Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Maccabi Tel Aviv Coach Refuses to Leave

October 18, 2009 by Stephen Kersey  
Filed under Basketball

The New York Knicks finally prevailed over the Maccabi Tel Aviv Euroleague team on Sunday by 106-91 margin. But it wasn’t before a eight-minute delay in the third quarter when the visiting coach, Pini Gershon refused to leave after being ejected.

If it wasn’t odd enough that the coach continued to linger near the bench, at one point a rabbi tried to intervene, asking the officials to allow Gershon to stay.

Image: Zuma Press

Image: Zuma Press

“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.”

After talking with the refs, his assistants and NBA security personnel, Gershon eventually agreed to leave.

Maccabi picked up four technical fouls in a 53-second time span in the third quarter, including the two that caused Gershon to be ejected. Weirdly, the second tech on the Maccabi coach came when he was a screaming at the official on a call that went his team’s way (an offensive foul on Al Harrington of the Knicks).

Many players and coaches have been dissatisfied with the officiating so far in the NBA preseason. The current referees are replacements for the regular officials, who are in the middle of a labor dispute.

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