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Gimme Some Mo
09-16-2009, 02:28 PM
http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/features/parker_maccabi_090916.html

For players like LeBron James or Danny Green, their journey to Cleveland consisted of being drafted by the Cavaliers and reporting to Camp as a rookie.

And for others – like two-guard Anthony Parker – the journey to joining the Wine and Gold spans several NBA cities, four countries and two continents. In between stops in the Association, Parker spent six years overseas, including five with Euroleague’s perennial powerhouse – Maccabi Tel Aviv.

While playing in Israel, the Illinois native won five Israeli Super League national championships, five Israeli National Cups, two Euroleague titles, one Suproleague title, and was named the Euroleague’s Most Valuable Player in consecutive years. And he and his teammates did all this in the midst of a massive holy war.

With Maccabi in 2006, Parker made news back in the States when he sank a jumper with 0.8 seconds to play to give his squad a thrilling 105-103 victory over his future club – the Toronto Raptors – during a preseason game at the Air Canada Centre. It was the first time Maccabi had topped an NBA team in 21 years; the first time any Euroleague team did so in the past 17 years.

One year later, Parker found himself suiting up for the Raptors. And after two seasons north of the border, the 34-year-old sharpshooter signed a free agent deal with the Wine and Gold.

As he prepares for his first Training Camp in Cleveland, Anthony Parker took a moment to chat with cavs.com about the adjustment to overseas basketball, doing so in the middle of a war zone, and his return to North America six years later …
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How bad was the culture shock, as a 24-year-old playing, living in Europe?
Anthony Parker: On the court, it was adjusting to the rules, because they’re different than the NBA’s. It was definitely different.

And in Israel, most everything’s written in Hebrew. Sometimes, elsewhere in Europe, it’s Italian or Spanish and you can make sense of some of the letters and such. But Hebrew’s totally different. So, sometimes you’re not exactly sure: ‘Is this a restaurant or a grocery store or a post office? What is it?’ (Laughs)

So, it was tough at first to get adjusted. But it’s so Americanized and most people speak English. So it made it that much easier to adjust.

What was the process like for Maccabi to attract you to Tel Aviv?
Parker: Honestly … God brought me to the Holy Land.

I had gotten injured in Summer League; I didn’t have a team. So overseas became an option. And it just so happened that one of the scouts for Orlando had a relationship with the people at Maccabi, and they thought that I would make a good fit. And one of the icons in Israel basketball – Doron Sheffer – had just retired. And so that left an opening at my position.

So we sent some tape over there and talked with some coaches – and it was a done deal. I had some friends who played over there and they gave me some background about Maccabi. (I didn’t know, at the time, anything about overseas basketball.) And I found out they were one of the top teams.

You hear horror stories – and that was in my head. But they said that this was one of the top professional organizations – from an organizational standpoint – they were coming off a second-place finish in the European Championships. It was an extremely competitive team and everything that I had heard was positive.

Talk about the social-political aspect of playing in Tel Aviv? You were exposed to the violence right away. What was that like, living with that threat while trying to focus on basketball?

Parker: That was an interesting story, because two weeks after we got there the whole second Intifada started. Ariel Sharon went to the Temple Mount and basically the whole situation blew up. And the conflict was essentially 45 minutes from our doorstep.

But when you’re in Israel and you’re in the country, you don’t feel it. People are going to the mall, people are going out to eat. Kids are going to school. Life is normal. But you know that 45 minutes away, there’s a war going on.

So my family was going crazy. ‘What’s it like over there?’ ‘When are you coming home?’ And honestly, it’s scary, because we know what’s going on, but we don’t really feel it. And it was funny because my teammates – even the American ones – were telling me, ‘You’ll develop a thick skin to it.’ And I thought, ‘No way! How do you get used to bombings and things like that?!’ But by my fourth or fifth year, I found myself telling the new guys, ‘This is nothing. You guys have nothing to worry about.’

Did this make you immerse yourself more into the regional politics?
Parker: I definitely followed politics a lot closer. Not just in Israel, but all over the world. And it was an interesting time. You had 9/11. You had the war in Iraq following that. And it was really just an interesting time to be an American abroad. (Especially in Israel.)

How is Maccabi Tel Aviv different – or maybe, superior – to other Euroleague teams?

Parker: I think Maccabi’s been so competitive for so long because, for starters, they are by far the No. 1 team in Israel and they do that through their organization. They make it a lot easier, where you just have to focus on basketball. When you arrive at your apartment, your refrigerator is stocked with food. It’s those little things. If you need something for your house, they have it for you by the end of practice.

It’s all those things that contradict what you normally hear about European basketball. And so it puts you in a position where you’re thinking, ‘I don’t want to leave. I want to play for this organization.’ The fans are, by far, the best fans.

And add to that, they get most of the best Israeli players on their team. And they put great European and American players around them. And I think anyone that has any knowledge of basketball in Europe knows about them and they would love to play for them. (Even to the point of taking pay cuts to do so.)

Did you always have an eye on the NBA while you were playing in Europe?
Parker: My first year in Israel, it was definitely with the intent of going over there for one year, playing well, and coming back.

But once we got over there – after not playing for three years in the NBA, where I had sat the bench – to be part of that. We won the European Championship my first year (and the first time for Tel-Aviv in 20 years). They filled the streets in Paris. We had 10,000 fans come all the way to Paris from Israel. When we came back, we have this huge celebration and it seemed like the whole city was there. And the country just stops when the game is on.

So just to be a part of that, I was like: ‘You know, the point right now is to provide for my family.’ Athletes have a small window of opportunity. It’s a sacrifice being away from your family and friends. But I thought I could do this.

So getting back to the NBA was not a priority. If it happened, I would definitely take a look at it. But to the point where, if I was going to come back to the same situation I was in before – not playing – even if I had a chance to come back, it didn’t interest me.

How big was it – for Maccabi, for international hoops and for you – to hit that shot that beat the Raptors in the 2007 preseason?

Parker: Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, it was a great accomplishment for Maccabi and it was great to be a part of. It was great to be in an NBA arena, it was great to play against an NBA team again. It was exciting.

Playing for Maccabi, most teams are really excited to be playing us. We weren’t as motivated to play them. So it was great to come in excited – to play this NBA team and show them what we’ve got. And it was preseason, so they were probably like, ‘Whatever.’

It was a great win for us. It kind of put our team on the map. But after the game we went back and went about our business. Even at the time, I said that Toronto was 10 or 12 points better than us. But we made the right plays at the right time.

Did that shot or that win affect you going (specifically) to the Raptors?
Parker: The GM – Brian Colangelo – was not there at the time. He saw the video. So all I’ll say is: It didn’t hurt. (Laughs.) I’m not going to say he brought me to Toronto just because of that, but the following year, we played Maccabi again and the joke was they brought me over here just to beat Maccabi for what we’d done the year before.

Was it difficult to return to the NBA (or North America for that matter)? Was there an adjustment period to NBA basketball when you returned?
Parker: It’s a huge adjustment. It was a huge adjustment for me going overseas. And it was a huge adjustment for me coming back. The rules, the style of play, the defense. Even the court. And I think it was a good three months until I made the adjustment successfully.

And now that you’re back, and having spent two years with the Raptors, how excited are you to join the Cavaliers?
Parker: It’s an exciting time to be a Cavalier. Everyone knows what the expectations are. But it’s exciting to be a part of that, and to have that opportunity.

Three years ago, I was overseas, watching this stuff on TV. So to have the opportunity – at my age and at this point in my career – it’s something that you have to seize. I’m extremely excited. I don’t even know if ‘excited’ is the word. Elated? Whatever the word you’d like to use to describe it, this is an incredible opportunity to be here in Cleveland.

Gunther
09-16-2009, 02:39 PM
What was the process like for Maccabi to attract you to Tel Aviv?

Parker: Honestly … God brought me to the Holy Land.

Awesome. I just became a big fan. Nice to see that Anthony has a brain and is serious-minded. Can't wait to see what he brings to the table for the Cavs.

Brandname
09-16-2009, 04:17 PM
Awesome. I just became a big fan. Nice to see that Anthony has a brain and is serious-minded. Can't wait to see what he brings to the table for the Cavs.

Wha? I don't really understand what you mean...

Chris
09-16-2009, 04:18 PM
Wha? I don't really understand what you mean...

He's being sarcastic hopefully.

Gunther
09-16-2009, 04:30 PM
I must not have expressed myself very well - my apologies. I was just trying to say that I liked Parker's comment. I didn't know much about Parker before we signed him, and I have been learning about him by reading this forum. He seems like he has his head on straight, which is a quality I admire in an athlete. I'm looking forward to seeing him play for the Cavs this season.

I liked the whole article, but that comment stood out for me. Thanks for posting the article.

djlofi
09-16-2009, 04:45 PM
You don't really think about it much, but Parker is a guy who has championship experience, even if it is in Europe. Not excited about his age, but he should be a solid vet to add to this team.


But once we got over there – after not playing for three years in the NBA, where I had sat the bench – to be part of that. We won the European Championship my first year (and the first time for Tel-Aviv in 20 years). They filled the streets in Paris. We had 10,000 fans come all the way to Paris from Israel. When we came back, we have this huge celebration and it seemed like the whole city was there. And the country just stops when the game is on.

Sounds like what would happen in Cleveland.

Chris
09-16-2009, 04:54 PM
I must not have expressed myself very well - my apologies. I was just trying to say that I liked Parker's comment. I didn't know much about Parker before we signed him, and I have been learning about him by reading this forum. He seems like he has his head on straight, which is a quality I admire in an athlete. I'm looking forward to seeing him play for the Cavs this season.

I liked the whole article, but that comment stood out for me. Thanks for posting the article.

Saying God guided him to the Holy Land means he has his head on straight?

I agree he does, but that comment certainly isn't why I think that.

Gunther
09-16-2009, 05:06 PM
Saying God guided him to the Holy Land means he has his head on straight?

I agree he does, but that comment certainly isn't why I think that.

I guess I read more in to his comment than you did. Given the question he was asked, he had a lot of options to answer the question. He could have said "My agent pointed me that way", or "I couldn't get a better gig", but he chose to say that God guided him, which I feel shows maturity. It tells me that he got more out of his experience than just a paycheck. So, even though he may not have really felt that way at the time, he now looks back on the experience in a different light. It shows a tendency toward personal reflection and collective thought. Just my opinion.

Anyway, can't wait to see him play.

MYoung23
09-16-2009, 05:34 PM
Originally Posted by Gimme Some Mo

What was the process like for Maccabi to attract you to Tel Aviv?

Parker: Honestly … God brought me to the Holy Land.


Originally Posted by Gunther

He could have said "My agent pointed me that way", or "I couldn't get a better gig", but he chose to say that God guided him, which I feel shows maturity. It tells me that he got more out of his experience than just a paycheck.

They give people like Delonte meds for saying stuff like Parker's quote. People who hear voices that tell them to do things are paranoid schizophrenics. Put God on the same voices and all of a sudden it's somehow treated with reverence. Dont get it and not buying it.

Richfield Kid
09-16-2009, 05:44 PM
They give people like Delonte meds for saying stuff like Parker's quote. People who hear voices that tell them to do things are paranoid schizophrenics. Put God on the same voices and all of a sudden it's somehow treated with reverence. Dont get it and not buying it.

I'm about as atheistic as they come and I don't see this that way. He didn't say "God told me to go to Israel," he said "God brought" me there. I understood it as that he saw it as a sequence of events that made going to Israel the best choice. Some see that as random chance (me) and some see that as God massaging events to give you that choice over another (Parker, I guess). Either way, it's a lot different than hearing voices.

If he said "God told me" or "God made me get injured, then said go to Israel" that would be different and I would be with you 100%. IMO, belief in an interventionist god is either delusional or ignorant.

Jon
09-16-2009, 05:51 PM
I thought it was a clever answer; whether he really feels it was his destiny to play for Israel ... or was just making a little joke - who knows?

Sounds like he had a good time and enjoyed himself after getting acclimated. There's something to be said for being the big fish in a small pond.

Kiddo
09-16-2009, 11:08 PM
Everything you do has been made possible by God. He is involved in everyones life. God can speak to you, it is your choice if you want to listen or not. IMO

-Akronite-
09-16-2009, 11:14 PM
I think we should all come to an agreement right now that there is no reason to start a little religious debate over a comment about going to Israel. A poster liked the way he answered the question, do we really need to dig deeper than that? Leave God for off-topic.

And like Richfield Kid, I'm not religious at all, I just don't see why we need to discuss that here. Completely hijacking a thread with that bologna.

Anyway, I like Parker's skill set a lot. My dream would be for him to magically gain the legs of a 19 year old Kenyan man and become our starting 2. But, he should be very valuable off the bench anyway.

Thing is, I trust Delonte to put up a fight against big hitters like VC and Ray Ray, but we still haven't seen if he can even keep up with Kobe Bryant. Once we play the Lakers and see what Delonte can do against him, I can really gauge whether we have a chance at beating LA. The duo of Kobe/Ron beats LeBron/West on both ends of the floor on paper IMO.

But glad to see Parker isn't content with his Euro Trophy.

Mr. Glass
09-16-2009, 11:26 PM
I think we should all come to an agreement right now that there is no reason to start a little religious debate over a comment about going to Israel. A poster liked the way he answered the question, do we really need to dig deeper than that? Leave God for off-topic.

I dunno man...I'm in the mood. I'm feelin' it.


Thing is, I trust Delonte to put up a fight against big hitters like VC and Ray Ray, but we still haven't seen if he can even keep up with Kobe Bryant. Once we play the Lakers and see what Delonte can do against him, I can really gauge whether we have a chance at beating LA. The duo of Kobe/Ron beats LeBron/West on both ends of the floor on paper IMO.

This is ridiculous. You give Artest far too much credit.

Gimme Some Mo
09-16-2009, 11:46 PM
This is ridiculous. You give Artest far too much credit.

I am interested to see why you think that is ridiculous.

IMO Delonte has no chance guarding Ron because Ron is just way too big and strong, and I think Kobe would easily just shoot over Delonte all day long from mid range and in the post.

IMO Kobe & Ron > LBJ & West **in a head to head matchup**.

Overall, for the whole season against any random team in the league, it is close.

-Akronite-
09-17-2009, 12:01 AM
I dunno man...I'm in the mood. I'm feelin' it.

In the mood or not it is irrelevant conversation. A poster stated his opinion on Parker's quote that he liked. Then, other posters question his opinion, as if it matters whether he likes Parker's religiousness or not. So no we have a little religious hijacking (probably a terrible choice of words) in the middle of Cavs talk. That kind of discussion belongs in another forum.

This is ridiculous. You give Artest far too much credit.

Are you kidding? Let's see, Artest can guard LeBron better than almost anyone in the league. Kobe can guard LeBron better than most. Delonte doesn't have the size to match up with Kobe/Ron and I'm sure Kobe could handle Delonte defensively. Matchup-wise Kobe/Ron would destroy LeBron/Delonte. West's toughness and LBJ ridiculous amazingness make it look a lot closer than the battle of inches would suggest, but the Lakers definately have the better tandem.

If anything, you give Delonte far too much credit, especially since we don't even know if he can prevent Kobe Bryant from going off on us.

Oh yeah... Anthony Parker...

Rimage
09-17-2009, 12:40 AM
He's being sarcastic hopefully.

Bit of an ass-ish response.

Cavatt
09-17-2009, 01:28 AM
I am interested to see why you think that is ridiculous.

IMO Delonte has no chance guarding Ron because Ron is just way too big and strong, and I think Kobe would easily just shoot over Delonte all day long from mid range and in the post.

IMO Kobe & Ron > LBJ & West **in a head to head matchup**.

Overall, for the whole season against any random team in the league, it is close.

We might See Lebron and Moon against Ron and Kobe. Of course you put Odom in too, and we have some problems.

Delonte hasn't even played Kobe yet so we will have to wait and see I guess. That was the matchup I really wanted to see last year. He can handle the 2nd tier guys pretty well as we know. He even did a decent job on Wade with a lot of help. It is not impossible I guess.

ClevelandCWRU
09-17-2009, 01:34 AM
I am interested to see why you think that is ridiculous.

IMO Delonte has no chance guarding Ron because Ron is just way too big and strong, and I think Kobe would easily just shoot over Delonte all day long from mid range and in the post.

IMO Kobe & Ron > LBJ & West **in a head to head matchup**.

Overall, for the whole season against any random team in the league, it is close.

I'm not so sure. I would take Lebron and D. West in a 2v2 match-up vs Kobe/artest. I think people seriously underrate Delonte. IMHO, he was our second best player. Outside of Lebron, he's certainly our most complete player. He can not only do anything out on the court, but is willing to do whatever it takes to win; Delonte's a true warrior out there. He may be only 6' 3" but his length, speed, intelligence, and activity more than make up for it.

If we actually ran plays for him, he'd put up more points, that's for sure. Even our beloved "King James" has described Delonte as "unstoppable" when he get's it going....so why the heck don't we give him the chance to get it going more often?!?! If Delonte were 6'6", he'd be regarded as a premier talent. But we all deal with the cards we are dealt, and Delonte's a beast, regardless of people's opinion. I would not be surprised at all if D. West has a breakout year this season.

Mdog1
09-17-2009, 09:00 AM
Delonte West might be regarded like you said, but if Yao Ming could stay injury free he may be seen as the GOAT center by the time his career is over. And if Kobe had never played with Shaq he would have 15 championships by now.

CleveRocks
09-18-2009, 04:56 AM
Kobe Ronv Lebron Dwest should be another thread.

As for discussions of faith in Basketball forums: Probably not a good idea, but I think the anti crowd has amped it up more than the religious crowd. You guys sound defensive. I suggest you all take the topic to some other forum...

As for Anthony Parker and his responses. He is a bright guy with good perspective and a professional attitude. Another good citizen within the cavs oarganization. If he has the skills to go with that attitude, he will push Dwest to 6 man status, (making that whole Koberon thing less relevant).

I see the cavs organization becomeing Spurs II. Making consistantly good choices around personnel will pay off with the ability to sustain a very competitive team around Lebron. If the Knicks want to know how to steal Lebron, they need to hire Danny Ferry or his equal.. Good luck with that Mr. Dolan....

aaronbev79
09-21-2009, 01:00 PM
Everything you do has been made possible by God. He is involved in everyones life. God can speak to you, it is your choice if you want to listen or not. IMO

LOL

You're being sarcastic...right?

natedagg
09-21-2009, 02:01 PM
I don't recall our record without Delonte last year, but we weren't as good. That's why I don't think AP will start. We had a stupid-good record last year with our starting 5, which we have improved (on paper). Let's just let the chips fall where they may. It's the depth of AP that is the asset. If we sustain an injury at the wing position, we should still be very competitive, which is refreshing.

Douglar
09-21-2009, 02:59 PM
I don't recall our record without Delonte last year, but we weren't as good. That's why I don't think AP will start. We had a stupid-good record last year with our starting 5, which we have improved (on paper). Let's just let the chips fall where they may. It's the depth of AP that is the asset. If we sustain an injury at the wing position, we should still be very competitive, which is refreshing.

52 and 12 with Delonte , 12 and 4 without. That's about the same.

Cavatt
09-21-2009, 04:12 PM
52 and 12 with Delonte , 12 and 4 without. That's about the same.

People act like he was easily replaced by Sasha and Kinsey. They did a good job and were surprisingly consistent during that stretch, but we forget that Mo went off. He was having huge scoring nights and that was arguably the best stretch of ball that he played last year. He made up a lot of the scoring that we missed with Delonte and Z.

Joe9972
09-21-2009, 04:34 PM
Nice post on Mark (AP)