(photo credit: )
It's easy now to underestimate what Miki Dorsman achieved at Hapoel Holon last season.
Maccabi Tel Aviv seems to be losing to an Israeli opponent every other week these days, and no one would be surprised if the team failed to win the league championship yet again this season.
However, it was Dorsman's Holon which struck the defining blow to Maccabi's aura of invincibility and deserves more credit than any other team for the new order in Israeli basketball.
Since the start of the 2006/07 season Maccabi's utter local dominance has come under increased scrutiny.
The State Cup semifinal defeat to Bnei Hasharon in 2007, the close call in the BSL championship game against Hapoel Jerusalem later that season and, of course, the extraordinary fourth quarter collapse in last season's cup final against Jerusalem, all hurt Maccabi's hegemony.
But the defeat which may well have made Tel Aviv's unquestionable supremacy of Israeli basketball a thing of the past came against Dorsman's Holon.
Despite its relative struggles in the previous seasons, Maccabi still entered the championship game against Holon as the 14-time defending champion and favorite.
Tel Aviv had won 37 of the last 38 titles and almost everyone expected the team to somehow grind out yet another league championship.
Maccabi held the lead for large periods of the encounter, but Holon never backed off and Malik Dixon's basket with 2.3 seconds to play clinched an historic title.
Last season's Holon side was Dorsman's team in every possible way.
As coach and owner, Dorsman picked the players, paid their contracts and guided them on court. The only thing he didn't do was play.
His recent short stint at Maccabi Rishon Lezion may have hurt his reputation in many eyes, but that shouldn't be the case.
Dorsman changed the course of Israeli basketball, and regardless of what he does from here on, nothing can take that away from him. And that is why we on the Post's sports staff chose Dorsman as our coach of the year.
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