Omri Casspi has yet to be introduced as a Houston Rocket, but he confirmed what
everybody already knew when he tweeted last week: “New beginnings. New
Despite averaging career-lows of 4.0 points
and 2.7 rebounds in the mere 43 games in which he played for the Cleveland
Cavaliers last season, Houston remained admirers of the Israeli forward and once
the Rockets landed their top free agent target, all-star Dwight Howard, they
quickly reached an agreement with the 25-year-old.
“When my agent and I
talked before July 1, we discussed everything. They asked me my opinion, and I
told them from the beginning the No. 1 team that I want to get to is the Houston
Rockets,” Casspi told Jonathan Feigen of website Ultimate Rockets. “When Houston
called, for me it was a done deal. I wanted to come here from day one. There
were other teams calling and asking. There might have been a better offer
financially. But the opportunity to come here under coach McHale and with a
great organization and winning team is better than anything. I’m looking forward
Casspi has been craving for an opportunity to play for a
potential contender and he will finally get his chance in Houston after four
years with two of the league’s worst teams, the Sacramento Kings and Cleveland
The addition of Howard to a roster which already includes
all-star James Harden as well as Jeremy Lin and up-and-coming forward Chandler
Parsons, should see Casspi finally experience the NBA playoffs while hopefully
playing an important role off the bench.
“I feel like I can bring a lot
of things to the team to help this team win,” added Casspi, who was in Houston
for his physicals on Thursday and Friday. “I’m really thankful for the
opportunity to be in a great organization with the best coaching staff, with
coach [Kevin] McHale, now with Dwight [Howard] and James [Harden] and the rest
of the guys here. I feel like the style of game can really fit my
After four years as the first and only Israeli in the NBA, Casspi
will be joined in the league next season by Gal Mekel, who signed a three-year
deal with the Dallas Mavericks.
With another Israeli now in the league
and four years of experience in the NBA under his belt, Casspi will be entering
the 2013/14 season in a far more composed state of mind.
there early, my first year, second year, but not anymore,” Casspi
“I’m going into my fifth year in the league now, knowing what the
game is all about, understanding what I need to do on the court and off the
court to be in the best shape I can be. We’ve been there already. I feel like
I’m in a total different page in my career now. I can compete on the court.”
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