Zan Tabak, who won three Euroleague titles as a player and last season’s as an assistant coach, is Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv’s choice to lead its bench as the team tries to climb out of fifth place in its regular season group. Tabak, 45, replaces Guy Goodes, who was released by Maccabi a week ago, and arrives from Fuenlabrada of Spain after mutual agreement to terminate his contract with that club. Tabak was assistant last season to Pablo Laso as Real Madrid won its first Euroleague title in two decades. He had been a Euroleague head coach for most of the 2012-13 season with Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz, saving the team from elimination in the regular season and compiling a 12-10 record that ended with a 3-1 playoffs loss to CSKA Moscow. Tabak had a notable career as a player, which included many accolades, the highlight being a three-peat with Jugoplastika Split as Euroleague champion between 1989 to 1991, a feat no team has been able to reproduce since. He went on to win the NBA title in 1995 with Houston, becoming the first European to win both the Euroleague and NBA crowns. He started his coaching career in 2006 as an assistant to Joan Plaza at Real Madrid. Later, they moved together to Cajasol Seville for two seasons. After that he coached briely at in Trefl Sopot of Poland before working miracles as a mid-season replacement for Laboral in 2012-13. He returned to Real Madrid, where he had played one season, too, to be Laso’s assistant. They reached the 2014 Euroleague championship game, only to lose in overtime, but were back last season to make sure with a triple crown that included the Euroleague, Spanish League and Spanish King’s Cup titles. Tabak takes over a Maccabi team that is 1-4 in Group D halfway through the regular season, the club’s worst start this century.
“I am very happy and excited to get to a huge club like Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv.” Tabak stated. “This is a great opportunity for me, and I’m sure I can help this group succeed. As someone who has devoted his whole life to basketball, I know exactly what an empire Maccabi Tel Aviv is. It is one of the most elite clubs of all time. It is an honor for me to coach the team and give everything I’ve got to help Maccabi succeed at every level possible.”