When Omri Casspi entered the NBA in 2009, he was hailed for representing Jewish athletic dominance. Many cities held heritage nights when the Sacramento Kings came to town, and his trip to New York was a bona fide media event. Jews like to see their own kind succeed, no matter the field. Take it from me, a guy who grew up with lamb's blood smeared on his door and a pan of kugel in the oven at all times.
Oddly enough, Casspi was and is still not the only Jew in the NBA. Point guard Jordan Farmar was raised in a Jewish household and even had a bar mitzvah. Yet, for whatever reason, racial or otherwise, he was not embraced with the same fervor as Casspi.
In Israel, though, he's some kind of hero. Above, watch a video of Farmar, complete with "Nice Jewish Boy" T-shirt, arriving in Israel to finalize his agreement to play with Maccabi Tel Aviv during the NBA lockout. There's a sizable crowd to greet him at the airport, and Farmar seems legitimately excited to be there.
The length of his stay is yet to be determined, but it's nice to see him getting some love. I'm not exactly sure why he never caught on in the Jewish community to the same degree as Casspi, but he's deserving of the same kind of identification. We diasporic Jews need to stick together.
(Original video via PBT)
- Omri Casspi
- Jordan Farmar