The Eastern Semifinals Game 5 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls is a pivotal game for both teams – but it might be the biggest for Cleveland’s Jewish coach David Blatt.
Blatt, the American-Israeli former coach of Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv team, is taking heat for the way he handled the end of game 4, which his team stole on an improbable buzzer-beater shot from Lebron James. First, Blatt tried to call a timeout with a few seconds left, even though he was out of them (which would have resulted in technical foul shots and likely the game if the referees had noticed). Then he drew up a play that had Lebron James – one of the best players in the history of the game – throwing the ball in instead of taking the final shot.
“To be honest, the play that was drawn up, I scratched it,” James said after the game. “I just told coach, ‘Just give me the ball. We either going to go into overtime or I’ma win it for us.’ It was that simple.”
Golden State Warriors owner Peter Guber with basketball star Jermaine O’Neal/Getty Images
(JTA) — Oy. Talk about auto-correct fails.
In an email to team employees, the Jewish owner of a pro basketball team said he wanted to learn “hoodish.” He apparently meant to write “Yiddish.”
Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber sent out a follow-up email clarifying that the use of “hoodish” (which this writer’s auto-correct keeps trying to change to “goodish”) was not intended as a slur, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
According to an email making the rounds, the basketball star is looking for a tutor:
Please let me know if you have any connections to a Hebrew tutor who could work with a professional athlete that is looking to improve their conversational Hebrew. The tutor would need to spend most of the next 6 weeks living in Florida with the athlete and then continue to work with the athlete back in NY after the summer. Obviously all expenses and a generous salary would be included.
A few lingering questions: If the email does in fact refer to Amar’e Stoudemire, does this mean his Israeli citizenship is coming through? Could he be planning a move to the Holy Land?
Of course, Knicks fans might prefer Stoudemire spend his summer working on his defensive skills, but that’s another story.
Rookie Cleveland Cavaliers Coach David Blatt won a European title with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Now he gets to coach Lebron James. Getty Images
One year ago, David Blatt was working with Maccabi Tel Aviv’s management on signing new players for the upcoming season. A year later, Blatt is coaching the best basketball player on the planet — LeBron James.
After spending nearly a decade at the heralded Israeli club, Blatt was recently hired as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is the first Israeli to ever coach a team in the NBA.
When Blatt signed the contract with the Cavs, he knew that they were heavily pursuing James, but he also knew there was no guarantee. Even if the Cavs didn’t sign James, Blatt would still be happy, given how hard he has worked to reach the NBA.
After James announced he was returning to Cleveland, Blatt realized how quickly things had changed since he signed his contract.
Suddenly the Cavilers are expected to make the playoffs, as they have all-star Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, who was the number one pick in this year’s NBA draft, and the king himself, LeBron James.
The question now is, will David Blatt live up to the pressure?
To find out, the Forward spoke with David Pick, a senior Correspondent for Eurobasket.com. Pick is currently in Las Vegas, covering the NBA summer league.
We asked Pick about what we should expect from Blatt in his first season in charge and if Blatt would be able to transform his coaching style from European basketball to an NBA style. Pick spent the season as a beat writer for Maccabi Tel Aviv and developed a relationship with Blatt on and off the court.
Raphael Gellar: When the season ends, do you think the Cavs will have had a successful season under David Blatt?
When Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv face off, things get crazy.
That’s the main message we can take away from what happened last night, when Maccabi center Sofoklis Schortsanitis charged into the crowd to try to beat up a Hapoel fan. Madness ensued. Israeli fans raged.
Watch the whole incident below:
This article has been sent!Close