Comment: One huge peak scaled, the climb far from complete

CASSPI'S aggressive style of play should fit in well with the philosophy of the Sacramento Kings.

June 28, 2009 04:59
1 minute read.
Comment: One huge peak scaled, the climb far from complete

Omri Casspi 248.88. (photo credit: AP)


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Now that Omri Casspi has achieved something that has escaped every other Israeli basketball player in history, he will turn his attention to an even tougher challenge. Reaching the NBA is one thing. Playing significant minutes in the league, however, is an entirely different proposition. It will be a huge surprise should Casspi play regularly for the Kings next season, even though the franchise is coming off its worst season ever. The forward not only needs to settle in his new surroundings in Sacramento, but also must improve his game before becoming a legitimate NBA player. Strong and quick by European standards, Casspi is only an average athlete compared to other players in the NBA, which is undoubtedly the best basketball league world-wide. His perimeter shooting is another area of his game on which he needs to work, and he must also improve his passing if he's to make the most of his rare opportunities. That said, if there's one Israeli player who has both the ability and character to work on his weaknesses and eventually conquer them, it is Casspi. "My will to succeed is great," said Casspi on Friday, pointing to his real strength as a player. "I have plenty of room for improvement. Every training session will be a challenge and I know I need to improve as a player. I will give my all in every minute in which I play, looking to prove I should play even more." Casspi's first season in the NBA - whether it be this year or the next as the Kings may decide to have him remain in Israel for one more season to save salary cap money - will be anything but easy. The team's bench may well be his home for large parts of the season, with Casspi to be a bystander rather than a player in many of Sacramento's games. However, Casspi has no illusions and is aware of the challenge he faces. Many other players may struggle in such a situation, but Casspi is not any other player. He is, after all, set to become the first Israeli to play in the NBA, achieving what looked to be impossible and ending years of dissapointment and local heartache.

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