Omri Casspi smiling 248.88 ap.
(photo credit: AP)
Omri Casspi got together with Israel coach Tzvika Sherf on Monday and indicated after the meeting that he will not be playing for the team in September's EuroBasket tournament.
Casspi, who is set to become the first Israeli to play in the NBA after being selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 23rd pick in last month's NBA draft, said he will definitely not be joining the Israeli national team before August 20 and hinted that the odds are that he will not be playing for the side at all this summer.
"I met with Tzvika to discuss my situation with the NBA. It was important for me to speak to him," Casspi said. "There's no chance I will join the national team in training before August 20 and we agreed to speak again later. However, at the moment it seems as though I won't be joining the team at all.
"I need to make some difficult decisions because I'm facing a critical year in my career. I want to play for the team, although it is difficult to see it happening."
After a one-day postponement, the rest of the team finally began its preparations for the European on Monday.
The players boycotted Sunday's training session, citing issues with their insurance policy, and only agreed to begin practicing after the Israel Basketball Association ceded to their requests.
The team went through a light workout at Hadar Yosef on Monday and will step up its preparations on Tuesday when it travels to Ein Gedi for a threeday training camp.
"We've waited all summer for this and we're happy the dispute is behind us and we can concentrate on basketball," said Tau Vitoria forward Lior Eliyahu.