Former Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball star Tal Brody is expected to run for the Knesset on behalf of the Likud, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
The legendary shooting guard was recently asked by Benjamin Netanyahu to join the party. Brody told Netanyahu he would be willing to enter politics in order to advocate issues close to his heart, namely sports, aliyah and social issues.
“I met with Netanyahu a few times, and we discussed the matter,” Brody said. “I greatly appreciate his offer, and in the meantime I’m continuing with my social activities. I promised Bibi that we would meet again and talk.
“I am about to retire, and if (the country) is looking for people who can contribute instead of retiring or going to the beach – then I must oblige,” he said. “I do not intend to intervene in political matters that I am unfamiliar with.”
Brody was made famous for saying “We are on the map, and we are staying on the map, not only in sports, but in everything" following a 91:79 win over CSKA Moscow in the semifinals of the 1977 European championship, which the team then went on to win. The late prime minister Menachem Begin even adopted the saying as a slogan for his 1981 election campaign.
After retiring from basketball, Brody focused on volunteer work, and currently heads the Spirit of Israel organization, which is dedicated to raising funds for “vital human needs, as specified by the Jewish Agency and Keren Hayesod”.
“I am not familiar with the political system, but the country is important to me, so instead of whining I would rather take action,” he said. “I would prefer not calling it politics, but rather working on behalf of the State of Israel.”