Thursday, August 28, 2014 Elul 2, 5774

Marking a Spot in History for Basketball 'Mogul' Eddie Gottlieb

May 23, 2014 By:
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Dikembe Mutombo, an eight-time NBA All-Star and former Sixer, represented the league commissioner’s office at the dedication; and Harvey Pollack, longtime Sixer statistician, spoke fondly of Gottlieb, who had first hired him decades ago to work for his Philadelphia Warriors.

The legendary Eddie Gottlieb, co-founder of the SPHAS and father of the NBA, had his place marked in history during a dedication ceremony on the grounds of South Philadelphia High School, his alma mater. More than 100 fans, former players and NBA officials showed up for the unveiling of the historical marker. Among them was Dikembe Mutombo, a former Sixer who represented the league commissioner’s office at the dedication.

Harvey Pollock, longtime statistician of the Sixers, spoke fondly of how Gottlieb hired him many decades ago to do the same job for his Philadelphia Warriors.

Rich Westcott, who wrote the book on The Mogul: Eddie Gottlieb, regaled those gathered with tales about the basketball legend who was born in Kiev. He talked about how Gottlieb's title of "The Mogul" also applied to other sports, such as wrestling, and the Negro National League. (Gottlieb co-owned the league's Philadelphia Stars.)

Those who gathered for the event spoke of the wide-spanning influence Gottlieb had on the game of basketball.

Among those in attendance: Ernie Beck, who played on the 1956 championship Warriors team under Gottlieb; Ike Richman, an executive at Comcast-Spectacor, who grew up knowing Gottlieb through his grandfather — also Ike Richman — who was general counsel for the Warriors under "The Mogul" and a good friend of Gottlieb's; and Mickey Black, owner with his wife, Barbara, of Pine Forest Camp in the Poconos. Black’s grandfather, Hughie, who founded the camp, also co-founded the SPHAs and captained the team.

The marker was established under the aegis of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the NBA and historian Celeste A. Morello, whose indefatigable work to get the marker was applauded at the event. 

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