Maccabi head coach apologizes to Knicks


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli basketball coach apologized for making a scene after being ejected from his team’s exhibition game against the New York Knicks.

Pini Gershon, head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, delayed the Oct. 18 game in Madison Square Garden for about 10 minutes when he refused to leave the court after being ejected with two technical fouls. 

Gershon issued an apology Monday to NBA Commissioner David Stern and Knicks President Donnie Walsh.

The statement, which was reprinted in The New York Times, said: "Having had time to reflect on my actions while our team was in New York, I would like to apologize to the New York Knicks franchise, the NBA and basketball fans not only at Madison Square Garden but throughout the country. Our trip to the U.S. was for a wonderful cause — the children of Migdal Ohr — and hopefully a few minutes of bad behavior on my behalf won’t detract from all the good that was accomplished by our spirited competition with the Knicks and the Clippers."

Maccabi team President Shimon Mizrahi also sent a letter of apology.

The Times reported that Stern issued a statement in response: “The apology was unnecessary — and accepted. We have only the highest regard for Maccabi Tel Aviv, their ownership, coaches, players, and our longtime friend Shimon Mizrahi.”

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