Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C.
|Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv|
|History||Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C.
|Arena||Menora Mivtachim Arena|
|Location||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|Team colors||Yellow and Blue
|General manager||Nikola Vujčić|
|Head coach||Arik Shivek|
|Team captain||Guy Pnini|
|Ownership||Shimon Mizrahi (13%)
David Federman (30%)
Oudi Recanati (30%)
Richard Ditz (17%)
Ben Ashkenazy (10%)
|Championships||51 Israeli Championships
44 Israeli State Cups
6 European Championships
1 Intercontinental Cup
1 Adriatic Championship
Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C. (Hebrew: מ.כ. מכבי תל-אביב), for sponsorship reasons Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv (Hebrew: מ.כ. מכבי פוקס תל-אביב), is a professional basketball club based in Tel Aviv, Israel. The team plays in the Israeli Premier League and internationally in the EuroLeague.
The club started in the mid-1930s, as part of the Maccabi Tel Aviv Sports Club, which had been founded in 1906.
With six European Championships, one Adriatic Championship, 51 Israeli Championships, 44 Israeli Cups, and six League Cups, Maccabi has been the most successful basketball team in Israel. It is also one of the most successful basketball teams of all time. Its players such as Tal Brody, Miki Berkovich, Jim Boatwright, Kevin Magee, Earl Williams and Aulcie Perry, and more recently Derrick Sharp, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Anthony Parker and Nikola Vujčić, have been among the elite of Europe's basketball players.
- 1 History
- 2 Through the decades
- 2.1 1950s
- 2.2 1960s
- 2.3 1970s
- 2.4 1980s
- 2.5 1990s
- 2.6 2000s
- 2.7 2010s
- 3 Supporters
- 4 Accomplishments per season
- 5 In European and worldwide competitions
- 6 Players
- 7 Maccabi's top scorers in EuroLeague
- 8 Honours
- 9 Matches against NBA teams
- 10 Notable players
- 11 Notable coaches
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The Israeli Basketball Super League started in 1954, and Maccabi Tel Aviv was the first champion. It has dominated the championship ever since, winning the title 50 times, including a run of 23 titles in a row between 1970 and 1992. The team has also won the Israeli Basketball State Cup 41 times. Maccabi is considered Israel's national sporting representative in the world.
From 1969 until 2008, Maccabi Tel Aviv was sponsored by Elite, Israel's largest food company, and carried its name. Since July 2008, Maccabi has had a new sponsor – Electra.
Since 1963, the club's home court has been the Yad Eliyahu Arena in Tel Aviv. Originally an open-air court for 5,000 spectator, it is now a modern indoor arena with a capacity of 11,000.
Most Maccabi head coaches have been former players of the club. Yehoshua Rozin was involved with the club for 40 years. Ralph Klein started as an 18-year-old player and later had several spells as a coach, and led the club to its first European title in 1977. Zvi Sherf played for Maccabi's second team, and coached the team for three spells. Pini Gershon played in the Youth Section, and as a coach led Maccabi to three European titles; in 2001, 2004, and 2005.
Maccabi Tel Aviv has always provided the national team with a large number of players. Five Maccabi players, headed by Avraham Shneur, were on the team that represented Israel in its first European Championship, in 1953 in Moscow.
Tanhum Cohen-Mintz was one of Europe's top centers in the sixties, and was selected for the first European All Star Team which played in Madrid in 1964. Mickey Berkowitz, Motty Aroesti, Lou Silver, and Eric Minkin played a major part in winning the silver medal in the European Championship in 1979 in Torino. Doron Jamchy played 16 years for the national team, and holds the record for appearances (191 international games) and points scored (3,515).
Maccabi Tel Aviv was the first Israeli club to enter the European Cup for Champions in 1958. Since then, it has played over 600 games in European competitions, and was the only Israeli club to play in a Final (1967 Cup Winners' Cup) and to win the Champions Cup on six occasions (1977, 1981, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2014). Maccabi has played in 15 Champions Cup Finals (1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1989, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2014). In 1994 and 2004, Maccabi organized the European Final Four in Tel Aviv.
The first basketball game between an NBA and an FIBA team was held in 1978 in Tel Aviv. Maccabi Tel Aviv beat the defending NBA champion Washington Bullets, 98–97.
Maccabi has played a record 18 times vs. NBA teams, and became the first European team to win on an NBA floor when it beat Toronto, 105–103, in 2005. It also beat the Suns and Nets in 1984, to win a tournament in Tel Aviv.
Through the decades
5 Israeli Championships, 3 Israeli Cups.
Early success in the Israeli League. Rivalry with Hapoel Tel Aviv begins.
5 Israeli Championships, 5 Israeli Cups.
Establishment as an elite club with European All-Stars like center Tanhum Cohen-Mints. Fierce rivalry with home-town foes Hapoel Tel-Aviv.
Tal Brody came to Israel in 1966 from the United States, after having been drafted # 12 in the 1965 National Basketball Association Draft, originally just to take one year out of his life to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Ralph Klein, Israel's most successful coach at the time, said that up until the enthusiastic Brody's arrival, Israelis had only viewed basketball as a fun game. But within a year, with his serious attitude and his inspirational commitment, Brody had inculcated his teammates with his view of basketball as a way of life. At his urging, the team doubled the number of practices it held every week.
To capitalize on Brody's quickness and speed, the coach abandoned the team's formerly slow pace in favor of a fast-paced motion game, built around fast breaks. Brody was the most dominant player in the Euroleague in 1966–67. In 1967, he was named Israel's Sportsman of the Year. The team made it through the first, second, and third rounds of the league playoffs and reached the European Cup Championships, finishing second in the league.
For the first time, the Israeli Prime Minister (Levi Eshkol), the Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff, and Knesset members came to games. Demand for tickets to games in the team's 5,000-seat stadium was so high that they became exceedingly difficult to obtain.
1 European Championship, 10 Israeli Championships, 8 Israeli Cups.
The rise to the top in Europe. The first European championship in 1977 was soon followed by another final appearance in 1980. Tal Brody 1966–69, and 1970–80, was the captain of that Maccabi team.
1977 European Championship: "We are on the map!"
The year 1977 was the apex of the Cold War, and the Soviet Union was boycotting Israel. In the first round of the European Cup basketball championship, Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Madrid, 94–85. In the second round, it beat Brno, Czechoslovakia, for the first time, 91–76, on 15 February 1977.
In the European Cup semi-finals, Maccabi Tel Aviv was matched against CSKA Moscow—the Red Army team. CSKA Moscow was a powerhouse. The Soviet Army team had won the prior four European Cup basketball titles, and had been undefeated during those four years. Six of its players had played on the Soviet team that had defeated the United States in the Olympics, and their captain was Sergei Belov. And the Communists were well known for using sports to glorify what they billed as their supremacy over the West.
The Soviet Union had broken off diplomatic relations with Israel a decade earlier, and politically and militarily backed Israel's Arab enemies. For political reasons, therefore, CSKA Moscow refused to play in Tel Aviv. And the Soviets also refused to grant visas to the Israelis, to allow them to come play in Moscow. In the end, Maccabi Tel Aviv's "home game" was played in the small, neutral town of Virton, Belgium.
The game took place in an emotional atmosphere. It was of huge symbolic value for Maccabi Tel Aviv fans, and for many Israelis who ordinarily had no interest in basketball. The game pitted the capitalist West against the Communist East, and Israel against the country that was supplying its enemies with weapons. The game also matched the country of Israel, with a total of a mere 4 million inhabitants, against the Soviets, with their 290 million people. The newspaper Maariv billed the 17 February 1977, game as "the fight between David and Goliath." Most of Israel's population watched the game, which was broadcast on Israel's only TV channel at the time.
Maccabi Tel Aviv upset the heavily favored Soviets, 91–79. The feeling among Israelis was not only that CSKA Moscow had been defeated, but that a victory–albeit small–had been achieved against the mighty Soviet Union. The game has for decades been recognized as a key event in the forging of Israel's national identity. Even decades later, it was being replayed repeatedly on Israeli television.
"We are on the map!" proclaimed a euphoric Tal Brody in his heavily American-accented Hebrew, as a TV announcer pushed a microphone in front of him for a post-game quote, while people danced the hora around him in excitement and celebration. "And we are staying on the map – not only in sports, but in everything." The phrase "We are on the map!" ("anachnu al hamapa, ve'anahnu nisharim al hamapa!"), a literal translation of an English phrase into his adopted language, but a novel saying in Hebrew, became a new, popular phrase in Israel. It reflected a physical victory by the nascent Jewish Zionist idea, and national pride. It became Israel's most famous quote, and a staple of Israeli speech.
Back home, hundreds of thousands of Israelis celebrated spontaneously in the streets, and 150,000 in Tel Aviv congregated in celebration in what is now Rabin Square. Many jumped into its fountain, splashing in water and champagne. Recalling the moment, an Israeli quoted in the book From Beirut to Jerusalem told Thomas Friedman that on one level it was Brody the star basketball player and his teammates beating the Russians, but on another level it was "my grandfather beating them. It was our retroactive victory over the Cossacks."
The European Cup finals were played in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, on 7 April 1977. Yugoslavia was a Non-Aligned country that supported Palestine and with which Israel did not have diplomatic relations, and the El Al plane that brought the Maccabi Tel Aviv players over to it for the game was the first Israeli plane ever allowed to land there.
The Israelis were pitted against the highly favored Mobilgirgi Varese, the champions of Italy. Mobilgirgi Varese had beaten the Israelis twice that year, and had beaten them in the finals ten years earlier when Brody first started playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Back in Israel, the entire country watched the game on television.
Maccabi Tel Aviv went on to defeat Mobilgirgi Varese by one point, 78–77, in the European Cup finals. Brody, as the team captain, received the European Cup from FIBA's Secretary General, and lifted it over his head. Jim Boatwright was the team's leading scorer with 26 pts.
It was Israel's first European Cup Basketball Championship in the 23-nation league. It was also the first time that Israel had won a championship of that caliber in any sport, and was, at the time, Israel's greatest achievement in international sports. The victory greatly lifted the spirit and morale of the country. In Israel, 200,000 people gathered to celebrate in Israel's National Park, and the event was celebrated as a national holiday. When the team returned home, it found 150,000 Israelis waiting for it.
1 European Championship, 10 Israeli Championships, 8 Israeli Cups.
A golden era of the Maccabi ball club. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Maccabi dominated the Israeli league, winning all 20 league championships in a row. Winning the European title in 1981 and reaching the finals for four more times in 1982, 1987, 1988, and 1989. Miki Berkovich 1971–75 and 1976–88, Motti Aroesti 1974–88, Doron Jamchi 1985–96 and 1999–2000, Kevin Magee 1984–90, Lou Silver 1975–85, Ken Barlow 1987–90, Aulcie Perry 1976–85, and LaVon Mercer 1988–95 were the superstars of that Maccabi run.
1981 European Championship
9 Israeli Championships, 5 Israeli Cups.
No European title in the decade, still considered one of the European powerhouses with European All-Stars such as Jamchy, Kattash, and LaVon Mercer. Reached the European title game in 2000, which marked the start of Maccabis' second "golden era", the most successful to date.
3 European Championships, 9 Israeli Championships, 7 Israeli Cups, 1 League Cup.
The "second golden era" of Maccabi, making it the second most successful European basketball club of that decade. Winning three European championships in 2001, 2004, and 2005 respectively. Reaching the European title game on two more occasions in 2006 and 2008. Ariel McDonald 1999–2002, Anthony Parker 2000–02 and 2003–06, Nate Huffman 1999–2002, Šarūnas Jasikevičius 2003–05, Maceo Baston 2003–06, Derrick Sharp 1996–2011, Nikola Vujčić 2002–08, and Tal Burstein 2000–09 and 2010–12 have been recognised as European All-Stars for their accomplishments with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
2001 European Championship
The return to European glory. This was the only year in European professional club basketball history with two recognized European champions, from two different organizations. Maccabi, recognized as the winner of the traditional FIBA SuproLeague, and Kinder Bologna, recognized as the champion of the newly established Euroleague Basketball's EuroLeague.
2004 and 2005, back-to-back European Championships
Maccabi fans did not have to wait too much for another big title, as it all clicked in the 2003–04 season. Sharp's miracle three-pointer to survive the Top 16 that year has become one of the classic shots in European basketball history, unforgettable for any Maccabi fan. Once in the 2004 Final Four, Maccabi turned to record breaking with an outstanding 118-point title game performance. Maccabi managed to win back-to-back EuroLeague titles in 2005, becoming the first team to do so since 1991. Jasikevicius, Parker, Tal Burstein, Maceo Baston and Vujčić, coached by Pini Gershon, became a classic lineup in European basketball history. This team of 2003–04 and 2004–05 is generally conceived as one of the best basketball teams in European history and certainly one of the most fun to watch ever in basketball history. After starting point guard "Saras" Jasikevicius left the team to fulfill his lifelong dream and play in the NBA, Maccabi went back to the EuroLeague final in the 2005–06 season, but CSKA Moscow stood in the way of a three-peat. Anthony Parker and Maceo Baston left after that year and returned home, signing multimillion-dollar contracts with NBA teams. Center Nikola Vujčić stayed with Maccabi for two more years playing one more final in the 2007–08 season before leaving the team and signing a multimillion-dollar deal with Olympiacos. Israeli legends Derrick Sharp and Tal Burstein remained with Maccabi and continued to play for their team till 2011 and 2012, respectively.
1 European Championship, 3 Israeli Championship, 8 Israeli Cup, 4 League Cup, 1 Adriatic Championship.
For the 2010–11 season, management brought back head coach David Blatt, and adding new premier players. Maccabi reeled off nine consecutive wins to finish the regular season. Highlights included David Blu's game-winning triple against Khimki, Sofoklis Schortsanitis's dominance inside, and the defense of steals leaders Chuck Eidson and Doron Perkins. The momentum ended with a road loss at Regal FC Barcelona at the start of the Top 16, but Maccabi surged again with three straight wins to reach the playoffs. Barca handed Maccabi another loss, this time in Tel Aviv – the only home defeat of the season – and ended Blatt's hopes for home-court advantage in the next stage against Laboral.
Maccabi prevailed in the series, as the injured Perkins' replacement in the starting lineup, Guy Pnini, set a game-career-high in scoring along the way and moved on to the Final Four. Pargo finished with the best performance index ranking, and the second-most points per game, among all playoffs participants. He also ranked among the top five players in three-pointers made, assists, and steals. Backup forward Richard Hendrix was named MVP of the first round of the EuroLeague Playoffs, and finished as the overall playoff leader in rebounds and blocks. Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Real Madrid in the semi-final, 82–63, advancing to the final game. On 8 May 2011, Maccabi lost the final game, 70–78, to Panathinaikos.
In order to add income ($3 million per year) and quality games to its schedule, Maccabi announced that it would join the Adriatic League for the 2011–12 season for the second time since the 2002–03 season, when it reached the final game. This was supposed to bridge the gap between the highest basketball level Maccabi engages in, the EuroLeague, and the low-level Israeli league.
On 3 August 2011, NBA point guard Jordan Farmar of the New Jersey Nets signed a one-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv, in the wake of the 2011 NBA lockout. He played for the team during the lockout. Farmar said that he was very excited to be coming to Tel Aviv, because his step-father is from the city, he spent time there as a child, and it is a beautiful beach city. Because Farmar is Jewish, he was eligible to obtain Israeli citizenship, an option he ultimately did not exercise. It was reported on 14 November 2011, that Maccabi also agreed terms with Israeli NBA forward Omri Casspi to join the team in several weeks. However, the end of the NBA lockout and the 25 December 2011, start date for the 2011–12 season brought Casspi and Farmar back from Tel Aviv to join their NBA teams (Cleveland and Brooklyn, respectively).
2014 European Championship
In the 2013–14 Euroleague Season, Maccabi finished first their regular season group. The team continued into finishing third in their top 16 group, leading to a best-of-5 series against Emporio Armani Milano, without the home-court advantage. In the first game, Maccabi stuned the hosts from Milano turning a 7-point trail with 30 seconds on clock into a 101-99 overtime victory. Maccabi then won two home game to lock the series on 3-1 to secure its place in the Final Four.
In the semi-final, Maccabi came from behind to defeat the heavily favored CSKA Moscow with a last-second basket, after CSKA had been up by 15 points late in the game. Tyrese Rice scored the game winning lay-up with 5.5 seconds to go.
Coach David Blatt admitted after the semi-final that Maccabi had overshot every possible expectation during the season. When asked if the sky is the limit, Blatt said that "in this storm of a season, Maccabi long ago touched the sky and reached the moon".
On May 18, 2014, Maccabi won its sixth EuroLeague, after it defeated Real Madrid 98–86 in overtime to win the EuroLeague championship. Tyrese Rice was named Final Four MVP. The game received worldwide media attention after, in response to Real Madrid's loss to Maccabi, over 18,000 anti-Semitic messages were posted on Twitter in an outpouring of hatred against Jews. Maccabi entered the final an underdog, with few expecting it to get into the Final Four, let alone to go all the way and win the championship.
Head coach David Blatt left Maccabi to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers. Assistant coach Guy Goodes was promoted to head coach. In the 2014–15 season, Maccabi Tel Aviv was defeated 2–3 in the Super League Semifinals by Hapoel Eilat. It was the first time in 22 years that Maccabi would not play in the Finals.
Starting from this season, the team was named Maccabi Fox, referring to the new main sponsor. New players were signed, including some proven players like Taylor Rochestie and Vítor Faverani. Jordan Farmar returned as well, with prospect Dragan Bender gaining more playing time as well.
After a slow start in the EuroLeague (1–3) and Israeli League (3–2), head coach Goodes was sacked on November 9, 2015. On November 14, Žan Tabak signed a deal to become the head coach of Maccabi. Maccabi was eventually eliminated from the EuroLeague after the Regular season. The Israeli League season proved to be just as big a disaster, when Maccabi was eliminated in the semifinal for the second season in a row, this time by the eventual champions in Maccabi Rishon LeZion.
Maccabi Tel Aviv is widely recognised as "The State Club" for representing the State of Israel and the Jewish People around Europe and around the world, attracting huge crowds of local Jews at every away game. In Yad Eliyahu arena Maccabi is followed by two organised groups: the first one is the major "Gate 11" that organizes chants and choreography at every important home game, the second one is "Gate 7".
Accomplishments per season
In European and worldwide competitions
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv roster
|Pos.||Starting 5||Bench 1||Bench 2||Bench 3|
|C||Joe Alexander||Itay Segev||Colton Iverson|
|PF||Quincy Miller||Devin Smith||Nimrod Levi|
|SF||Victor Rudd||Sylven Landesberg||Guy Pnini|
|SG||Andrew Goudelock||D. J. Seeley||Tomer Zalmanson|
|PG||Yogev Ohayon||Gal Mekel||Amit Ebo|
Maccabi's top scorers in EuroLeague
Total titles: 102
- Winners (51): 1954–1955, 1957–1959, 1962–1964, 1967–1968, 1970–1992, 1994–2007, 2009, 2011–2012, 2014
- Runners-up (7): 1960–1961, 1966, 1969, 2008, 2010, 2013
- Winners (44): 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1963–1966, 1970–1973, 1975, 1977–1983, 1985–1987, 1989–1991, 1994, 1998–2006, 2010–2017
- Runners-up (5): 1962, 1969, 1996–1997, 2008
- Winners (6): 1976–77, 1980–81, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2013–14
- Runners-up (9): 1979–80, 1981–82, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1999–00, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2010–11
- Runners-up (1): 1966–67
- Winners (6): 1976–77, 1980–81, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2013–14
Matches against NBA teams
8 October 2006
|San Antonio Spurs||97–84||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
17 October 2006
|Cleveland Cavaliers||93–67||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
11 October 2007
|New York Knicks||112–85||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
Madison Square Garden, New York City
18 October 2009
|New York Knicks||106–91||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
Madison Square Garden, New York City
5 October 2014
|Cleveland Cavaliers||107–80||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
7 October 2014
|Brooklyn Nets||111–94||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York City
- To appear in this section a player must have either:
- Played at least one season for the club.
- Set a club record or won an individual award while at the club.
- Played at least one official international match for their national team at any time.
- To perform very successfully during period in the club or at later/previous stages of his career.