NBA rumors: Omri Casspi on his retirement: I reached peaks that I never dreamed of

Omri Casspi, the first Israeli player to break through in the NBA, announced his retirement from professional basketball on Sunday. Casspi, 33, has spent the last two seasons at Maccabi Tel Aviv — where he first starred before being selected in the 2009 NBA Draft — but has been plagued by injuries. “Basketball has given me a lot over the years. I reached the peaks of European and world basketball that I never dreamed of. I did not believe I’d make those dreams come true,” he said in a statement.

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Culture and Sports Minister Chili Tropper said: “Omri Caspi has shown us throughout his career how much hard work, how much sacrifice is required, and how much determination is necessary when you want to become an elite athlete, when you want to break through.” “Omri is honorably ending his sports career today. I wish us, Israeli sports in particular and the State of Israel as a whole, more athletes and people who will lead us, on and off the playing field,” Tropper added.
Marc Stein: After 10 seasons in the NBA as his country’s first first-round draft pick, Omri Casspi is scheduled to announce his retirement at a news conference tonight in his native Israel. He spent the last two seasons back at @MaccabitlvBC, where he played with the Wizards’ Deni Avdija.
“The game of basketball has given me a lot over the years,” Caspi said in his opening remarks. “As a young boy from Yavneh who started playing with friends and my big brother, who did not really know what he was saying and went out with number 18 on his shirt, today on July 18 I retire. For the [Maccabi] family, this is a group that taught me a lot about professionalism, hard work, victory at all costs. It fell on very modest ears and I appreciate those values ​​I learned”.
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August 9, 2022 | 6:25 pm EDT Update
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the meeting took place this past Saturday, and Kevin Durant indicated that he could stay with Brooklyn if general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash were no longer there. Understandably, peers of Marks and Nash were not happy. “I get that players have more power these days, but I think it’s a little too far if he’s out here trying to get Steve fired,” said one coach, who was quickly reminded of Magic Johnson’s fingerprints on Paul Westhead’s firing back in November of 1981 and other power plays, some of which may well have been justified.
The head of basketball ops from another club was similarly displeased. “Livid,” he said. “Livid. He and Kyrie (Irving) basically told Sean they were coming (as free agents in 2019), and Sean did pretty much everything they wanted after that. Signing DeAndre Jordan for four years? That’s something Kyrie and KD wanted. Getting James Harden? Then getting a guy who should be a perfect complement to them (Ben Simmons) when Harden wanted out? Sean did all that.”
However, when asked if he would welcome Durant to his own club should he be attainable at a fair price, the exec paused and laughed. “Well … ” he said. “OK, you got me there. But, see, that’s the part of this that will always be hard for some people to grasp. I’m talking about the fans who just see the players as employees. These guys are not interchangeable parts. You can’t just plug in someone else to do what KD does.”