no longer standing.
But there is a Sixers icon, who was around for all of the above, who's still going strong.
At the scorer's table you will see an NBA fixture, the only person alive who has been in the NBA since Day 1, and that would be 90-year-old Harvey Pollack, who on July 15 celebrated his 33,000th day on Earth.
The man who brought minutes, rebounds, assists, steals, blocked shots and triple-doubles to the basketball vernacular, Pollack has been charting statistics for pro basketball teams in this town since 1946, before the NBA even existed, when the Philadelphia Warriors played in the Basketball Association of America. Now in his 65th year on the pro beat (there was no pro team here in 1962-63), Harvey figures he's missed just a handful of games in almost 7 decades.
"I missed three games in 2002 when I had that heart-bypass surgery," said Pollack, sitting in his Wells Fargo Center office cluttered with newspapers, his beloved T-shirts and an Underwood typewriter, which he still uses. "And once in a while, my wife wouldn't let me out of the house because I had a 109 temperature."
Other than that, he's been as much a part of the basketball landscape as the hardwood.
So, who is this man who has transformed stats into an art form, the man whose thought process has led to more fantasy league categories than one can imagine, the man who still lives in the same Northeast Philadelphia home he purchased in 1956?
He has gone from a journalism major at Temple University to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the only statistician so honored. It is one of 13 Halls of Fame that have beckoned Pollack, a number of which he is quite proud.
Back in 1943, Pollack was Temple head coach Josh Cody's student-manager. Part of his responsibilities was keeping the book - shots made, free throws and fouls. In his first game, he was the game's official scorer. It wasn't long before Pollack said he felt "useless" just keeping the book, so he approached Cody and told him he wanted to do more. When the coach asked him what else he could do, Pollack said, "I can do shots attempted, rebounds, assists . . . "
The Stat Master was born. Soon, under the guidance of Temple's legendary sports information director, Bob Geasey, Pollack was sending his stats to all five - yes, five - Philadelphia daily newspapers: the Daily News, Inquirer, Bulletin, Record and Ledger. The other Philadelphia schools began to notice that the Temple stats were taking up two columns while theirs were just taking up one. That Pollack kid had added minutes played, field goals made, field goals attempted, field goal percentage, free throws made, free throws attempted, free throw percentage, rebounds, assists, personal fouls, points, scoring average and high game to his stats. The other schools felt slighted.
Soon after graduating from Temple, Pollack served in the Air Force special services from 1943-45 and when he came home, he was looking for work.
"All I wanted to do was work for a small daily or a weekly," Pollack said.
But Geasey remembered Pollack and told him he could get him work at the Bulletin, which at that time was the biggest afternoon newspaper in the country. Pollack was thrilled. He was at the Bulletin for less than 2 weeks when Geasey asked him if he had ever done football stats. Pollack said he hadn't but didn't think it would be all that hard. After Geasey sent him the rule book on a Thursday, Pollack was doing football stats for Temple by Saturday and he didn't stop until 2 years ago.
"I had to give something up," Pollack said. "I might be the only person alive who saw Temple beat Penn State [in 1941]."
Soon after, he was recruited to do college basketball games at Conventional Hall, where Saint Joe's, Temple and La Salle played.
Upon completion of the season, the BAA was born and Philadelphia, under the leadership of Eddie Gottlieb, was going to get a team.
"As I was told," Pollack said, "they were sitting around in a room discussing who to get to do stats. Gotty said how about that kid who does the college games at Convention Hall? It wasn't until 10 years later that I told Gotty that I had only a half season of doing the job. 'It was a good thing you were good at it, damn you,' he said.
"And I never lost that job."
"I don't think there's anybody in the NBA who is more passionate about what they do than Harvey," said Sixers coach Doug Collins.
Over the years, Pollack has kept stats for the Philadelphia Warriors (the roller derby team as well as the basketball team), the Philadelphia Ramblers minor league hockey team, the Philadelphia Bell, Stars and Bulldogs football teams and for 15 years, he was the statman for the Baltimore Colts.
But the night Pollack will never forget was March 2, 1962, when Chamberlain scored 100 points. Pollack sent stories to all the wire services as well as the Inquirer and Bulletin, grabbed the Associated Press photographer, who just happened to be at the game as a spectator, to take photos, and wrote the "100" on the piece of paper that Wilt held in that iconic shot.
Chamberlain was Pollack's favorite player. When it came to stats, Chamerlain and Pollack have no peers.
"If they kept blocked shots," Pollack said, "Wilt would have averaged in double figures. I charted him with 25 in one game. Did you know that they started keeping blocked shots [as an official stat] the year after Wilt retired?"
Retirement isn't in Pollack's vocabulary.
"He has a love and a passion for what he does," said fellow Hall of Famer, the late and great Phil Jasner. "He's one of a kind. There will never be another one."
POLLACK'S NUMEROUS NUMBERS
1: Number of years missed being part of the NBA
2: Number of relatives working with him (son Ron, who's been doing it for 51 years, and grandson Brian, who's been doing it for 20)
3: The number of movies Pollack saw last Monday as part of his gig as a movie critic and restaurant reviewer for the County Press in Delaware County. One of the movies, "Hitchcock," Pollack highly recommends. And in another, he saw Helen Hunt naked. "She looked pretty good," Pollack said. Remember, he is 90.
8: Number of professional Philadelphia teams for which he was the official scorer: Warriors (basketball), the other Warriors (roller derby), Ramblers (hockey), Wings (lacrosse), Sixers, and pro football teams Bulldogs (Continental League), Bell (World Football League) and Stars (USFL).
13: The number of halls of fame in which he's been inducted, including the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
15: The number of years Pollack was the official scorer for the Baltimore Colts
56: Number of years he's lived in the same house.
65: Number of years in the NBA
1947: The year Pollack began writing an entertainment column for the Kensington Guide. He still writes movie and restaurant reviews for the County Press in Delaware County.
3,420: Number of consecutive days Pollack has worn a different T-shirt, a Guinness Book world record.
5,290: A guess on the least amount of college and pro basketball games at which Pollack has been the official scorer. (Figuring on three college games a week for a 14-week season over 66 years, and home games of the pro teams, which included trips to Pittsburgh, Hershey, Syracuse when the Warriors or Sixers were the home team. It does not include exhibition games, including the Warriors game in which they played the Harlem Globetrotters in Tulsa, Okla.)
33,117: Number of days he's been alive (with help from Harvey and a former intern).
The Daily News wouldn't be the Daily News if it only looked at the bright side of the Sixers as the team commemorates its 50th season in Philly. So here's No. 13 on the list of things that make you cringe about the club: Some of its coaching decisions.
Over the years, the Sixers have made some horrendous decisions on coaches, especially when reaching outside of the organization or Philly basketball family.
No matter the ownership or general manager, decisions were made that set the franchise back years. The most recent coaching faux pas was the hiring of Eddie Jordan in 2009. His credentials were that he was a friend of general manager Ed Stefanski from their days with the New Jersey Nets, he would work cheaper than other candidates and he was going to run the Princeton offense.
This decision, as well as the signing of an injured and aging Elton Brand to a $80 million, 5-year deal, and committing to Andre Iguodala for a contract beyond his worth, cost Stefanski his job.
Eddie Jordan was going to have a young, athletic, fastbreaking team run a patient, screen-pick-and-roll offense. He took over a team that was on the rise and hopes were high. Instead, Jordan alienated his players - especially Brand - didn't play first-round pick and point guard of the future Jrue Holiday, and impeded the progress of promising youngsters Thaddeus Young and Marreese Speights. All three players took a step backward when they needed a major step forward. Hope was replaced with disappointment and despair. Jordan coached a team that had finished .500 the year before under Mo Cheeks and Tony DiLeo (41-41) to an underachieving and miserable 27-55 season.
Doug Collins, who quite a few people were hoping would succeed DiLeo, took over in 2010-11 and led the team to a 41-41 record. On the bright side, the poor finish led to the Sixers doing well in the draft lottery. They drew the No. 2 pick and drafted Evan Turner.
While Jordan was a bad fit here, he wasn't the only disastrous decision in franchise history.
In 1972, looking to replace Jack Ramsay, who had bolted for the Buffalo Braves, general manager Don DeJardin wanted Al McGuire, the highly successful and colorful coach from Marquette. As DeJardin recalled, McGuire had accepted the job but was rejected by ownership when "he asked for up-front payments.'' So DeJardin settled on Roy Rubin, the defensive wizard from Long Island University. Long story short, the team was terrible and Poor Roy Rubin, as Daily News beat writer Jack Kiser called him, was overmatched from Day 1. Rubin, not a thin man, lasted 105 days and lost 45 pounds and 47 games. He was fired at the All-Star break with a 4-47 record.
In 1992, Doug Moe inherited a Charles Barkley-less team, coached like he couldn't care less and finished 19-37 before being replaced by Fred Carter.
Enter John Lucas in 1994. When owner Harold Katz gave Lucas, a recovering substance abuser, the keys to the kingdom, there was a lot of head-scratching. True, Lucas was saddled with Shawn Bradley and overrated free agent Scott Williams, but he drafted Sharone Wright with the sixth pick in the '94 draft and B.J. Tyler with the 20th. Lucas brought in Lloyd Daniels in '94 and Richard Dumas in '95, both of whom had a drug history. Daniels lasted five games in and Dumas 39.
Johnny Davis was a well-respected NBA assistant coach - he was also on the 1976-77 Portland team that beat the Sixers in six games for the NBA championship - when the Sixers hired him in 1996, but he was not NBA head coach material. He had a young backcourt of Jerry Stackhouse and Allen Iverson that he could not handle, and the team lost 60 games. Both Davis and GM Brad Greenberg lasted 1 year, opening the door for the best "outside'' hiring in team history, Larry Brown.
As a footnote, Jordan was hired as an assistant by the Los Angeles Lakers in September to run the Princeton offense. Have you looked at the Lakers' record lately? Kobe, Dwight and Nash are 1-4, after going 0-8 in the preseason. Just sayin'.