Local Hoops: Maccabi Haifa makes another questionable hire

Brad Greenberg signed as new coach, hailing 58-year-old as the first-ever head coach in Israel to have served as an NBA assistant coach.

June 5, 2012 03:37
2 minute read.

Maccabi Haifa announced the signing of Brad Greenberg as its new coach on Monday, hailing the 58-year-old as the first-ever head coach in Israel to have served as an NBA assistant coach, NBA general manager, and an NCAA Division I head coach.

However, Haifa’s press release failed to mention that Greenberg was handed a five-year, show-cause sanction by the NCAA in February and banned from doing any recruiting during that period.

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The sanctions effectively preclude Greenberg, who quit his job at Radford University at the end of the 2010/11 season amid the investigation, from working as a college coach during the next five years.

The case initially focused on recruiting inducements and extra benefits. but it was the Greenbergled effort to mislead investigators that exacerbated the seriousness of the violations.

The hiring of Greenberg is the first big move made by Haifa’s new basketball consultant Bernie Fine.

Fine, 66, was fired from Syracuse University last November after 36 straight seasons as assistant coach amid allegations that he sexually molested two former ball boys.

Fine hasn’t been charged and has denied wrongdoing.

Nevertheless, owner Jeffrey Rosen’s decision to hire two disgraced figures to the most important positions at the club is baffling to say the least.

But Rosen sees things differently.

“The hiring of Brad Greenberg as the Maccabi Bazan Haifa head coach is historic as there has never been a coach in Israel with Brad’s professional coaching and management experience,” the American businessman said in a statement.

“We believe Brad’s leadership qualities and knowledge of the game makes him the right man for the job to help restore Haifa’s winning tradition.”

Greenberg’s most recent job saw him serve as head coach in Venezuela’s top division for the Bucaneros De La Guaira. He is also the assistant coach of the Venezuelan national team.

Prior to his four seasons at Radford, Greenberg worked with his brother Seth Greenberg at Virginia Tech from 2003-07, and previously as director of basketball operations at the University of South Florida from 2001-2003.

Greenberg also served as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers for two seasons and the New York Knicks for one season in the 1980’s and in 1996 became the General Manager and Vice President for Basketball Operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, drafting Allen Iverson as the number one pick in the 1996 NBA draft.

“I am thrilled and honored to become the head coach of Maccabi Bazan Haifa,” said Greenberg, who signed a two-year contract.

“It has been a dream of mine to coach professionally in Israel and I would like to thank Jeff Rosen for appointing me as head coach.

“I have been following Maccabi Bazan Haifa since Jeff Rosen bought the team and I am looking forward to coaching a winning team in Haifa this upcoming season.”

Greenberg will have his work cut out for him, with Haifa ending last season bottom of the BSL standings with a 5-19 record, avoiding relegation only due to the fact that no team was demoted.

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