Say what you want about Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, but at least he wants Dallas to win above all else. The same, apparently, can't be said about Miami's ownership team:
Raanan Katz, who partly owns both Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Miami Heat basketball teams, said that the Heat's upcoming duel against the Dallas Mavericks will be very tough."
"God can always help; we need him on our side against Dallas," said Katz. "Every Israeli must support us; they must go the Western Wall and pray for us. Miami Heat is no less Israeli than Maccabi. This is also a group with Israeli ownership in which many Americans play."
Does this remind you of the final-four in Prague?
"For some reason I take Maccabi's loss much more to heart. True, the NBA is the best league in the world, and to win the championship there is a dream come true, no doubt. But for me, Maccabi stands before everything. If you ask me what I prefer, a third European championship with Maccabi, or a first championship with Miami, I would choose a Maccabi win."
If you're wondering what all that talk about Prague is about, they're referring to Maccabi's loss to CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague Championship Game on April 30. And if you're also thinking, "Wait, I thought Mickey Arison owned the Heat," you're correct. But Katz has been a minority partner in the franchise for as long as it's been in the NBA. He used to play for Maccabi when he was younger before arriving in the States, and according to the profile on his real estate company's web site, he was once the last player cut from the Celtics roster. After a stint playing on the U.S. All Stars opposite the Harlem Globetrotters, he eventually made his fortune in real estate in New England and South Florida.
I know he was giving his interview to a Jewish news service and was likely spinning his answers to his intended audience, but did he really pick the best time to talk? Considering Miami just dropped the first game of the Finals to Dallas, it doesn't look like it.
I just wish I could be in the locker room when Alonzo Mourning hears this.
Miami Heat owner: Israel, pray for our victory [Ynet News]
CSKA is the new Euroleague champion! [Euroleague.net]
History of Raanan Katz [R.K. Associates]
Previously on DBB:
Pistons invite Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Tal Burstein to summer league
Maceo Baston is still dunking