Fred Kast, the official scorer of the Golden State Warriors at the Chase Center in San Francisco. Photo: The New York Times
He has been the official scorer of basketball for 57 years.
-Some good, some bad, some amazing. Rear
After scoring 62 points for the Warriors on Sunday night, Custer received a call from his closest friend on Monday morning.
"You know, in every basket made by Curry, I can hear him yelling,'Thank you, Fred!'" Custer recalled his friend saying to him. "He is pulling my leg."
Custer will turn 82 this month. He has recorded every shot, every free throw, every foul and every time out in almost all Warriors home games since 1963-64. He records the statistics in a spiral-bound notebook issued by the NBA, which is sent to the league office at the end of each season.
In leagues that have seen their share of technological progress, the official scorer (the person who records the most important element of each game) is a step backwards, and each team has one. Somewhere in the NBA archives, there is a small library of Custer crafts.
Custer perfected his skills through about 20 coaching changes, 23 postseason appearances and 4 championship games, and served as a scorer in no less than 6 arenas (including Bull Palace, San Francisco Municipal Auditorium and Oracle Arena) . However, nothing will last forever, and Custer will retire after the Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers game on Friday night.
As news began to circulate among his friends and colleagues this week-Kast wanted to keep quiet-they tried to document what it meant.
"This is a shock to the system," he said
, The team’s long-term senior director of game operations. "He has become part of the Warriors basketball organization."
Custer has no plans to quit this season, but the interference caused by the coronavirus pandemic made him realize that it is time. The staff sitting at the scorer's table this season need to take two negative tests for the virus three days before the start of the game, and collect them every 24 hours. This means that Custer sometimes has to take an extra three hours round trip from his home in San Jose, California, so that it can be tested on stage.
Caster said: "And my night vision is not over."
The pandemic is difficult for him in other ways. His wife, Nita, fell ill and lived in a skilled nursing facility. He said that because of the coronavirus treatment plan, Custer rarely saw her, and when he did, it was seen through the glass window. They have been married for 41 years.
Custer said: "If I can change places with her, I will be happy to do so." Custer said that she has two stepsons and three grandchildren.
Before retiring, Kast was busy with work and has played three home games this week. He will be replaced by Kyle McRae, who served as a Warriors statistician for 30 years. Custer has been coaching
, He will assist McRae by providing Chung with copies of his recent games so that he can study them; and also provide some blank pages so that he can practice on his own.
Caster said: "The game will not stop because you have not recorded something correctly." "This is not an easy task. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes."
Before becoming the executive vice president of NBA basketball operations, Kiki VanDeWeghe was a high-scoring forward, and his statistics were recorded by Kast many times.
VanDeWeghe said: "He helped establish an example of how to complete the official scorer job at a high level." "I will miss what he saw in the center court seat."
Kast grew up in Rahway, New Jersey, and probably got his basketball genes from his mother, Marie, who played halftime games when she was young. His father, Fred, worked for a brokerage firm on Wall Street and parked his car in a nearby garage with a basketball hoop.
Caster said: "So I will shoot basketball when Dad is washing the car."
Kast tends to compete for other reasons: he is tall. By the time he was in high school, he was close to 6 feet 6 inches and he was very promising. He eventually went to Duke University as a basketball scholarship to help the team win the first Atlantic Coast Conference championship. He also played an unforgettable game with him
And then starred in West Virginia.
Caster said: "I think he scored about 30 points in the first half, which gives you some clues about my defensive effectiveness." (Caster was a bit humble; West was in that game. Only scored 29 points.)
After graduation, Kast went to California to work in sales for a medical supplies company. Although he loves the game, he believes that his only connection with basketball will be the fans. He will stumble upon a part-time job, which will bring him closer to the action than he thought.
He said: "It's just being in the right place at the right time without knowing it."
In the fall of 1963, shortly after moving to the Bay Area, Kast bought a ticket and looked at the Warriors and Wilt Chamberlain, whom he had seen on the summer basketball court. At Cow Palace, after the team moved off-road from Philadelphia. Before Kast arrived at his seat, he ran into a college friend who was working at the scorer's table. A friend asked Custer if he was willing to help.
"Of course, I would be happy to do this." Custer recalled. "Where do I sit?"
"Just in the midfield," his friend said.
Custer said he became the team's official scorer later that season. In four seasons, he commuted from Sacramento and battled the late night fog of a 90-mile drive. After retiring from 37 years of sales work in 1999, he continued to maintain his results, which was a hard professional job.
He said, "Well, everything I do is like that." "My opinion is that if you do something, do it right or not."
Yaguguchi, who is in charge of the team's non-basketball recreational activities, knew about Custer's meticulous feeling when he was sitting next to Custer at the scorer's table at the beginning of his work. They paired strangely. While Kast was sitting with his pen and pen, Yamaguchi supervised what he called "all craziness".
Yamaguchi said, "Fred is really a purist, I just remember hearing,'Hey, can you reject that music?' I was like: "Okay, Fred! absolute! '"
People who find jobs at the Warriors’ scorer table tend to keep them.
He has held various positions in the Warriors for more than 50 years, and most recently became their game clock operator.
He has been the chief statistician of the team since 1989, and now leads a four-person working group to track statistics in the game on a computer system.
The 61-year-old Hoye has a long-term cooperation with Kast. Kast's transcript is an official record, with precise writing. ("What if the computer goes down?" Custer said.) He uses two pens: a black pen to record symbols in real time, and a red pen to summarize the totals at the end of each quarter.
Hoy said: "We are all trying to make sure we have the same numbers." The coach hinders you. Players will hinder you. When a foul occurs, we always try to find the referee's finger. The worst thing is to have players 45, 54 and 9 appear on the court at the same time. "
She added with a smile: "When Fred is not here, it doesn't look real."
Kast will continue to watch the Warriors at home and watch one of his favorite TV shows "Dancing with the Stars". In some ways, since he no longer needs to pay close attention to work, he may be more likely to enjoy the drama of the team. He was surprised by the speed of modern games and the skill of players such as Curry.
Caster said: "His shooting ability is incredible," he never thought he would sit in the front row seat for such a long time.
He is grateful that he has only one. - New York Times
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