The list of Jewish players who have ever played in the NBA is short (and the list of notable ones is even shorter). The best ever is Hall-of-Famer Dolph Schayes, who was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996.
The newest Jewish talent in the NBA–and first since Dolph’s son Danny last played in 1999–is Jordan Farmar, the backup point guard for the L.A. Lakers. Even more relevant for our audience, he’s from an interfaith family. His father was a non-Jewish African-American and his mother is Jewish (he was subsequently raised by his mother and his stepdad, an Israeli). Despite being a second-year player and making more than $1 million a year, he continues to live with his parents. (I’m sure his fellow players never give him guff about that.)
He’s played sparingly in the playoffs, averaging 16 minutes a game. But he’s been adequate when he has played, playing intense defense although offering little on the offensive end, with the exception of Game 2 against the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, when he scored 14.
As a Celtics fans, I’m rooting for Kobe to be blinded by the $4 million diamond ring he bought his wife, Pau Gasol to choke on an olive pit and Lamar Odom to be, well, Lamar Odom. But I can’t say I’ll be displeased if Farmar has a good game or two in the Finals.
As long as the Celtics end up winning.
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