All About Casspi
Israel’s first NBA player gets the ‘Sports Illustrated’ treatment
This week, Sports Illustrated published a feature on Sacramento Kings rookie forward Omri Casspi, the first Israeli player in the NBA (Tablet Magazine profiled him last summer). Fun facts about Casspi abound: per his father’s request, two Israeli flags fly at every Sacramento home game; Casspi wears number 18, for chai. And there’s this: “When NBA commissioner David Stern announced that Sacramento was selecting Casspi, Stern cracked a smile, which Casspi maintains was a little wider than usual. ‘Because he’s Jewish,’ Casspi reasons.”
You also learn about the rich history of Jews in professional basketball. Brooklyn’s Ossie Schectman scored the first-ever basket in the NBA’s precursor league; Dolph Schayes was a 12-time All Star and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame (he also now checks the Kings box score after every game). Meanwhile, Israeli Mickey Berkowitz was likely good enough to play stateside in the late ‘70s, but Maccabi Tel Aviv—which was also Casspi’s squad—would not let him out of his contract.
When this article went to press, Casspi was the Kings’ seventh man (which is fantastic for a rookie). Since then, however, he got his first start. This week may not be the last time Casspi makes SI’s pages.
Welcome, The King of Israel [Sports Illustrated]
Related: Draft Notice [Tablet Magazine]
Plus the West Bank mosque arson’s aftermath, and more in the news
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.