Passing of Abe Pollin

Here’s the story from the Post

For those of you that are not D.C.-area natives, Abe Pollin had an enormous impact on this area over the past 40+ years.  After starting several successful businesses in the District and Maryland, he became famous as a sports owner — buying the Bullets and moving them to D.C. and then founding the Capitals as an expansion team in 1973.

One of my best sports memories as a kid was watching Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes and Kevin Grevey lead the Bullets to an NBA championship in 1978 over Seattle.  (fyi, Kevin Grevey owns a popular restaurant in Merrifield called “Grevey’s”  and I’ve had the pleasure to meet him several times).

As a kid, I knew all the words to “Bullets Fever.”  Still the greatest sports song that no one knows.

But Abe Pollin’s life was a lot bigger than that.  As you can read in the Post, he dedicated his last twenty years to fighting poverty and malnutrition around the globe.  He was the ultimate philanthropist who did not do it for attention but because he believed in the cause.

As a member of the business community, Pollin had the vision for the Verizon Center which opened on F Street in 1997.  That building and the  presence of the Bullets (to use their true name) and the Caps did wonders for downtown D.C. 

The opening of the Verizon Center led to a neighborhood rejuvenation and gave thousands of suburbanites a reason to visit D.C. regularly.  Yes, it’s important for the greater metro area to have a downtown.   

Finally, Abe Pollin was the first and probably the last NBA owner with the guts to fire Michael Jordan after he ran the basketball operations into the ground in 2003.  Now that’s keeping it real.   

RIP, Abe. 

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