Farmar impressed with Europe; Maccabi rolls on in Adriatic

Having been a role player during most of his professional career, Farmar thrived in Maccabi after he became one of the team’s pillars in the Euroleague.

By REUTERS
December 4, 2011 06:44
2 minute read.
Jordan Farmar

Jordan Farmar 311 bball R. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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BELGRADE – Jordan Farmar will head back to the NBA impressed with the quality of basketball in Europe and eager to return one day after being a key player for Maccabi Tel Aviv, the New Jersey Nets point guard said.

Farmar won back-to-back NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010 before he was traded to the Nets, and he joined Maccabi in August in the wake of the NBA lockout, which is set to officially end this week.

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Having been a role player during most of his professional career, Farmar thrived in Maccabi after he became one of the team’s pillars in the Euroleague.

“I very much contemplate the possibility of returning to Europe one day because I learnt so much playing here, a different style of basketball,” Farmar told Reuters after Maccabi’s 74- 71 defeat at Partizan Belgrade on Thursday.

“Not having this opportunity before, I never knew what it was all about, and in my mind the NBA was always the only option.

“Knowing that there is such high-level basketball in Europe, where the game is a a lot faster and more physical than in the NBA, will give me more options when the time comes to make a decision to move on.” Taken aback by the atmosphere in Belgrade’s ramshackle Pionir Arena, where the home fans regularly raise the roof, Farmar will miss the level of noise.

"It was very special to be a part of this great experience and the atmosphere in European basketball is amazing because the fans feel like they are part of the game and they do everyting they can to help their team win,” he said.



“There are only a few arenas in the NBA as noisy as Pionir or Nokia arena in Tel Aviv; the setting here is more akin to college basketball in the United States. It’s a different culture and the fans here play a major part in helping their team get to the next level, whereas fans in the NBA just expect you to play at a certain level,” he said.

Maccabi managed without Farmar on Saturday, improving to 9-0 in the Adriatic League with an 83-76 victory over Red Star Belgrade in Serbia.

A 14-0 run (25-14) in the first period put Maccabi in control and the yellow-and-blue maintained a slender lead throughout the game to get life without Farmar off to a winning start.

Sofoklis Schortsanitis scored 19 points, with Yogev Ohayon and Keith Langford adding 12 points each for Maccabi, which hosts Hapoel Holon in the BSL on Monday.

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