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The Only Israeli in the NBA

When Israeli professionals, no matter their occupation or field, go out into the world, they become ambassadors for the Holy Land. The Times of Israel's Jon Marks tells us about Omri Casspi, the only Israeli currently playing in the NBA, and how he shares his homeland with the U.S.:

A new team, new city, new culture — and best of all, a new baby. Life couldn’t be much better these days for Omri Casspi, the only native Israeli currently playing in the National Basketball Association.

His time on the court may be limited, but that happens when you’re a nine-year veteran playing for your sixth team.

His value certainly hasn’t gone unappreciated — though as a member of the world champion Golden State Warriors with teammates including all-stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, it’s not easy to stick out very often...

“He plays our style of basketball,” explained the 13-4 Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr, himself a deadly shooter and role player in the same Casspi mold. “He’s a great cutter, a good passer and he feels the game.

“He’s like some of our other support players, where the common theme is basketball intelligence; make the right play and be in the right spot. That’s a huge part of our success,” Kerr told The Times of Israel after the win over Philadelphia.

“When we got him I knew we had one of the best cutters in the league. What I didn’t know — because I didn’t know him — was what a great teammate and person he was. How professional he was,” he said.

Casspi’s new teammates quickly learned that, too. “I knew he could shoot, but I didn’t know he was that cerebral,” admitted Green. “He’s just a high IQ guy who knows where to be at the right place, right time. He really knows how to play the game.”

Not to mention a guy who knows he’s constantly under watch back home...

Tags: Israelis You Should Know

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