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Jews Beat Raptors, Occupy Toronto

While some of you might still be bummed that the Israeli National Team failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup despite their undefeated record in qualifying, today there is new reason to rejoice and feel proud of our Israeli athletes. Last night 17,281 shocked Toronto Raptors fans sat and watched Maccabi Tel Aviv, the top professional basketball team in Israel and two-time defending European Club Champions, defeat their hometown club 105-103, earning their first victory over an NBA team since 1978.
This is a stunning defeat for American basketball, which, after the Olympic team’s disappointing finish at the Athens games, has now sunk to its lowest point in history. The Raptors, who boast a roster that includes NBA All-Stars Jalen Rose, Morris Peterson and Chris Bosh, played their starters throughout most of the game yet could not overcome Maccabi, who in the words of Rose “played this game like it was their championship game.”
The loss marks the first defeat an NBA team has suffered to an international club since 1988.

18 thoughts on “Jews Beat Raptors, Occupy Toronto

  1. Poor Raptors. Muffti’s hometown team never seem to get anywhere in the NBA. Anyhow, Muffti isn’t sure why this is more embarrassing than the dream team losing in the olympics.

  2. Last night 17,281 shocked Toronto Raptors fans sat
    Small correction — the fans were overwhelmingly Maccabi fans, to the point that the Raptors did not feel like they were playing at home.
    Can’t wait to see Israel’s hockey team.
    There’s no professional hockey league, but the national team has been doing pretty well. They recently competed at a club tournament, which allowed them to do some unusual experimentation with their roster. (Sort of like what a club team would do.) Last week’s coverage here.

  3. Somewhere in a cluttered corner of my memory there’s a vague recollection of a story about Jews and hockey by Mordecai Richler. Ring any bells with anyone else…?

  4. There may have been a large pro-maccabi contingent at the game, snowedunder. But believe me that the Raptors fans were shocked.
    And Mufti, the reason why its so embarrassing is that in Athens they were playing teams of a significant higher caliber than this one. It’s one thing to lose to an Olympic team comprised at least partially of foreign NBA players. it’s another thing entirely to lose to an Israeli club team comprised of 7 israelis and a handful of NBA cast-offs.

  5. True, SL, but the american team was also of a much higher calibre. It was the dream team! It had the best of the NBA represented (ok, not really, but the top tier in general was) and they were basically humiliated. Muffti thends to think that this isn’t really worse…NBA castoffs aint’ nuttin’ to fuck wit’.

  6. Although 7 of Maccabi’s players are Jewish, they don’t get much playing time. The only Jewish Israelis who get any significant time on the court are Yaniv Green and Tal Burstein. Derrick Sharp, a naturalized Israeli citizen (not Jewish), also plays a key role. The rest are this year’s hired guns.
    This is not uncommon in European Basketball, where the best teams rarely have someone from their country in the starting five.
    Since this is an exhibition game, it’s tough to say what this means. But for the past several years the American “Dream Team” has looked anything but. They were terrible not only in the Olympics but in the prior World Championship tournament.
    Part of the problem is that although the U.S. still has the best players, they can’t just throw an all star team together against the better national teams, which often train year round together.
    So in a sense, this victory is more impressive, because it was against an actual cohesive NBA team. Again, it’s an early exhibition game, so I don’t want to look into this too much, but the European Leagues are getting much more competitive with a complacent NBA.
    My guess is you could take the top teams in the Euroleague (Maccabi, CKSA Moscow) and they could win 15-20 games over an 82 game season in the NBA.

  7. “The Raptors, who boast a roster that includes NBA All-Stars Jalen Rose, Morris Peterson and Chris Bosh”
    – None of those 3 have ever been selected for or participated in an NBA all-star game

  8. Joshua, you are entirely correct in your assesment of Tel Aviv/Maccabbee.
    The club has helped make basketball Israel’s national sport (sorry, soccer enthusiasts). Its amazing the quality of basketball in this tiny nation. I think that Israel will continue to grow home grown talent because of the influence of American sports and club basketball. You are right, the team fits the european professional model. Don’t get too excited.
    We will see TelAviv play against our Orlando Magic. tommorow night. I can’t wait.

  9. Shred — of course Raptors fans were shocked. Everyone was shocked. This was shocking. But I wasn’t talking about that. I was describing the environment at the game.

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