Pini Gershon angry 311.
(photo credit: BSL)
Pini Gershon paid the price for a poor season as head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv
on Monday when meetings with the club’s owners ended with him handing in his
resignation in order to allow the club to officially begin its search for his
It had been heavily rumored that Gershon would not continue
after failing to lead Maccabi to the BSL title or Euroleague Final Four, but the
news was not confirmed until Monday afternoon.
Gershon is, however,
expected to continue working at Maccabi in an advisory role, although the
specifics of the position have yet to be decided.
Former Maccabi coach
David Blatt, who ran team affairs at Greek side Aris Thessaloniki last season,
is favored to replace Gershon, with assistant coach Sharon Drucker and Hapoel
Gilboa/Galil coach Oded Katash behind him in the bookies’ rankings.
things had been expected from Gershon when he took over from Effi Birenboim
midseason in November 2008 for his third stint as Maccabi coach.
though he was unable to turn last season’s campaign around, with Maccabi bowing
out of the Euroleague in the Top 16 stage, at least the team won the Israeli
Gershon’s 2009/10 preseason began with a less than
auspicious blip when he was ejected from the floor at Madison Square Garden
after arguing with a referee during an exhibition game against the New York
And the season itself was an unmitigated disaster for the
58-year-old, who built his own squad only to see it fall to Partizan
the Euroleague quarterfinals and then crash to a 13- point defeat by
the BSL final.
After two days of intensive talks with Maccabi
Shimon Mizrahi and owners David Federman and Shai Recanati it was clear
Gershon had lost the confidence of the management and had no choice but
It was an embarrassing mark on the career of the man who
Aviv to three European titles – the 2001 Supraleague and back to back
titles in 2004 and 2005.
Maccabi managed to hold on to some
by defeating Bnei Hasharon to win the State Cup in February, but the
to Katash’s Gilboa/Galil at last month’s BSL Final Four proved to be the
nail in Gershon’s coffin.
“During meetings today and yesterday
Gershon has informed the club that he would not like to continue to
Maccabi Tel Aviv in the 2010/11 season,” a Maccabi Tel Aviv statement
“The club deeply thanks the decorated coach for all his
achievements, including European cups, Israeli championships and State
Fans can expect to see a whole new Maccabi side next season, whoever
comes in to
take over from Gershon.
Already last week, the club parted ways
American guard Andrew Wisniewski, and more players are likely to
Since losing in the Euroleague title game in 2006 and
Gershon’s decision to move to Olympiacos, Maccabi has been through five
including Gershon’s return, and practically reinvented the squad each
However it has never recaptured the glory years of the
and before leaving the country Wisniewski warned that more changes will
not have a positive affect on the club’s long term future.
Blatt waiting in the wings, a new era may be on the horizon.
Boston-born 51-year-old, who coached Maccabi in the early 2000s, has
with Tel Aviv on a number of occasions in recent years but the club is
to have decided against him due to high salary expectations.
out of the way it appears that Blatt’s time has come and Federman,
Mizrahi are willing to invest money and hopes in the man who led Russia
EuroBasket title in 2007.