The playoff finals begin tomorrow. Maccabi Tel Aviv's championship will be its 56th. Only eight times since 1969 have other teams won the title. Twice Hapoel Jerusalem, and once for each of the teams Hapoel Holon, Upper Galilee, Gilboa/Galil, Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Rishon LeZion.
We tried to rate who were the best. Who are the great teams of Israeli basketball that are not Maccabi Tel Aviv. If Hapoel Tel Aviv wins the title, it will also become one of them.
1. Hapoel Holon 2007/8 season
It was a one-off team that played one-off basketball and provided a one-off appearance for just one year. Hapoel Holon of 15 years ago is probably the most talented and deep group that has ever been here - if you don't take Maccabi Tel Aviv into account.
This was Mickey Dorsman's project. He invested the money, built the team and coached it all the way to a dream season, which ended with Malik Dixon's winning basket over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Final Four - the same Maccabi that reached the Euroleague finals that season.
It was a group of players with depth and quality, which included talented foreigners and an excellent group of Israelis, among them Amit Tamir and Goni Yizraeli. And of course, above all was my mouth. Jay. The one and only Tucker, who at the time in Israel didn't even understand how such a player got to the Israeli league. He is one of the greatest foreigners to have played here.
2. E. Upper Galilee 1992/3 Season
The magical team that amazed everyone by winning the championship in a dream season, nicknamed "Cherry Season". Until this season, Maccabi Tel Aviv had won the title 23 times in a row, but this time they were eliminated in the playoff semi-final series by Upper Galilee - who continued to the title by beating Hapoel Tel Aviv in the final.
The architect of the show was Pini Gershon, who built a very intelligent team with innovative basketball, in which the tall ones played outside and the guards under the basket led by Doron Sheffer. Galil did not repeat the feat and was even relegated over the years, but Pini Gershon took off from there for a great career.
3. Maccabi Haifa 2012/13 Season
During Jeff Rosen's time at Maccabi Haifa, it was the team in which the most money was invested – and it bore fruit. It was the Final Four, and Haifa took the title with a victory in the final over Maccabi Tel Aviv, but you can be sure that even if it had been a series, Haifa would have won. It was a glorious group.
Brad Greenberg was on the sidelines at the time, and a stick wave in a peak season took the championship for the second time outside Maccabi Tel Aviv. Above all was Donte Smith - who showed everyone here what it means to do everything on the court.
Mekel celebrating in front of Maccabi Tel Aviv, photo: Alan Shaver
4 Hapoel Yam 2014/15 Season
From Donte Smith to Donte Smith. The forward did it again two years after the championship with Maccabi Haifa. He brought the first championship in the history of Hapoel Jerusalem. Those were the years when Uri Alon ran Jerusalem and thought very big. It began with the Israeli basketball tiebreaker of signing Lior Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin, and continued with Smith's signing. During the season, Allon made a winning move by signing center Dion Thompson - and determined that Danny Franco's Jerusalem was unstoppable.
Jerusalem celebrates a championship in 2015, photo: Alan Shaver
5. Hapoel Yam 2016/17
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The season Amara Stoudemire arrived at Hapoel Jerusalem, but a different move brought them the championship. Hapoel Jerusalem, with coach Simona Pianjani, reached the semi-finals of the Eurocup, but needed a change for the title in Israel. Because of Russian law, to use the deadly foreign foreign line an Israeli was needed under the baskets. In April, the team signed Richard Howell, which allowed them to use the trio of guards to become dominant in the league and win the title.
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