Tag: Israel

Omri Casspi

Report: Casspi signs to play with Maccabi Tel Aviv


There are going to be a lot of NBA players looking to go overseas and a lot of players are going to be surprised that there are not a lot of spots.

But a few guys are going to get spots. And Cavs forward Omri Casspi (remember the Kings traded him on draft night) is one of them — he’s going back to his home country to play for the team he was with before coming to the NBA

Casspi has signed to play with Maccabi Tel Aviv during the lockout, tweets the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The Plain Dealer has learned #Cavsswingman Omri Casspi has signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv. He will join Israeli team in several weeks.

Casspi was in negotiations with Tel Aviv back in August but the deal never came together as he decided to ride out the lockout. Instead Tel Aviv picked up Jordan Farmar in the interim, but now they will have Casspi back, too. Tel Aviv, one of the powers of the Israeli league and European basketball, reportedly have been in some conversations with Kevin Durant, although it’s hard to see that coming together now. Another name on that team now you might remember is recent Duke guard Jon Scheyer.

Video: Jordan Farmar talks playing in Israel

New Jersey Nets' Farmar reacts to missed shot at buzzer as Dallas Mavericks win their NBA basketball game in Newark
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The World from Public Radio International sat down (well, actually stood up) and talked to Jordan Farmar about playing in Israel, where he is during the NBA lockout. Farmar is a Los Angeles boy, born and raised, who went on to win a couple of rings with the Lakers before going to the Nets. Moving to Israel is a dramatic change.

He will be back in New Jersey if they ever figure out the lockout, but for now he gets to experience Tel Aviv.

Video: Jordan Farmar is one popular guy in Israel

New Jersey Nets' Farmar reacts to missed shot at buzzer as Dallas Mavericks win their NBA basketball game in Newark
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Jordan Farmar — one of the handful of Jewish players in the NBA — will play during the lockout for Maccabi Tel Aviv, essentially the Yankees of the Israeli league and a European powerhouse.

And they are pretty excited to have him there — this is video of his arrival at the airport. (hat tip to I am a GM)

Best part of this: Farmar is wearing a “nice Jewish boy” T-shirt.

Update: Casspi pulls muscle during practice, may miss Eurobasket

Omri Casspi
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UPDATE 7:12 pm: This was a knee injury, not a pulled muscle as first described, and because of that Israel’s Omri Casspi may miss EuroBasket. Which pretty much dooms the country’s already long-shot chances.

He says it will take six weeks to heal, but EuroBasket starts at the end of August. It didn’t sound like the kind of thing that should scare Cavaliers fans (they just trade for the guy) but he told Eurobasket.com he is not risking further damage.

The knee is not something you play around with,’ Casspi said, ‘I will not play again until I know I’m 100% capable.’

‘I’m not sure if I will play in the EuroBasket. It’s too early to decide now, but I feel horrible pains and can barley move. I will need around six weeks to recuperate, two of those playing no basketball at all and then the doctors will check my knee again,’ Casspi added.

2:34 pm: It’s one of the fears of players going to play for their country, although this appears not to be that serious.

Here is the tweet about former Kings now Cavaliers forward Omri Casspi from international basketball journalist Dubi Pick:

Omri Casspi slipped during national team’s practice. Pulled a muscle but was able to walk off court alone and went to get an MRI

It’s pretty standard practice to have an MRI done even on relatively minor injuries, just to make sure it is not something more serious that isn’t obvious. (We will update when we hear the results.)

Most likely this will mean just a couple days off for Casspi as the Israeli national team prepares for EuroBasket.

Israel is considered a long shot to get one of the two Olympic qualifying spots out of EuroBasket (which starts in Lithuania at the end of August). It will not be easy for them to get out of a group that includes Italy, France, Germany, Serbia and Latvia. But the chances of Israel doing anything without Casspi are much longer.

Kings Omri Casspi has a bill named after him in Israel

Sacramento Kings v Phoenix Suns

Right now, an Israeli citizen living abroad cannot vote in Israel’s election. You want to vote, you have to be in the country. (For comparison, any United States citizen living abroad, no matter how long, can vote by absentee ballot.)

That impacts Omri Casspi, the Sacramento Kings forward who is the first Israeli in the NBA.

That may change, thanks to the Omri Casspi Bill working its way through the Israeli government, according to the Jerusalem Post (via SacTown Royalty).

Senior Likud officials said that out of the three issues set to be raised, the most likely change was the so-called Omri Casspi bill, which would allow some Israelis abroad to vote and which is named after the Sacramento Kings player who is the first Israeli to play in the NBA….

The coalition agreement requires that there be a vote on enabling Israelis abroad to vote, but the same agreement gives every faction veto power over changes in the electoral system. Shas has threatened to use its veto to oppose a bill allowing Israelis living abroad for more than two months to vote.

Few things make the American government look sane like government by coalition.

Anyway, it looks like this may pass but with a limit of only Israelis who have been away for a year or two… which soon will leave Casspi on the outside looking in. He may return for part of the year during the summer, but he will be in the United States more.

Of course, when it comes time to field Israel’s national basketball team, he will be welcomed back with open arms as a national sports hero. He just can’t vote. Nice.