Spinning the Dreidel, NBA Style
Before you proceed any further, please watch the video above.
Now that you’ve done that, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve just seen – you may need it.
Okay, let’s break it down:
The first noteworthy moment happens almost immediately, when the decidedly goofy Elie Seckbach says to the camera:
“For centuries, Jews all over the world have been celebrating Hanukkah. But now, for the first time in history, NBA stars and celebrities want to wish you a happy holiday.”
Yes, you heard that correctly. NBA stars and celebrities have completely ignored Hanukkah all throughout history, until this moment. Now they’re finally on board. Pretty incredible stuff.
But as much as we may want to write off our friend Elie as a complete goober from the very outset (which he clearly is), you have to give him credit for managing to get access to a shocking number of players. His first interview is Shaq, who has this to say about Hanukkah: “To all my Jewish people, I love you. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah. Stay out of trouble. Love you.”
You’ve gotta love the “Merry Christmas” message, and the gratuitous and slightly disarming use of “love you” from the big fella.
A minute later, we transition to the next interview via a remix of Hey Ya that has the following lyrics:
My dreidel just spins around
and then falls to the ground
as we light the candles…
And since I don’t even know what to say about that, we’ll move on. The next interview subject is Heat forward Dorell Wright, who makes a respectable effort to sing a couple of traditional songs, including Hava Nagila. And even though he completely butchers it (singing something along the lines of “hava naveevah” and then breaking into a mumble because he knows he hasn’t gotten it right), you’ve gotta give him credit for trying.
On the flip side of the spectrum from Dorell Wright’s courteous effort was Jason Kapono, who had the following exchange:
Elie Seckbach: What do you have to say to Jewish fans for Hanukkah?
Kapono [looking pleased with himself]: Mazel Tov.
Elie: How do you know about that?
Kapono [summoning his most condescending tone]: I got a lot of Jewish friends, bub.
Use of “bub” = red flag that Jason Kapono is a medium to large-sized douchebag.
From there, we cut to Kobe, whom Elie has somehow managed to corner in what appears to be the tunnel underneath an arena. Asked what he has to say to the people of Israel, Kobe responds:
“Stay up. I know you guys are going through a tough time right now, but stay up.”
Yet again, I’m kind of speechless. This is kind of the point in the video where you realize that it’s all at once surreal, confusing and utterly hilarious that this Elie Seckbach character is somehow getting Hanukkah commentary from some of the premier players in the NBA.
Dwayne Wade, initially looking pensive but by the end of his statement barely able to keep a straight face, had this to say to his Jewish fans:
“I hope everyone has a great holiday. Spend it with the ones you love, cherish every memory because time is moving fast.”Pretty clear that by the time he gets to the "because time is moving fast" line D-Wade is 100 percent aware of how ridiculous he sounds.
But the best interviewee of them all was very clearly Ricky Davis. His response when asked if he had a message for Jewish fans was a very enthusiastic “Happy Hanukkah! You guys have fun and blow out all the candles.”
A second later he was told by a perplexed Elie Seckbach that “No, we don’t blow them out…”
Which prompted Ricky to say, “Oh, well… just keep ‘em torched.”
Don’t think I could have come up with a better Hanukkah slogan myself.
Keep ‘em torched, y'all.