Jon Diebler RumorsAll NBA Players
As the oldest player on a professional basketball team for the first time this past season, Jon Diebler might have been reminded of his age no matter what. He just couldn’t forget it while sitting in the Hapoel Tel Aviv locker room next to 2020 Celtics draft pick Yam Madar. “He made me feel really old,” Diebler said.
Madar did not turn 20 until midway through the season. He will not turn 21 until December. He was just a kid when Diebler starred on some great teams at Ohio State. The age gap between the two teammates, about 13 years, was clear to Diebler, now 33. Still, Diebler said during a phone conversation Tuesday, Madar carried himself like a far more experienced player.
“Yam is very mature for his age,” Diebler said. “It’s not easy for a guy that age to kind of control the team at the professional level, especially in a top division in Israel where there’s a lot of foreign players, but Yam’s a guy who was very confident in his game. You felt his presence and that he knew he belonged if that makes sense. I think it goes back to that confidence. It’s a confidence. It’s not a cockiness. It’s a confidence where it’s like, ‘Hey, man, no matter my age, I belong here.’ ”
Madar has a reputation as a fiery competitor. Diebler described a teammate with a strong belief in himself, a promising offensive game and a willingness to step up in big moments. “Just the way he carries himself, you’re like, man, he doesn’t look at his age as a disadvantage,” Diebler said. “He plays confident, he trusts his work, he trusts the work he puts in. And you love to see it. Here’s a guy that maybe he will come down and turn it over, miss a shot – he doesn’t get rattled by that. And for a guy his age, that’s special.”
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