A rabbi came onto the court to intercedeÂ on behalf ofÂ the coach ofÂ an Israeli basketball team, whoÂ refused to leave after being ejected from an exhibition game with the Knicks.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The Boston Herald
Pini Gershon:Â "You are all ferdrayt, fershtay?"
Hoo--what a day here at Kosher Sports Network.Â First, I have to fight off rumors that Kasey Kahne is Jewish.Â He's not Kasey Kahane, you meshugginas!Â We are still waiting for the Sandy Koufax of NASCAR to appear.
Kasey Kahne:Â Not Jewish, Mountain Dewish
Then I get an emergency call from Madison Square Garden just as I'm about lie downÂ to gay shlafen.Â Get over here, the kvetch at the other end of the line says--Pini Gershon just got his second technical!
You don't have to be a maven on the 24-second clock to know what that means.Â Two "T's" and you're gone--outta here.
"There's nothingÂ anyone can do," I said into the receiver.Â "And even if there were, it's not like I'm the only rabbi in New York who's passed the New York State Amateur Basketball Referee's exam."
But no--the guy launches into the whole megillah.Â How the coach is refusing to leave the floor, he's arguing a traveling call and a moving pick set by Eddy Curry.Â Fuhgeddaboutit--there's no way I'm bumping chests with that big schvartze!
But after awhile I give in, the guy's such a nudge, and jump in a cab.
When I get to the Garden, I see that fershlugina Gershon, red in the face like a slice of tongue in the deli case.
"Pini, Pini," I say, "calm down.Â Let me handle this!"
I go over to the ref and kibitz for awhile.Â I tell him the joke about the crew team at Yeshiva, how the coach gets tired of losing and sends a spy over to Columbia to figure out what he's doing wrong.Â The spy watches a few practices and comes back with his report.Â "Coach," he says, "they have an entirely different concept over there.Â They've gotÂ eight guys rowing, and only one yelling."
The guy doesn't even crack a smile.Â I tell him it's an exhibition game, children are watching around the world--it's important that we show them we can settle our differences, forgive each other, yadda yadda.
He's not buying it.Â The second technical is the law--he says it's right there in Leviticus, after the juicy parts about leprosy.
I don't have my Maimonides with me, so I remain perplexed.Â I just shake my head in resignation and go back over to Pini.
"Pini," I begin, "the ref--he says this is the law and you must obey.Â Now stop acting like a zhlub and go take a shower, you fershtinkiner."
"That guy's got rabbit ears, rabbi!" Pini objected, referring to the condition--common among pro sports officials--who get all ver clempt when you helpfully point out that they forgot their eyeglasses.
"I know, I know," I say, putting my arm around him and trying to lead him to the dressing room.Â "Look," I offer by way of consolation.Â "Let me do the insulting.Â You--you stick to the pick and roll, okay?"
He's mollified a bit, and agrees to behave himself if I give it to the ref, but good.Â I say I will, and he walks off to the runway, where he can see but not be seen.
"Hey ref!" I yell, and catch the pharisaical putz's attention.
"What, rabbi?" the goy/guy asks.
"A messa mashee af deer," I yell, wishing a horrible death upon him.
"What's that mean?" he asks.
"May you makeÂ as muchÂ money in bribes as Tim Donaghy!"