Monday, October 19, 2009

Maccabi!!! Maccabi!!! Maccabi!!!

The Coach had quite a weekend between running workouts and running this town, but there was some time to hit MSG Sunday to get a look at Maccabi Tel Aviv who was in town to play the Knicks. The game which was set up to raise money and act as a bridge between Israel's top team and the NBA turned into much more. With just over five minutes left in the 3rd quarter Maccabi Coach Pini Gershon was given his second technical foul and ejected by referee Ben Taylor. It happened right in front of the Maccabi bench, which Coach was sitting 25 or so rows directly behind (Coach rarely sits much further from the court than that if he can help it) and what happened next was both entertaining and a bit bizarre. COach Gershon refused to leave the bench. Plain and simple he felt disrespected by Taylor, a replacement referee and he was not going to leave quietly. The director of security for Maccabi came quickly to the sideline, and before you knew it he was on the phone, most likely with the NBA I was told.

Ok, a few things:
1) If you are Taylor you can't be the guy that ejects the Maccabi Coach during a charity game at MSG in New York, you don't want to be that guy!!!
2) If you are Gershon, regarded as the Bobby Knight of Israel, can you really allow yourself to get that crazy where you get ejected? Then again, it is not reported that he dropped an M-F on Taylor which is really the only thing that warrants an ejection in a game like this, I guess threatening physical harm would also qualify but that is not what happened. Gershon was unhappy that the Knicks were getting a majority of the calls. After picking up his first technical the Knicks Al Harrington was whistled for an offensive foul in front of the Maccabi bench. Harrington reacted by firing the ball at Taylor and then getting in his ear about it which did not seem to bother Taylor. That is what set Gershon off and lead to his ejection. Was he right? No. But Coach understands his point. While Taylor and the other officials were in a tough position as replacement officials, officiating what is essentially a charity game is not easy when you have everyone barking at you, the officials needed to stay consistent on both ends and they unfortunately did not do that.

So as Gershon was still lingering court side refusing to leave Rabbi Grossman, who was one of the men that made this game happen, came to the bench to reason with everyone. Finally after ten minutes Gershon realized the right thing to do was to leave the court. But before that occurred something quite surreal happened in the Garden, the crowd started to loudly and aggressively chant Mac-ca-bi...Mac-ca-bi...Mac-ca-bi. It was pretty intense for about thirty seconds to a minute.

What was supposed to be a quick stop in for the Coach turned into quite a happening at MSG.

I think what Gershon was ultimately trying to do was send the message, "Don't f#ck with me."  Especially since it was a young official, Gershon wanted to make the situation as impossible for Taylor as it was for himself.  Ultimately though, this was not the best look for Maccabi Tel Aviv or the game of basketball.

After things settled down Coach left the Garden and headed to Brother Jimmy's for the second half of the 1pm NFL action and some chicken wings (Coach put wings away yesterday like a tuned up Leon kicking it at LD's crib) and some Octoberfest.   While both New York teams should be in the playoffs this season, (Giants are a clear Super Bowl contender despite yesterdays loss and the Jets will bounce back from this rough stretch) which is great for the city and the NFL, Coach just isn't feeling the games so much thus far.
Much of it has to do with the fact that I am a man without a team as my once proud franchise actually thought it was a good idea to hire Eric Mangini as their head coach and trade their two most talented players in Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards.  Coach has had enough of the nonsense, not enough time or energy for this pathetic franchise.

Thank goodness for the Celtics.  And quietly we are 8 days until tip off...YES!!!

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