When the Dallas Mavericks were eliminated from the National Basketball Association playoffs on Sunday by the San Antonio Spurs, following the Houston Rockets' season-ending loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, it meant the end of the line in 2014 for both teams of the only Israeli players in NBA history.
Omri Casspi, the forward for the Rockets who in 2009 became the first Israeli-born NBA player, finished the year averaging 6.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in 71 appearances. It was his first season in Houston, after he spent two years with the Sacramento Kings and two more with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Gal Mekel, a rookie point guard for the Mavericks, averaged 2.4 points and 2.0 assists in 31 games this season. But neither Casspi nor Mekel appeared in a playoff game for their squads.
Casspi and Mekel made history last November by becoming the first two Israeli players to face each other in an NBA game.