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News » Even rabbi can't save Maccabi Tel Aviv coach

Even rabbi can't save Maccabi Tel Aviv coach

Even rabbi can't save Maccabi Tel Aviv coach NBA or Europe, regular referees or replacements, the rules are the same: Two technical fouls is an automatic ejection, and anyone ejected must leave the floor.

Maccabi Tel Aviv wanted a pass on that one Sunday.

The New York Knicks' 106-91 victory over the Euroleague team featured a bizarre delay in the third quarter when the visiting coach refused to leave after he was ejected.

The game was halted about eight minutes when Pini Gershon continued to linger near Maccabi's bench -- a delay that included a rabbi trying to intervene by asking the NBA's replacement referees calling the game to allow Gershon to stay.

"I explained that this is not a regular game and the kids are watching and (it's) important that there will be peace and forgive him," Rabbi Yitchak Dovid Grossman said of his discussions with the officials. "If you forgive him, I can speak to the children and say, 'You also forgive. If you have a fight, you forgive.' But he says this is the law, that you must obey."

Gershon left after a lengthy discussion with the referees, his assistant coaches and NBA security personnel. A security official said Gershon told them he didn't care if the game was stopped before he eventually agreed to leave.

"He likes the crowd, the crowd likes him very much," Maccabi's Yaniv Green said. "They're coming to the game to see him even more than they're coming to see us. He's quite a character, like you saw today."

NBA wooing Hispanic fans: After years of courting the European and Asian markets, the NBA is trying to build up its fan base among Hispanics.

The league will launch a marketing campaign today called enebea -- the Spanish pronunciation of NBA . Featuring increased TV and internet exposure, plus community projects, the NBA hopes expand to its reach among a demographic that makes up 15 percent of its fan base.

"I think it's a great idea," said New Jersey forward Eduardo Najera, who is Mexican.

"I think it's only going to help for Hispanics to identify with players besides the Hispanic ones, and overall I think it's going to be a great chance for them to feel included in the NBA . I'm happy about that."

Najera is one of 19 players in the NBA from six Latin American countries. Puerto Rico, which hosted the regional Olympic qualifying tournament in August, beat the United States in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The NBA on Sunday staged its 18th game in Mexico, most of any country besides the United States and Canada, when Philadelphia and Phoenix met in Monterrey. NBA TV broadcast the game in Spanish for the first time.

A Spanish-language Web site ( ) will include news and features on Hispanic players, and the league plans events to renovate Basketball courts in Hispanic neighborhoods.

Bulls are hurting: With two games left in the exhibition season, the Chicago Bulls are in rough shape physically.

Point guard Derrick Rose has missed all but the exhibition opener with the inflamed tendon behind his right ankle, and coach Vinny Del Negro basically ruled him out of today's game against Orlando. Tyrus Thomas missed four games with a sore right hip. And John Salmons missed time to be with his wife, who gave birth to their daughter. Center Brad Miller and guard Lindsey Hunter have been ill.

"It's a concern," guard Kirk Hinrich said. "Hopefully we'll get healthy quick. We have to treat this last week like the real deal and start playing at a higher level of intensity."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 19, 2009


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