Years in Maccabi: 5
2 EuroLeague Titles (2004, 2005)
1 SuproLeague Title (2001)
5 Israeli Championships
5 Israeli National Cups (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006)
Member of the Maccabi Hall of Fame - Class of 2016
The story of Anthony Parker’s legendary Maccabi career starts in 2000, just two and a half years after being selected in the first round of the 1997 NBA draft. After battling through injury in the early part of his NBA career, Parker, needing to revitalize himself, moved to Israel to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv. As soon as he made the move to Israel, he quickly fell in love with the country.
Parker immediately became a Maccabi fan favorite, electrifying Yad Eliyahu with his three-point shooting and flashy slam dunks. In his first two seasons with the club, AP became a pivotal part a team that brought European glory back to Tel Aviv by winning the SuproLeague title in 2001, to go along with a pair of Israeli Championships. He then left Maccabi to play in Italy, but missed Israel so much that 6 months later he decided to come back to Maccabi, and wound up leading the team to 3 more national titles, as well as 2 EuroLeague Championships.
With a career average of 15 points per game with Maccabi, Parker established himself as one of the best players in Europe, and subsequently landed himself a 3-year contract with the Toronto Raptors. Parker would go on to play 6 more years in the NBA, splitting time between Toronto and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While Parker left Israel to return to the NBA, Israel always stayed in his heart. Asked why his jersey number was always 18 in the states, Parker responded “The number 18 is a symbol for life and good fortune in Judaism. I thought that was something to take away from Israel and let them know I’m still representing them.”
A Maccabi legend that left his mark on a generation of fans, Anthony Parker will always be a Maccabi icon, whether he’s representing the Yellow and Blue in Israel or in the United States.
Written by Haddar Kaplun