the dominant player in Israeli hoops. The former Chicago playground legend and Georgia Tech/U. of Arizona standout seemed to have found a home in TA after a brief NBA sojourn that included time spent here in the Bay Area in the employ of the Golden State Warriors. Bynum is likely to find his new home rather less hospitable after an incident that took place early Saturday morning outside a nightclub called the "G-Spot" in Tel Aviv. Apparently, Bynum and former Philadelphia 76-er Vonteego Cummings were out celebrating Bynum's 25th birthday with Bynum's brother and, potentially, a larger cadre of pro-ballers that frequent the hip-hop club. Bynum's party clashed with a group from Dimona, members of the Hebrew Israelite Community in Dimona, according to the police. The Dimona-ites claim Bynum made a pass at a woman in their crowd. An initial scuffle was settled, but Bynum and his boys found an angry pack of "youths" in the parking lot when they later left the club. Bynum seems to have dashed to his car with Cummings and driven directly at one of his attackers. A 22 year-old man survived the collision, but was severely injured, leaving bloodstains on Bynum's vehicle.
I'm often struck by how hostile clubs and bars are -- an atmosphere I'm less and less comfortable in. This may sound banal, but I, for one, am continually astonished. So was this incident just good old-fashioned drinkin' and fightin' à la Americaine? I'm not sure. I would love to have been a fly on the wall. What was the dynamic here? A Boston Celtics fan blog ludicrously misread this as "Zionist" vs. Other. Some, understandably in light of a spate of recent attacks on pro athletes, see this as further evidence that heckling now involves bodily harm. And the American media hasn't picked up on the fact that, the Hebrew Israelites are, well, basically American, with an African-American pedigree that goes back to the inner circle of Marcus Garvey. Or maybe I'm making precisely the same mistake of mislabeling that Bynum and Vonteego made. Either way, the story should have been material for a perversely imaginative American writer like Ralph Ellison or Chester Himes.