Israeli Basketball Isn’t For Punks

I have to admit, I’ve been excited about Omri Casspi for weeks. But I wanted to be sure that the kid was for real before I wrote about him.

After months of anticipation, from the news that the Israeli was entering the NBA Draft; to the news that he might be drafted in the first round; to being drafted by MY Sacramento Kings (!!!); to the Las Vegas Summer League; to the Preseason, Omri Casspi is officially in the NBA.

I’d probably blog about Casspi even if he was the worst player on the team. When you got an Israeli on your favorite basketball team, that’s just something that you do. But let me tell you something everybody, Omri Casspi is amazing.

I said it. He’s great. He tries harder than anyone on the court. He is a great passer. A dead on 3-pt shooter. He hustles. Oh God does he hustle. It makes me feel like every NBA player should go the army first. Or at least basic training. It just makes people tougher.

Just take a look at Casspi’s numbers last night. 12 points. 10 rebounds. 5 assists. Led the team in minutes. Rookies aren’t supposed to lead their team in minutes. But Casspi does.

But as my title states, Israeli basketball isn’t for punks. Case and point: Jeremy Tyler. I think Jeremy Tyler was mentioned on this blog a couple months back. He was the #1 ranked high school junior in America last year. But instead of finishing high school and going to college, Tyler dropped out of school and signed a contract to play for Maccabi Haifa.

So far…it, ehhhh….hasn’t worked out. As this New York Times article points out, Tyler is a wee bit immature. He is a cocky kid who doesn’t have the game to back it up. He has no friends on the team and is basically alone in a foreign country as a 17 year old. In his first two games, Tyler scored a total of one point.

Seriously, someone get Tyler a TZAHAL uniform and send him away for a couple of weeks. This kid need a kick in the butt.

In the mean time, the Kings are always looking for bandwagon fans. Come aboard the Casspi train.

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