"I'm Excited About My Next Season In The NBA"

Published: September 10th 2010
in News » World

Omri Casspi

Omri Casspi made history last year, when he became the first Israeli ever to play for an NBA team. After an excellent first season in the world’s best league, Casspi has quite a bit of expectations for the upcoming year. Just in time for Rosh Hashanah, he spoke to Shalom Lifeabout the exciting year he has had.


Last year you were pretty much anonymous. What is the major change that occurred during the season?


The last year has been amazing. For the first time in my life I got the chance to play in an NBA uniform, which is exciting and unusual. I am very happy to be receiving compliments from people on the street in Israel and it’s heart-warming that also the Jewish communities in Canada and the United States give me respect. I want to thank everyone for the support. It gives me a lot of strength and satisfaction.


You are the presenter for Nike in Israel and for El- Al. How does it feel to be a celebrity?


I don’t look at myself as a celebrity, and it’s definitely not something I think about every day. I’m very happy that companies such as Nike and El-Al chose me to be their presenter. I’ve gotten quite a few offers from different companies in the Israeli market. My family and I consulted with several people and agents, including Liron Fanan, and together we came to a decision regarding the advertising. Liron Fanan knows how much I appreciate her work. She helps me a lot daily. I take my hat off to her.


How do you summarize your first season in the NBA?


Personally I had a great season. I had the privilege of playing in the All-Stars game for rookies. I worked a lot in preparation for the last season, both mentally and physically. I also didn’t stop training and that’s how I improved. I am excited for next season; I’m really looking forward to it starting.


Do you have any expectations for your second year in Sacramento?


My self-expectations are always very high. I really want to make a leap this year and I’m working very hard to succeed. It’s very important for me to improve my status among the team, get to play longer, play during the crucial moment, score more points, and strengthen my defence. I always aspire to improve.


Does it make sense to plan for the playoffs?


After last season, it would be irresponsible of me to make such claims. First we’ll win and then we’ll talk about the playoffs. We’re a team of young players that needs to become united, and the moment that happens, the sky’s the limit. We have quite a few talented players on our team and I hope that this season we will win more games than last season. It’s very difficult to define a number of wins that will be seen as a success, and conversely to define a number of wins that will be a failure. I am hopeful that just as we didn’t disappoint last season, we will continue to do so in the coming season. I very much want us to continue to climb upwards in terms of our abilities as a group.


What do you wish you and your fans for the coming year?


I would be very happy to see all the members of the Jewish communities that are scattered throughout the United States and Canada coming to cheer me on this season. I was really moved when I met them in several games last season, it’s very heartwarming when you’re far away from home. On a personal level, first of all I hope to maintain my health. Second, I hope to be able to demonstrate good ability during the regular season, and hopefully during the playoffs as well, if we make it. I want to conclude by wishing the entire Jewish people wherever they are a Shana Tova.

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