This week, on the “(Is It) Good for the Jews?” podcast …
Larry Rosen: It’s time for our weekly Omri Casspi update. As you know, Casspi is the first Israeli-born athlete to play for my beloved Golden State Warriors, and I think it’s our responsibility to keep an eye on his progress.
Eric Goldbrener: What’s Omri up to this week?
LR: I love it when Omri comes in, not only because it’s a moment of great pride for all sports-minded Jews like me, and maybe not you …
EG: (huffy) I feel very proud when Omri Casspi plays!
LR: … but I also love it because he’s such a fundamentally sound player. Plays the game the way it should be played. They picked up two veterans this year — Omri and Nick Young, who goes by the nickname “Swaggy P.”
EG: Ooohh … I like that. Swaggy P.
LR: Swaggy P comes in, wanders around, takes threes. That’s it.
EG: They invited him to play. What do you want him to do, just stand around?
LR: He’s not meshing with the team game. Omri comes in, not spectacular, a nice pass here, a nice rebound, maybe a three here and there.
EG: A team player.
LR: Last night I’m at the game with our friends Kimmel and the King of Real Estate, and we’re watching, waiting for Omri to get in.
EG: Maybe you should’ve started a chant.
LR: We thought about it. “OM-RI! OM-RI!”
EG: “Win one for the Jews!”
LR: Omri finally gets in and let me tell you, he fills up the box score.
EG: What do you mean? Doesn’t Swaggy P fill up the box score with all of his threes?
LR: Omri plays a complete game. He’s got four rebounds, two assists, two points, a couple of blocks …
EG: Sounds fantastic! Why don’t they play him more, then?
LR: He’s not a starter.
EG: (incredulous) You just said he’s filling up the box score! He’s doing this, he’s doing that, he’s scoring, he’s grabbing rebounds! He should get more time!
LR: That’s not how it works. They didn’t sign him to be a starter.
EG: I don’t understand this!
LR: They’ve got all-stars at four positions. Casspi’s not going to start over Klay Thompson, Draymond Green. KD? Casspi is going to start over a former MVP?
EG: It sounds like anti-Semitism to me. Pure and simple.
LR: (moving on) Here’s the other thing. I was listening to a game last week and I heard them say that after one game, maybe Sunday’s game, Omri was hanging out at the hotel and he saw that a Jewish wedding was going on … so he crashed it!
LR: He wasn’t invited.
EG: How do you just show up?
LR: He’s Omri Casspi! They went crazy!
EG: That’s insane. I crash a wedding, I get thrown out of there, and I mean quick!
LR: Me, too. But we’re not Omri Casspi.
EG: Apparently not.
LR: Word is that all of the Jews at the wedding, upon seeing Omri Casspi, immediately dropped what they were doing and completely fawned over him.
EG: I don’t understand this. You just said that he’s not a star. He doesn’t even start. He’s not Draymond. He’s not Klay. He’s not KD. And yet he goes to this wedding and is treated like a star?
LR: Yeah, well, like I said, he’s the first Israeli to play for the Warriors, and everyone loves the Warriors. In the world of Jewish sports — which is a world I’ve paid close attention to — that makes him a star.
EG: Like those Schwartz guys with the cookbooks? (“Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family and Faith” by offensive lineman brothers Geoff and Mitch Schwartz)
LR: Kind of, except maybe basketball is different. Basketball is huge in Israel, isn’t it?
EG: Oh yeah. Either basketball or soccer. Between the two, those are the biggest sports.
LR: And in basketball, you know, you’re not wearing a helmet. You can see Omri. I’m not sure people would recognize the Schwartz brothers.
EG: Except that they’d be enormous.
LR: I’ve got one more thing to say, and that is this: Omri Casspi, you are invited to appear on this podcast whenever you want.
EG: The invite is out there, Omri.
LR: That would be good for the Jews.