Encore: Look out, Nets rivals! Octogenarian Mr. Whammy is coming for you
For each sports activities workforce, there are followers and there are tremendous followers. For the Brooklyn Nets, that is 86-year-old Mr. Whammy — who tries to hex the opposing basketball workforce into lacking their foul photographs.
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
For each sports activities workforce, there are followers after which there are tremendous followers. The Brooklyn Nets have Mr. Whammy. The 86-year-old is a fixture at dwelling video games, sporting his Nets jersey over a crimson shirt, shouting and gesturing behind the opponent’s basket, making an attempt to hex gamers into lacking foul photographs. Reporter Jeff Lunden met Mr. Whammy at a latest basketball sport in Brooklyn.
JEFF LUNDEN, BYLINE: The second the whistle blows for a foul shot, Mr. Whammy, all 5’7″ of him, springs into motion. He is doing his greatest to distract and put a whammy on the participant making the free throw. His pinky and index fingers are prolonged, and he is shaking each fingers. He even has his personal well mannered trash speak.
MR WHAMMY: OK, three, take a look at me. Have a look at me, three.
LUNDEN: Three is San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson. And this time, Mr. Whammy’s hex works.
MR WHAMMY: I bought one.
LUNDEN: Mr. Whammy is Bruce Reznick, a Brooklyn native who’s been coming to Nets video games since they had been in New Jersey.
MR WHAMMY: I am 86 years previous and having the very best time of my life because of the Nets.
LUNDEN: Mr. Whammy attends each sport along with his spouse, Judy, aka Mrs. Whammy. He and Judy met in highschool and have been collectively ever since. She helped help Reznick by means of regulation faculty, and he nonetheless practices along with his son. All three of his youngsters are legal professionals, and his spouse is the workplace supervisor. However Mr. Whammy’s ardour is the Nets. He bought season tickets 25 years in the past and began doing his factor a number of years later.
MR WHAMMY: So now, I get a bit of reputation in Jersey. And I get a name in the future from this lovely younger girl going to College of Michigan. And she or he says, I noticed you on TV. That is all I needed to hear. That is all I needed to hear. Now, I all the time put on a crimson shirt. I nonetheless put on my crimson shirt.
LUNDEN: Again then, he was often known as Purple Shirt. Reznick says he bought his present nickname as a result of he has his personal code of honor.
MR WHAMMY: I do not Whammy any ex-Internet, in the event that they performed solely a day.
LUNDEN: So when former Nets star Jason Kidd bought traded to the Dallas Mavericks…
MR WHAMMY: Now, Jason will get as much as take a foul shot. And I do not give him the whammy. Ian Eagle on nationwide TV, hey, take a look at that – Mr. Whammy’s not giving Jason Kidd the whammy. He gave me the identify, identical to that on nationwide TV. And it caught.
LUNDEN: Ian Eagle has been introduced broadcaster for 29 years. He says Mr. Whammy’s ardour is infectious and surprisingly efficient.
IAN EAGLE: The numbers do not lie. And Mr. Whammy he retains his personal private statistics. How do I do know this? As a result of he’ll go away his stats on quite a few voicemails on my cellphone.
LUNDEN: In keeping with a latest Twitter publish from the Nets, opposing groups solely have a 70.3 foul shot proportion in Brooklyn, about 8 factors decrease on common than throughout the remainder of the league.
EAGLE: Some opposing gamers, most notably LeBron James, have lodged complaints, however the Nets constantly stand by their man.
LUNDEN: As do Nets followers who love Mr. Whammy. At each break within the sport, they arrive up and ask to take selfies with him and Mrs. Whammy.
MR WHAMMY: We have now such love from the followers. They love us as a lot because the we love them. And we’re blessed.
MRS WHAMMY: And after you flip that off, if you wish to take an image with us so you’ll be able to present all people.
LUNDEN: Are you kidding? Completely.
For NPR Information, I am Jeff Lunden in Brooklyn.
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