The Israeli Angle to the NBA Finals That Nobody is Talking About
JNS.org – When it comes to the 2015 NBA Finals, much attention in the Jewish and Israeli media has been devoted to David Blatt, the Jewish head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers who led Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv hoops franchise to a European basketball championship during the season before landing his current gig. But there is another Israel-related angle to the Finals that seemingly nobody is talking about.
In 1984, Middle East expert Malcolm Kerr—the president of American University of Beirut and the father of Steve Kerr, who is now the head coach of the Golden State Warriors—was assassinated by Muslim terrorists from the Lebanese group that eventually became known as Hezbollah. In fact, Steve Kerr spent much of his childhood in Lebanon, and at the time of the murder of his father was playing college basketball for the University of Arizona.
Steve Kerr went on to win five championships as an NBA player, three with the Chicago Bulls and two with the San Antonio Spurs. Now, he has a chance to add a championship as a coach in just his first year with the Warriors, who face the Cavaliers in the Finals starting on Thursday night.
Blatt has said that when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached to him last week, Netanyahu assured that “all of Israel is behind the Cavaliers.” Yet with the family of the Warriors’ coach being a victim of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist group that is sworn to Israel’s destruction, perhaps there is also a reason for the pro-Israel community to pull for Golden State.