Bitter Thoughts

Initially, it was the best news I had received in years.  My owner and coach pulled me aside after I had helped my 2nd division team win its 5th straight game.  They told me that I was being called up to the first division.  I could not believe my good fortune.  I had been waiting for this day since the second I landed in Israel last year, and I really did not think it would come until next season.  But, a confluence of circumstances allowed my chance to come early.  Haifa suffered some guard injuries and were playing terribly, and I was playing my best basketball since like 2007.The stuff I went through in Tivon has been well catalogued, but let me just briefly go over some of the highlights (lowlights?): Continue reading “Bitter Thoughts”

Trip to the North

It is well-known that outside of basketball I live an extremely lazy life out here. To accomodate this life I went through great pains to black out my room by thumbtacking clothes over the window. With the complete blackness and the use of earplugs (so as to not hear the moaning, dying cats or the buzzing fridge) I can, and do, sleep uninterrupted for 10-12 hours a night.  It’s pretty awesome.  Except when you almost sleep through a pre-season game.  That’s when the plan backfires. Continue reading “Trip to the North”

Game/My Apartment

I have had a resurgence the past month and actually resemble a real basketball player at this point.  I have averaged 16 and 4 the past 3 games and we picked up 2 crucial wins.  The most recent game was especially fun because the crowd was really into it.  It was tight pretty much the whole way and featured a few memorable moments.  The first came in the 3rd quarter after we had finally built up a little momentum and seized a 2 point lead.  Then they came down and our big guy got called for a foul.  This guy is pretty much the Rasheed Wallace of the league.  He definitely has accumulated enough techs and pissed off enough refs to become a target for their calls.  As I have noted before the refs here are remarkably awful, but the disrespect our big man shows is still over the top. Continue reading “Game/My Apartment”

trip to the MRI

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Instead of being able to play in my first game I had to use the map seen above to get myself to the MRI center at Rambam Hospital.  It was drawn by one of the managers minutes before I left.  Armed with those not-quite mapquest worthy dircetions and zero hebrew skills, it was bound to be an adventure.  I asked before I left: “Well, if I get lost, I can call you right?” He gave a non-reassuring “Well, I will be at the game so I hope I hear my phone.” Fantastic.  Somehow, getting to the hospital itself was not that bad.  The one wrong turn I made was easily corrected.  But, the drive turned out to be the least of my troubles. Continue reading “trip to the MRI”

The Problems With Scouting Reports

Today was my first Israeli scouting report, and it was very entertaining.  There were no chopped up video clips detailing the strengths and weaknesses of each player. There was no going over every possible play they might run. All these things were replaced by watching the first quarter of their last game along with a with a simple 15 minute team meeting and a piece of paper with a sentence about each player.

This was all right up my alley. I know that coaches have good intentions and work hard to put together their reports, but do we really need to spend a half hour talking about their 8th, 9th and 10th players? You could probably feel it coming, so hear it is. Time to rant about college pregame scouting reports and walk-throughs! Continue reading “The Problems With Scouting Reports”

Some Bitter, Injury Induced Bitching

Another funny story about my roommate to kick things off, this one pertaining to his continued terrible taste in music and unintentionally comedic ways.We were on a ride out to Haifa, and since I was the one driving I figured I would pick the music.  I put on Only Built for CubanLinx , a classic rap album.

My music consumption has gone way down since I have been out here, where I am without fast Internet and my nice speakers, so I was thoroughly enjoying the chance to listen to some decent music for once while we drove.  As to be expected, about 4 songs in he abruptly turned off  the cd player, stating that he “could not listen to it anymore” and that “he was past the phase in his life” where he listened to this type of music. Continue reading “Some Bitter, Injury Induced Bitching”