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July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

Israelis Follow David Blatt to Cleveland for NBA Finals

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

The people who sat in seats one and two of row 12, section 120 at Quicken Loans Arena during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night weren’t your ordinary Cleveland Cavaliers fans.

Tomer Hulli and his father, Eli, made the trip from Israel to attend games 3 and 4 in Cleveland. Tomer, who lives in Tzur Moshe, a 25-minute drive north of Tel Aviv, has been playing basketball since he was 5. Hulli said he didn’t plan this trip, but once the Cavaliers advanced to the finals, he decided he was all in.

“A day after the Cavs made it to the finals I decided to come,” said Hulli, who lives just five minutes from Cavaliers head coach David Blatt’s home in Israel. “I paid $850 for tickets to Game 3 in the lower section and $600 for tickets to Game 4 in the upper deck.”

Hulli said he purchased the tickets on vividtickets.com on the night after the Cavaliers defeated the Hawks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the NBA Finals.

“The tickets are expensive, but you only live once,” said Hulli, who claims he’s a fan of the game, not just of the Cavaliers.

This isn’t the first time Hulli and his father have traveled to the United States.

“I’ve made about 10 trips to America,” said Hulli, who last visited in 2014, when he caught two NBA games in New York and Brooklyn. “We have a big family in Cleveland and also family in New York,” he said.

Hulli said many people in Israel have been waking up at the crack of dawn to watch Blatt lead the Cavaliers.

“Only the real sports fans wake up at four in the morning,” said Hulli, who frequently wakes up at that hour to watch the Cavaliers. “For Finals, I believe nearly everybody will wake up.”

Hulli said Blatt’s Cavaliers have the support of all of Israel, and the Cavaliers are a topic on nearly every Israeli‘s lips.

“Blatt and the Cavs are a huge deal here,” said Hulli, who plans to shop for his wife and kids during his down time in Cleveland. “The people of Israel love basketball. Blatt and Cleveland are all over the news in Israel. We are very proud that an Israeli coach is one of the best in the world.”

Despite that, Hulli said that if the Cavaliers win the NBA championship, the celebration in Israel wouldn’t compare to the one in Cleveland.

“For us coach Blatt is Israeli,” said Hulli, who believes the NBA Finals is the biggest stage in sports. “We hope he will help the team win. People in the USA must understand that there is basketball in other parts of the world and it’s not just the NBA. I see some coaches in the NBA who just stand and do nothing. That is not coach Blatt. Coach Blatt will teach them a lot.”

Hulli said he doesn’t know Blatt, and Blatt doesn’t know he’s attending the games in Cleveland. But he’s sure Blatt would welcome any Israelis into Quicken Loans Arena with open arms.

Hulli had a basketball career in Israel. He started playing professionally at age 18.

“Basketball is my life,” said Hulli, who lives in Tzur Moshe with his wife, Inbal, and three kids, Zoe, Romi, and Yanai. “I coach 200 kids here in two different clubs. I couldn’t survive without basketball because of how great of a game it is.

“I played 13 seasons professionally in two different divisions here,” said Hulli, adding his professional career came to an end when he discovered one of his daughters had a medical problem. “I’ve been a part of three teams that were promoted to Division One. Haifa, Netanya, and Lev HaSharon were the teams I enjoyed playing for the most.”

Gal Mekel back in NBA with New Orleans Pelicans

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Gal Mekel, the second Israeli to play in the NBA, has signed with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Mekel played for the Pelicans on Saturday in a 120-100 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, a day after his signing was announced. He missed his four shots and went scoreless, but the 6-3 point guard handed out six assists in 11 minutes.

Waived earlier this season by the Dallas Mavericks, Mekel signed a two-year non-guaranteed deal with New Orleans, ESPN reported.

The former Maccabi Haifa standout had remained in the United States working out with a private coach since his release by the Mavs.

The Indiana Pacers had been ready to sign Mekel in November following his release, but delays in renewing his visa tanked the deal, according to ESPN.

Mekel, who followed Omri Casspi as an Israeli to play in the National Basketball Association, had missed part of his rookie campaign with an injury and split his time in the NBA’s Development League.

Amar’e Stoudemire Scores Points for United Hatzalah

Monday, October 13th, 2014

The New York Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire has launched “Amar’e Saves” to promote a campaign that encourages youngsters to contribute to the Israeli ambulance service he has adopted as a cause.

A day before Sukkot began, Stoudemire filmed a video in his Manhattan apartment for the effort.

The campaign urges pledges by kids, individually or as a group, notably by tying donations to every point Stoudemire scores during the 2014-15 season. The Knicks will open Oct. 29 at home against the Chicago Bulls.

By Sunday, the campaign had 117 donors and $534 pledged per point.

Those raising the most funds will qualify for such prizes as Knicks’ tickets and a meet-and-greet with Stoudemire.

“Helping save lives is always a beautiful thing,” Stoudemire told JTA after filming with several New York-area Jewish teenagers. “It’s obviously something we all want to think about doing more of, but the fact that United Hatzalah has a much quicker rate for responding to emergencies is also very important.

“In today’s society, which is so fast, we need to be doing something about saving lives quicker, and United Hatzalah is doing that.”

Stoudemire became involved in the organization through his friendship with New York financier David Kleinhandler, like Stoudemire a co-owner of Israel’s HaPoel Jerusalem basketball team.

In an exclusive interview with JTA last year, Stoudemire discussed his spiritual connection to Judaism and his belief that he’s a member of the “Hebrew tribe.”

Stoudemire, a six-time all-star, is hoping to overcome the rash of injuries that relegated him to the bench last season.

After all, more playing time means more points — and more charitable contributions.

Hillel Kuttler wrote this article for JTA.

NBA’ Danny Green Post ‘LOL’ Selfie at Berlin Holocaust Memorial

Friday, October 10th, 2014

San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green posted on Twitter a selfie at the Berlin Holocaust memorial along with the caption “LOL” [laughing out loud] in the tweet, “You know I had to do it one time lol #Holocaust.”

That was the funniest line since someone said that America has gotten past its racist past by choosing a black president to clean up the mess.

After Green laughed all by himself at his selfie, he started reading the complaints and quickly deleted the picture and posted apologies in four tweets:

“Yes, mistakes do happen,”

“I want to sincerely apologize for the insensitivity of my post!

“I have great respect n understanding for this country’s history n wanted to continue chronicling my experience in Berlin.

“But showed poor judgement…sorry once again.”

Poor judgment?

Did he really even judge at all? Did he even consider the insensitivity of laughing at the Holocaust memorial for 6 million Jews gassed and butchered by the Nazis?

Would it have been “poor judgment” if some white basketball player took a selfie at a memorial for Martin Luther King with a caption “LOL My dream came true. He’s dead.”?

Green later changed the caption to read, “A lot of history here, more than you could imagine…very sad/tragic things happened #holocaust #berlin.”

Indeed, sad and tragic things are happening today. People like Danny Green are LOL at memories of the Holocaust.

Ethiopian-Israeli MK Slams Sterling in Letter to NBA’s Silver

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

An Ethiopian-Israeli Knesset Member called racist statements attributed to Donald Sterling, the Jewish owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, “disgusting” in a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

“As a Jew, as a citizen of a country founded on the ruins of racism in Europe, it hurt me to hear Mr. Sterling, especially on this painful day,” Yesh Atid MK Shimon Solomon wrote in a letter dated Monday, Holocaust Remembrance Day. “It is sad to see someone of the stature of Mr. Sterling, who instead of choosing to lead and influence to change and fight these incidents, chose to make racist statements, so pathetic and disgusting like the last uneducated person in society.”

Solomon also called on Silver and the NBA to take the team from Sterling, who referenced Ethiopian Jews in the rant attributed to him.

“The dismissal of Sterling from his position as owner of the NBA team will send a message loud and clear: ‘NBA will not tolerate racism, and racism will not be tolerated. There are more important things than the game itself.’ This message will go all over the world, and is an important step in the war against racism in our global village,” he wrote, also saying, “Now the responsibility to deliver the message, sir, is on you.”

The NBA is scheduled to address its investigation into Sterling’s comments in a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Jewish Groups Slam Racist Rant Attributed to Donald Sterling

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director labeled as “reprehensible” the racist remarks attributed to Donald Sterling, the Jewish owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, and other Jewish groups chimed in with condemnation.

“If the National Basketball Association’s investigation reveals that Mr. Sterling in fact made these racist and intolerant statements, we expect and anticipate a swift and forceful response,” Foxman said in a statement.

TMZ published a 10-minute recording, reported here in The Jewish Press, of the racist rant on its website, saying the recording was a conversation between Sterling and his model girlfriend, V. Stiviano.

Sterling, the son of Jewish immigrant parents, allegedly tells his girlfriend, who is black and Mexican, not to be seen in public with black people or to post photographs of herself with black people on Instagram. He also tells her not to bring black people, including Magic Johnson, to his team’s basketball games.

.Amanda Susskind, ADL’s Pacific Southwest regional director, called on Sterling to reject the statements attributed to him.

“In Los Angeles, the most diverse major city in the country, we take as a point of pride that our leaders — in business, in government and in the community — embrace and accept this diversity without bias or bigotry,” Susskind said in a statement. “Both are suggested in the shocking language attributed to Mr. Sterling. We hope he disavows both the language and the sentiment behind it.”

The American Jewish Committee condemned the remarks and called on the NBA to take appropriate action against Sterling.

“Donald Sterling’s callous remarks regarding African Americans are a painful reminder that, 60 years after the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, and 50 years after the enactment of the Civil Rights Act, there is still work to be done,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “And that someone so deeply involved in the NBA, which exemplifies the racial tapestry of our country, would think this way is all the more striking.”

Obama Censures LA Clippers’ Jewish Owner for Racist Comments (Video)

Monday, April 28th, 2014

President Barack Obama joined the verbal bombing raid Sunday on the LA Clippers’ Jewish owner Donald Sterling for his blatantly racist comments reportedly made to his non-Jewish mistress, known as V. Stiviano.

Even worse, Sterling’s alleged comments were circulated by the TMZ website on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance and Memorial Day.

And who ever denied that Jews are their own worst enemies?

Details of the reported exchange between Sterling and his mistress are reported below, but the gist of it is that blacks are inferior, and even black Jews are inferior to white Jews.

At a press conference in Malaysia, where President Obama is touring as part of his Asian tour, he was asked to comment on Sterling’s alleged remarks.

Obama stated, “When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you really don’t have to do anything; just let them talk….. I am confident that the NBA commissioner Adam Silver, a good man, will address this…. “

Silver said Saturday, “All members of the NBA family should be awarded due process, which is why I’m not yet prepared to issue any potential sanctions against Donald Sterling,. We will move extraordinarily quickly. We plan to have this wrapped up in the next few days.”

Sterling denied he is a racist and told TMZ, “We have heard the tape on TMZ Sports. We do not know if it is legitimate or if it has been altered. We do know that the woman on the tape — who we believe released it to TMZ Sports — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family, alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would ‘get even.’”

It’s a messy case.

Sterling’s former wife, Rochelle Stein, wants few things that her former husband allegedly gave Stiviano, such as a 2012 Ferrari, two Bentleys and a 2013 Range Rover. They were allegedly paid for from community property money without her permission.

Stiviano, by the way, allegedly has a few aliases – Vanessa Maria Perez, Monica Gallegos and Maria Valdez.

Sterling is 80 years old. His black-Latino mistress looks young enough and reportedly is in her 20s, young enough to be his granddaughter or even great-granddaughter.

The fuss over the reported exchange between the two already has convinced Sterling not to make matters worse and to stay away from the next few Clippers’ games.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Sterling in 2006 for housing discrimination in using race as a factor in filling some of his apartment buildings. The suit charged that Sterling refused to rent to non-Koreans in the Koreatown neighborhood and to African Americans in Beverly Hills.

He allegedly said, “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.”

Sterling agreed to pay a fine of $2.73 million to settle claims brought by the Justice Department and others and also was ordered to lawyers’ fees that amounted to nearly $5 million.

Donald “I am not a racist” Sterling was sued in 2009 by a former Clippers official for employment discrimination, allegedly telling his executive Elgin Baylor that he wanted to fill his team with “poor black boys from the South and a white head coach.”

With that kind of history, why would the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) plan to award Sterling for a second time with its lifetime achievement award next month?

Indeed, that is what it intended to do until the report of the audio finally convinced the NAACP to find someone a bit more deserving.

Below are some of the juicy quotes from the alleged conversation between Sterling and his mistress, but it is not less disturbing that no Jewish leader has publicly said that Sterling’s romantic adventure is a role model for decadence and assimilation.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-censures-al-clippers-jewish-owner-for-racist-comments/2014/04/28/

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