Despite Israeli citizenship and regular rumors every summer, the American has not returned since leaving Tel Aviv in 2016: "I was sure I would stay for many years" • On the complex season at Olympics: "We will continue to fight to the end" • Special interview
Against the yellows in the first encounter in Greece
Since leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2016, almost every summer there have been rumors of a possible return of Taylor Rochester to the country, mainly because of his Israeli citizenship. Each time the move did not take place, the Guard (34) moved to Russia, Serbia, China - and last October joined the battered Olympiakos.
In a special interview with "Israel Today", ahead of the game from Greece tonight against Maccabi Tel Aviv, Rochesty recalls in his time in Israel, hinting that he did not like the quick breakup of the Yellows, and talks about trying to bring him back to Israel. He returns to his college year with Clay Thompson And also relates to Spanolis, a stick wave and the question of when will he continue to play.
What do you remember from your time in Israel?
"During my time in Maccabi, I fell in love with the place and the people there. My wife and I still talk quite a bit about Tel Aviv and love it. We will return there one day."
When you played Maccabi they said you were going to stay for a few years, why didn't it happen?
"There is a lot of talk about what happened in Maccabi, I thought I would stay there for many years, probably after I got citizenship, but they decided to go the other way and I respect that. It was hard to change to another group because I really liked the place, but business is business. The parties moved on and came out well for everyone. "
Rochester in the Olympiakos uniform opposite Penerbachce. "We will continue to fight" // Photo: IP
Do you remember the noise surrounding your citizenship?
"There were a lot of rumors around me when I was playing in Israel. I think they wondered about my name and how I got citizenship. Every summer I get phone calls from people asking if I am returning to Israel."
In your last season at Washington State College (2008/9) you played with Rocky Clay Thompson, who later won three NBC Championships, what do you remember from the year with him?
"You might be surprised to hear, Clay was very quiet and a shy kid. The most amusing thing about him is that he constantly plays video games, comes home or friends' apartment and plays video games, he has been a master of the Rock Band game. Talk to him a lot in light of the amazing things he goes through. We talked a little after one of the championships he won. He's a great teammate, so I'm very happy for him. "
Rochester. "I will return to Tel Aviv" // Photo: Udi Citiat
Have you played with a lot of great players during your career, how do you sum up the experience alongside Vasilis Spanoliis, one of the biggest hubs in Europe?
"It's a special year for Spanoulis. It feels like most games stop for a moment to give him any award, he deserves everything about his long period on the team. He is very humble, so he gives the team credit as well."
Moving on to an unstable Olympian season, how do you analyze your chances for the final part of the season and for the game against Maccabi?
"What's good about such a long season and everyone has their ups and downs. Olympiacos is a big club, and no matter what happens, we will continue to fight to reach the playoff and goal-setting situation, and that is our goal in the TA game."
By the end of the current season you will be 35, have you thought about the day after?
"I will continue to play as much as I can because I love basketball and appreciate every minute I play. I feel young and healthy and want to keep playing as much as I can and until I stop enjoying myself."