The NBA’s Golden State Warriors have dropped Israeli basketball player Omri Casspi on Sunday due to injuries, dashing the hopes of his Israeli fans to see the first-ever player from the Jewish state in the playoff games.
“The Golden State Warriors have waived forward Omri Casspi,” last year’s champions announced in a statement.
Casspi has been sidelined by an ankle injury and Golden State needed to clear a roster spot in order to make room for Quinn Cook to be on the playoff roster. Casspi won’t be able to join another team until the end of the season due to NBA rules.
Yavne-native Casspi, who in 2009 became the first Israeli ever to make it to the top US basketball league, debuted with the Warriors in October. It was the sixth NBA team he has played for.
He had a strong start to the season, but his performance suffered later due to several injuries. In February, Yahoo Sports reported that Casspi could be traded due to unsatisfactory performance in three-point shots. The team eventually decided to keep him, and he responded with several stellar games, but injured his ankle again in a March 16 bout against his former team, the Sacramento Kings.
Casspi appeared in 53 games in his eight months with the Warriors this season, including seven starts, averaging 5.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 14.0 minutes per game.
AP contributed to this report.