Midway through the first quarter, Omri Casspi entered the preseason game between his Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks. A minute later, the buzzer sounded summoning Mavs rookie guard Gal Mekel into the Oct. 21 contest.
National Basketball Association teams, fans and analysts seem to be in a constant search for the “next Michael Jordan,” looking for a player to duplicate the feats of the six-time champion and five-time Most Valuable Player many consider the best ever in his sport.
From his office in Pico-Robertson, Ephraim Moxson counts Jewish professional athletes. There are five playing in the National Hockey League, a couple in the National Basketball Assn., four in the National Football League. But in Major League Baseball, there will be, by the end of 1999, 11 Jewish ballplayers. "That's more than any decade, even the 1960s," says Moxson, co-publisher of the Jewish Sports Review.
Which raises two questions: Why so many Jews in the majors? And why should we care?