Watch out, Nets competitors! Octogenarian Mr. Whammy’s Coming For You: NPR

Bruce Reznick, known as “Mr. Whammy” at a Nets game earlier this month.

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Brooklyn Networks

Bruce Reznick, known as “Mr. Whammy” at a Nets game earlier this month.

Brooklyn Networks

For every sports team there are fans and there are Excellent fans. For the Brooklyn Nets, that’s Mr. Whammy, aka Bruce Reznick. One of the Nets’ games since 2012, the octogenarian yelled and nodded behind the basket, trying to dunk players on the opposite team to miss their foul shots.

The moment the whistle blows for a foul shot, Mr. Whammy, five-foot-seven, springs forward. He does his best to distract and put his hex – “hit” – on that player, his pinky and forefinger fingers stretched out and vibrating on both hands.

He even has his own cute trash-talk: “Okay, 3! Look at me, look at me, 3,” he quipped, as San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson, the 3rd seed, buzzed in on his first shot. drown it out

But Mr. Whammy is undeterred. “Look at me, look at me. Here I am, and here I am. Miss!” Johnson Buds. and misses. Mr. Whammy exclaimed, “I got one!”

Reznick had been coming to Nets games since they were in New Jersey, accompanied by his wife, Judy, or “Mrs. Whammy.” They met during his senior year of high school and have been together ever since. He told me “I am 86 years old”. “February 1st, I’ll be 87 and having the best time of my life, thanks to the Nets.”

Judy Resnick helped support her husband through law school, and is now the director of the law practice office, where he works with one of his sons. But Resnick’s passion is curling. He got season tickets 25 years ago and started putting jabs at opposing players a few years later.

He says, “I got a call one day from this lovely young woman who goes to the University of Michigan, and she says, ‘I saw you on TV. ‘” That’s all I had to hear. Now, I always wear a red shirt. I’m still wearing my red shirt.”

Former New Jersey Nets players like Vince Carter and Jason Kidd love him in part because he has an unbreakable code: “I don’t beat any former Nets,” Mr. Whammy explains, even “if they only play one day.”

And it was sticking to his symbol that led to his nickname.

When point guard Jason Kidd was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, “Jason got up to take a foul shot. And I don’t give him the hit. Ian Eagle said on national television, ‘Hey, look at that, Mr. Whammy isn’t Jason Kidd giving the hit.’ “He gave me the name just like that, on national TV. And it stuck.”

Eagle has been a Nets sportscaster for 29 years and says Bruce Resnick was hard to miss behind the basket.

“Fans know his love for the Nets, and he’s become a local celebrity in the process,” says Eagle. “He really cares about the team, and perhaps more importantly, he cares about cheering the other team on. Numbers don’t lie. And Mr. Whammy keeps his personal stats. How do I know that? Because he’ll leave his stats on so many voicemails on my cell phone.”

According to a recent post on the Nets’ Twitter page, the opposing teams have just a 70.3 percent error percentage in Brooklyn — about eight points less, on average, than the rest of the league. Says Eagle, “Some opposing players, most notably LeBron James, have had complaints, but the Nets consistently stand by their man.”

Not that Mr. Whammy wishes ill on opposing players. “I say to every player, I wish you success, and please miss your foul shots — right in their face.”

When Jason Kidd was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he invited the Reznicks as guests. Most recently, Nets star offensive tackle Kevin Durant greeted people near the couple “and when he was done, he kissed Jodi on the cheek,” says Resnick. “And she hasn’t washed that side of her face in a month and a half already! And he shook my hand. I thought I was going to die right then and there.”

In fact – everybody He loves Mr. Whammy. Before the game, ushers, vendors, and security guards strike with fists. Every time there’s a break in the action, fans head to him and Ms. Whammy to snap selfies.

“We have such love from the fans,” Resnick says. “They love us as much as we love them, and we are blessed.”

Oh…the Nets crushed Spurs that night, 139-103. Mr. Whammy was on his game.

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