Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C.

Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C.

Infobox Basketball club
color1 =blue
color2 =yellow
name =מכבי "אלקטרה" תל אביב
Maccabi "Electra" Tel Aviv
nickname =Electra
logo =Maccabi Electra.png imagesize =100px
leagues =Euroleague,
Ligat HaAl,
State Cup
founded =1932
history =1932 - present
arena =Yad Eliyahu Arena
(capacity: 11,700)
location =Tel Aviv, Israel
colors =Yellow and blue
president =flagicon|ISR Shimon Mizrahi
coach =flagicon|ISR Effi Birnbaum
championships =5 European Championships
47 Israeli Championships
36 Israeli State Cups
1 Intercontinental Cup

website = []
h_pattern_b =_thinbluesides
h_body =ffee00
h_shorts =ffee00
a_pattern_b =_thinyellowsides
a_body =0000aa
a_shorts =0000aa

Maccabi "Electra" Tel Aviv ( _he. מכבי "אלקטרה" תל-אביב) is a professional basketball team based in Tel Aviv, playing in the Israeli and European basketball competitions. It is the basketball division of the Maccabi Tel Aviv sports club. From July 1, 2008, the team's sponsor has been Israeli electronics conglomerate Electra, and the club therefore carries its name for sponsorship reasons. [ [ As of today - Maccabi "Electra" Tel Aviv] , official Maccabi Tel Aviv website (accessed, July 1, 2008).]

The club dominates Israeli basketball, having won 47 Israeli National Championship titles (including 23 in a row between 1970 and 1992) and 36 Israeli State Cups. Maccabi is among Europe's most illustrious clubs, having won the European Cup five times since 1977, and finishing second a further eight times.

Well-known players that have played with the club over the years include: Tom Chambers, Anthony Parker, Beno Udrih, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, and Carlos Arroyo.


Maccabi Tel Aviv sports club started its basketball activities in the mid-1930s. In 1954, the Israeli Basketball League was founded and Maccabi won the first championship. They have dominated the League ever since, winning 47 national championship titles (including 23 in a row between 1970 and 1992) and 36 State Cups. The team has never finished below the third place in the national league.

Maccabi Tel Aviv's traditional rival is crosstown team Hapoel Tel Aviv, however the last time "the Reds" won a national title was in 1969. Since then, the only team to have defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli championship was Hapoel Galil Elyon in 1993, led by Doron Sheffer and coached by Pinhas Gershon, and Hapoel Holon in 2008, coached by Miki Dorsman. Eventually, Sheffer and Gershon joined Maccabi.

In 1958, Maccabi Tel Aviv joined international competition and became one of the best basketball teams in Europe. As at August 2005, Maccabi Tel Aviv had played 577 games in European competitions and won 359 of them, scoring 50,012 points to their opponents' 48,150.

The club's first European championship came in 1977, under coach Ralph Klein. In the final game in Belgrade, Yugoslavia Maccabi Tel Aviv edged Mobilgirgi Varese 78:77, thanks to Jim Boatwright (26 points), Miki Berkovich, Aulcie Perry and the rest of the team. But perhaps of even greater symbolic value was the semifinal win over CSKA Moscow. The Soviets refused to play in Tel-Aviv so the match took place in a neutral venue, Belgium. In the eyes of the whole country, it was not only an important win, but a form of 'revenge' on the Soviet Union, the country that provided support to Israel's enemies. "We are on the map," - proclaimed captain Tal Brody after the game, - "And we are staying on the map, not only in sports, but in every aspect". Maccabi Tel Aviv indeed stayed on the European basketball map, and in 1981 it won another Championship Cup, this time defeating Sinudyne Bologna 80:79.

During the 1980s, Maccabi Tel Aviv reached, but lost, the European finals five times.

The 1990s were Maccabi's "black decade", with the team managing only one Final Four appearance in 10 years and even losing the local title in 1993. In 1998 Pini Gershon, then considered one of the most vocal of the "anti-Maccabists" in Israel, became the head coach, thus inaugurating arguably the best period in the club's history. The team reached the Euroleague final in 2000, falling to the highly touted Panathinaikos in a close game (ironically, former Maccabi Tel Aviv and Israeli national team star Oded Kattash proved the decisive player in the final game). The following year the teams met again in the Suproleague finals in Paris, and the Israeli club, led by Ariel McDonald, Anthony Parker and Nate Huffman, won the game 81:67.

Gershon decided to retire, but came back for the 2003-04 season, Anthony Parker also returned for the second stint with the club. Lithuanian star Šarūnas Jasikevičius (known as "Sharas" in Israel) also joined the team, and Maccabi Tel Aviv was the form team of the 2003-04 season, defeating Skipper Bologna in the Euroleague final game (held in Tel Aviv) in an unprecedented landslide (118:74), in the process setting 11 Euroleague records.

The team returned to the Euroleague Final Four (held in Moscow) in 2005, facing tough odds due to the rise of the dominant CSKA Moscow club that was favored to win. In the semi-final Maccabi Tel Aviv was once again matched against rivals Panathinaikos, known as one of the best defenses in Europe. In a scenario that few in European basketball community envisioned, TAU Cerámica stunned CSKA Moscow and Maccabi Tel Aviv celebrated yet another victory over the Greek team, then proceeded to defeat TAU Cerámica in a very competitive final (90:78) on May 8, 2005.

On 16 October 2005, Maccabi Tel Aviv set another milestone in their basketball history when they beat the NBA's Toronto Raptors. It was their first win in over 21 years over an NBA team, the first win over an NBA team by any Euroleague team in 17 years, and the first ever European win over an NBA team on North American soil. Anthony Parker's jump shot with 0.8 seconds lifted the Euroleague champion over Toronto 105:103.

In the 2005-06 season, Maccabi finished with two domestic titles - its 46th championship and 36th State Cup, both after wins over Hapoel Jerusalem. During Euroleague's Final Four, Maccabi Tel Aviv met TAU Cerámica in the first semifinal game, and won the game 85-70. Maccabi Tel Aviv faced CSKA Moscow in the final on April 30, 2006, losing 73:69.

During the summer, its "dynasty" ended as Anthony Parker and Maceo Baston followed Jasikevičius and left for the NBA, leading to a major overhaul of the club's roster, and a mediocre 2006-07 season (although the team still won the domestic championship and qualified for the Euroleague quarterfinals).

The team played a charity pre-season game against the New York Knicks on 11 October 2007, at Madison Square Garden, their first appearance at the famous venue; the proceeds from the game benefited Migdal Or. The Knicks won the game 112:85 [ [ New York Knicks 112-85 Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv] ] .

Maccabi finished the 2007-08 season with one title out of possible four, only winning its debut in the pre-season tournament "Winner Cup", held for the second time only. In the major three tournaments Maccabi lost three times in the final: 89-93 in the Israeli State Cup final to Hapoel Jerusalem, 77-91 in the Euroleague final to CSKA Moscow, and 72-73 in the Israeli league final to Hapoel Holon. During the season, Zvi Sherf replaced Oded Katash as Maccabi's coach, after a 3 games losing streak in the league. Later that season, Maccabi, with Sharf as a coach, lost 4 times in a row in the league.

Maccabi has hosted the European Cup final in 1972 and the Euroleague Final Four twice (1994 and 2004), and has hosted European All Star events four times. Seven Maccabi players have been selected in the European All Stars: Tanhum Cohen-Mintz, Tal Brody, Lou Silver, Miki Berkovich, Doron Jamchi, Nadav Henefeld and Oded Katash Anthony Parker.

Between 1969 and 2008 the team was sponsored by the Elite confectionery company (now part of the Strauss Group), and was known as "Maccabi 'Elite' Tel Aviv" [Strauss and Elite merged in 2004 to form Strauss-Elite.] .


Part of the basketball community in Israel sees Maccabi Tel Aviv's dominance as a root cause of various problems of Israeli basketball. Some claim that the lack of competitiveness in Israeli basketball causes fans and investors to "migrate" to football (which is also very popular in Israel). Others say that Maccabi signs the most talented local players to more attractive contracts than any other team in Israel can afford, and then gives them limited playing time and limited roles behind the stars (mostly of American or European origin), thus hindering the development of domestic talent.

"Pro-Maccabists" counter that it is Maccabi's high-level basketball and international success that creates the fan base and that Maccabi gives young players an opportunity to play alongside and against some of the brightest stars of European basketball. The European and local success of Hapoel Jerusalem (2004 and 2007), and the increasing competitiveness of clubs such as Hapoel Galil Elyon and Bnei HaSharon seem to support the Pro-Maccabists' arguments.

From time to time, ideas arise for reform in Israeli basketball that would prevent Maccabi from dominating the rest of the league and/or would ensure more playing time for domestic players. Most radical of the proposals feature laws similar to those of by the NBA, such as a salary cap or draft; Maccabi has objected to all such proposals. So far, the most significant change was the introduction for the 2006-07 season of a rule (widely referred to as the "Russian law") which obliges each team to have at least two Israeli players on court at all times during Israeli League games, a move countered by Maccabi's signing of the best local talent.

Trophies and Titles

* Euroleague Championships: 5
** 1977, 1981 - Victories in the European Cup, the direct predecessor to today's Euroleague, officially recognized by FIBA and ULEB as Euroleague titles.
** 2001 - Suproleague Cup.
** 2004, 2005 - Euroleague Cup.

* European Finals: 13 (1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1989, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008)

* Intercontinental Cups: 1 (1981)

* Domestic Championships: 47 (1954, 1955, 1957-59, 1962-64, 1967, 1968, 1970-92, 1994-07)

* Domestic Cups: 36 (1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1963-66, 1970-73, 1975, 1977-83, 1985-87, 1989-91, 1994, 1998-06)

Current roster

:"For a listing of past rosters, see Maccabi Tel Aviv Past Rosters."

Current depth chart


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Maccabi Tel Aviv] EuroLeague
* [ Completed list of former Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C. players (1953–2007)]

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