The Dallas Mavericks are looking to shore up their backcourt. One of their offseason moves was signing Israeli point guard Gal Mekel, who will not participate in EuroBasket this fall. His Israeli coach, Arik Shivek, is not happy about it.
“Mekel told me that he was put in a room with General Manager Donnie Nelson and all the coaches and they told him that as a rookie he would have a better chance of playing more minutes at the start of the season if he takes part in the preliminary training camp as well as the final camp,” Shivek said, via Allon Sinai of The Jerusalem Post.
“I was very surprised and so was Gal. Mekel then put Donnie Nelson on the phone, who I know from his time in Europe, and I told him what I thought of what they are doing to Gal. I think they are not being fair and are putting him in an impossible situation.”
If it was really that important to Mekel he could have discussed this before signing, it’s not like Euro Basket popped up after he signed unexpectedly. Mekel however is taking responsibility for the decision and not blaming the Mavericks.
“I understood that in order to have a good rookie season I need to get to Dallas early and work according to the team’s program,” Mekel said. “I really love the national team, but I came to the conclusion that if I want to remain an NBA player for many years, then my rookie season is very important.”
The Mavericks have depth at point guard having signed Jose Claderon and drafted Shane Larkin, so Mekel needs to get into camp to compete.