Wilt Chamberlain.(AP/WSJ)
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Orthodox School Messed With in Texas

And other massively important sports news

Marc Tracy
February 28, 2012
Wilt Chamberlain.(AP/WSJ)

Lots of sports news to cover, so let’s get right to it:

• An Orthodox school in Houston has to forfeit a game in the state semifinals—meaning, it has to forfeit the tournament—because it’s scheduled for 9 p.m. on Friday, and they don’t roll on Shabbos. Apparently they got through the season (in which they went 23-5—an Orthodox school!!) with other schools voluntarily changing game times in order to comply with the day of rest, but the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools—which you’d think would be more accustomed to accommodating religious requirements—refused to reschedule the game following an appeal. (Maybe Jews shouldn’t move to Houston after all.) “The sacred mission will trump excellence in the secular world,” said the school head, but even the less-observant among us recognize the Sandy-sitting-out-Yom-Kippur dimension: You stick to your beliefs, no matter what. Next year in Jerusalem—or, in this case, Dallas.

• NBA Commissioner David Stern hinted at what many have long suspected: that his successor will be Adam Silver, currently his deputy. Silver would be the fifth NBA commissioner, and the third Jew, though not as Jewy as Stern.

• Charlie Pierce, who is one of the rare non-Jewish writers who writes about his ethnic heritage (Irish) the way so many Jewish writers write about theirs, rides for Ryan Braun:

The professional thumb-suckers in my business spent the weekend talking about “technicalities” and being offended by the fact that Ryan Braun held a press conference in which he excoriated MLB for the clownish way its “system” had hung him out to dry. People who denounce him for engaging in “victimology” overlook the fact that he really was a victim. Where does he go to get his name back? Why did we know about him at all while his case was still under appeal? Why, indeed, was any action taken at all while his case was still under appeal?

(“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.”)

• This week marks the 50th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game. Philadelphia Warriors publicist Harvey Pollack was the guy who had, as this article mentions, the idea for Wilt to hold that piece of paper with the number on it. But he’s also the guy who kept the stats! The first team-employed basketball statistician and the inventor of the triple-double, Pollack is the only person who has worked in the NBA every year of its existence, and he was the Warriors’ statistician that night. Today, he is the 76ers’ director of statistics; he still works every home game courtside. He turns 90 next month.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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