Basketball

Casspi NBA future uncertain

By Simon Griver, June 24, 2010

Jordan Farmar played what could be his last game for the Los Angeles Lakers as they took their second successive NBA title with a 83-79 win over the Boston Celtics.

Farmar scored 21 points in the thrilling seven-game series, which the Lakers won 4-3, playing an average 17 minutes a game. He scored two points in the final game.

Although the 23-year-old guard has completed his fourth season with the Lakers, Farmar still seems far short of being able to replace first choice guard Derek Fisher, who turns 36 in August and is close to retirement.

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Casspi is a big hit in the NBA

By Simon Griver, April 22, 2010

Sacramento Kings forward Omri Casspi has finished his first NBA season with an impressive record.

Having become the first Israeli to play in the NBA last October, Casspi, 21, played 1,931 minutes in 77 games for the Kings, scoring 792 points. The former Maccabi Tel Aviv star punched above his weight with the seventh best record of any rookie.

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Omri Casspi earns praise for NBA performance

February 25, 2010

Omri Casspi scored 13 points as the Rookies beat the Sophomores 140-128 at the NBA All-Star Challenge.

The Israeli forward, 21, said: "I'll have to work very hard to come back here. It was a good experience to go out there and play. I don't want it to stop.

"There's no time to get tired of it. When I get tired of it, I just keep thinking to myself, 'This is where I wanted to be all the time."

Casspi earned praise from NBA star Kobe Bryant who said: "I think he's surprised Sacramento. I think he's doing phenomenally well."

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Casspi chosen for Rookies All-Stars

By Simon Griver, January 27, 2010

Sacramento Kings forward Omri Casspi is on the list of nine players selected for the NBA Rookies All-Star team.

The Rookies, the best first-year players, will take on the Sophomores, the best second-year players in Dallas on February 12 as part of the annual NBA All-Star showpiece event.

Casspi, 21 and standing 6ft 8", became the first Israeli ever to play in the NBA when he was chosen as number 23 in the draft last summer. The former Maccabi Tel Aviv player signed a three-year contract with the Kings worth $3.5 million.

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Israel's basketball star Casspi returns

By Simon Griver, January 7, 2010

Sacramento Kings star Omri Casspi has pledged that he will play for Israel in the Euro 2011 qualifiers.

The first Israeli in the NBA, Casspi, 21, will return to the national squad after missing last year’s European Championships.

Casspi said: “The NBA season ends in the spring so the timing is right to play for Israel in the summer. I could not play for the team last year because it would have messed up my preparations for the NBA.”

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Arik Shivek to share Israel role

By James Martin, December 30, 2009

Arik Shivek was yesterday announced as the new coach of Israel’s men’s basketball team, after the Israel Basketball Association allowed him to take up the role in a part-time capacity.

The 53-year-old, who agreed personal terms with the IBA last week, is currently the coach of Belgian club Dexia Mons-Hainaut, a position he will continue to hold as Israel boss.

His appointment was approved by IBA’s professional committee on Monday and he was officially named as Tzvika Sherf’s replacement when the IBA board ratified the decision yesterday.

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Casspi’s a big hit in the NBA

By Simon Griver, December 3, 2009

Sacramento Kings forward Omri Casspi has established himself as one of the NBA’s most outstanding rookies.

Earlier this week, Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA, scored a personal record 18 points as the Kings beat the New Jersey Nets 109-96. The Kings had been expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA but Casspi’s good form helped them end November with a respectable eight wins from 16 games.

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NBA coach Nancy inspired by Muhammed Ali

By Danny Caro, November 12, 2009

The NBA’s first female head coach spoke this week of how Muhammad Ali inspired her to reach the top.

Nancy Lieberman, 51, the first woman to play pro basketball with men, has been placed in charge of Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Development League.

Speaking exclusively from her home in Plano,Texas, she said she saw the world heavyweight champ on TV when she was nine.

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First lady Lieberman appointed Mavericks head coach

By Danny Caro, November 6, 2009

Nancy Lieberman has become the first female head coach of an NBA basketball team.

The first women to play pro basketball with men, Lieberman has taken charge of the Dallas Mavericks’ affiliate in the NBA Development League, which will tip off next November.

Lieberman said: “I feel like I'm the right person for the job. “I know how these guys feel. I played in the minor leagues. I’m ultimately connected to that part of development in a player’s life.”

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Omri Casspi: first victory in the NBA

By Simon Griver, November 5, 2009

Omri Casspi tasted victory for the first time in the NBA earlier this week as the Sacramento Kings beat Memphis Grizzlies 127-116 in extra time.

The rookie forward scored 15 points and was also complimented by Kings coach Paul Westphal for his strong defensive play.

The former Maccabi Tel Aviv player was not in the starting five but spent 30 minutes on the court and scored crucial points.

Last week Casspi, 21, became the first Israeli to play in the NBA, also scoring 15 points on the opening day of the season in the 102-89 defeat to Oklahoma.

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