On Monday, October 16th, the Cleveland Cavaliers played against Maccabi Ra'anana. Maccabi Ra'anana is a professional club team that is based out of Ra'anana, Israel. The club plays in the Israeli National League, the second-tier division league of Israel. With the war happening in Israel right now, people were surprised that the team is continuing to play.
The team played the Brooklyn Nets on the 12th and when their head coach was asked why they have continued to play, he said it is hard to play at a time like this, but they are still playing because he wants to give hope to the younger generations of children watching their team back home.
The current roster for Maccabi has former NBA players on it, which include Dwayne Bacon, Quinndary Weatherspoon, and Bruno Caboclo. This team has not won against an NBA team yet but shows promise that they can play at the same pace as an NBA team.
The game against the Cavaliers on Monday was played in Cleveland, and it was only the third preseason game for the Cavaliers up till this point. Throughout the whole game, the Cavaliers were in control and did not give Maccabi a chance to get back into the game. People have been skeptical about how Maccabi would handle this game because of everything happening back in their home country.
During the game, you could see that they were not focused and that is most likely why they did not play better. When Maccabi played against the Nets, they performed much better and stayed in the game all the way to the very end. Unfortunately, Maccabi lost both of their games against the Cavaliers and Nets. Maccabi is now headed back to Israel to play teams in the Israeli National League.
The NBA themselves released a statement saying, “The NBA and NBPA mourn the horrific loss of life in Israel and condemn these acts of terrorism. We stand with the people of Israel and pray for peace for the entire region.” The NBA stood with the Maccabi team as they chose collectively as a team to continue their three-game tour of playing against three different NBA teams.
The head coach stated, “I think depression and sadness, that's the feeling in Israel right now," Orland said. "But there are children, there are babies, there are young people in Israel, and they need hope. So for me, I'm going with my head up, to create hope for those children, for those teenagers, for those young people that need hope.”
This war started right as the team prepared to start their games against NBA teams, and they have been questioned by NBA players as to why want to continue. They all stand behind their teammates and country by saying they just want to give people something to get their minds off all of the tragedies that are happening back at home. These games played will be remembered by fans of the Maccabi team and the NBA in the future because of how much strength they showed at such a difficult time.