NBA Lockout Brings Farmar to Israel
Due to the ongoing 2011 NBA Season lockout, Jordan Farmar, the New Jersey Nets’ point guard, has signed a contract to play for the Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, for their upcoming 2011 season which begins on September 1st. Farmar, who was drafted out of UCLA in 2006, is a five year veteran of the league. He played four years with the Los Angeles Lakers before signing a $12 million, three-year deal with New Jersey back in 2010. After announcing the fourth lockout in its history the Jewish star decided to leave the NBA and take his talents elsewhere, signing a deal with the Blue and Yellow that will keep him in Israel for the foreseeable future.
Born to a Jewish mother and an African-American father, the California native and former UCLA Super Star was the only American born Jew playing in the NBA. As a member of the faith he is considered a natural citizen of Israel and will not be placed on the limited list of foreign players allowed on the squad.
In Tel Aviv, Farmar will play alongside former Duke guard Jon Scheyer, who signed up with Maccabi this summer. Also a Jew, Scheyer is also eligible to play as an Israeli.
Farmar’s aggressive style of play fits well with team coach David Blatt’s managing approach to the game. In the past, the six feet two inches Farmar played four years with the L.A. Lakers, and executed well off the bench with a similar strategy under legendary coach, Phil Jackson. High tempo offense mixed with hard pressure defense helped Farmar contribute to two NBA Championship titles in L.A.
Blatt spoke with his newly acquisitioned star several times, and was impressed by his intense desire to “play for Maccabi Tel Aviv in front of the Israeli public and to help out as much as possible.” The team added, “Thanks to his deep Jewish roots and his great basketball skills, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv decided to accept him into the team with open arms.”
As a citizen, Farmar will also be eligible to play for the Israeli National Basketball Team in the Olympics and other international competitions.