By: Nick Gibson / @euro_adventures
Since Jugoplastika took back-to-back crowns in 1989 and ’90, only the Maccabi Tel Aviv teams of 2004 and ’05 have been able to string together consecutive titles. However, in an elimination game against Zalgiris in 2004, Maccabi was just two seconds and three points away from being knocked off course.
Then Gur Shelef sent the ball soaring 60 feet into the air, landing in the waiting arms of Derrick Sharp, who did this:
Maccabi went on to beat Arvydas Sabonis’ Zalgris side in overtime before making the Final Four and picking up the first of two consecutive Euroleague titles.
Today, Sharp announced that he’ll be retiring, sliding to the end of Maccabi’s bench and swapping his sneakers for loafers in his new role as assistant coach. The 39-year-old certainly won’t be lacking wisdom and experience, and David Blatt will be sure to make use of both.
Imagine how useful a man like Sharp could be to a wide eyed American rookie like Jon Scheyer, fresh off the boat with more questions than answers. And if Scheyer ever wants an Israeli career that stacks up to Sharp’s, well, here’s what he’s up against:
- 27 combined championships
- 2 Euroleague titles (2004, 2005)
- 1 Suproleague title (2001)
- 13 Israeli Championships
- 11 Israeli Cups
- 219 three-pointers made (13th most in EL since 2000)
- 88.9% on FTs (7th best in EL since 2000)
- 195 Euroleague games played (5th most in EL since 2000)
Teams change names, teams change sponsors, leagues are born and leagues die, but Derrick Sharp always held steady. After 15 straight years of service in Tel Aviv, it’s comforting to know that he’s not going far.