Eli Yatzpan wanted to be the first Israeli to shoot hoops with Kobe Bryant, but he had no idea that his attempt at humor would end with a harsh rebuke from the National Basketball League (NBA).
Yatzpan and the production team of his show "Shalom and Good Evening," arrived to Los Angeles a few days ago to film a humorous news piece during a Clippers – Lakers basketball game at the Staples Center. Arik Henig, the NBA representative to Israel and NBA Commissioner David Stern's advisor, obtained the requisite permissions for the crew to film down on the court.
Yatzpan was filmed passing the ball to Kobe Bryant while giving him "pointers" in Hebrew and gibberish.
It later became apparent that the Israelis' behavior did not amuse the Americans. One of the members of the production team was eating a hotdog while the filming was taking place and was reprimanded by Clippers' staff, the game's hosts. Another member of the team was scolded for drinking beer on the job in contravention of the NBA work code.
What is more, Yatzpan's crew also filmed parts of the actual basketball game, which is prohibited under NBA rules.
After the team finished filming, the Clippers' administration filed a complaint with the NBA, which in turn fired off a harsh reprimand to the production team. The letter rebuked the Israelis for "inappropriate behavior" and pondered whether or not to allow the piece to be broadcasted.
Yatzpan's crew penned an apology letter in response.
Yatzpan's program, which is broadcasted on Channel 2, will be aired on Sunday this week.