No Introduction Needed: The Greatest Jewish Basketball Player Who Ever Lived – Dolph Schayes

Today is our One Year Anniversary of The Great Rabbino. In our first year we have been picked up by Oy! Chicago and the Jewish Journal. We were published in Schmooze Magazine. And we had a feature article on the Chicago Jewish News. We have created Tshirts, sold advertising space, and had over 31,000 readers.

Maybe the best thing about being the creator of The Great Rabbino has been the opportunity to interview and speak with some amazing professional athletes and sport professionals. That list has included Yuri Foreman, Tal Brody, Colt Cabana, Craig Breslow, Sam Fuld, Bernie Fine, Paul Goldstein, Tamir Goodman Ron Blomberg, Steve Dubinsky, Nancy Lieberman, Brimestone, Chasyn Rance, Diamond Dallas Page (not actually Jewish I found out), Jason Horowitz, Dane Diliegro, Brett Harvey,  Yaniv Simpson, Maiya Chard-Yaron, Jason Bonder, Doron Kramer, Howard Megdal, Binnie Klein, Eliese Zukelman, Sean Wallis, Adam Carp, Tamar Katz, Tani Mintz, Drew Goldsmith, Steven Freeman, Josh Borenstein, Jeff Sugar, Jonathon Abramson, Dov Grumet-Morris, and Ari Lucas.

All of these sportsmen and women are great and have added to the Jewish sports world. But none of them are as great as today’s special guest interviewee. Today, on our one year anniversary, we bring to you a special exclusive interview with the greatest Jewish basketball player of all time….Dolph Schayes.

Truly, Dolph Schayes needs no introduction. Schayes is an NBA Hall of Famer. He was a part of the 50 Greatest NBA Players list. Schayes was drafted in 1948 by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played until 1964. During his career he was a 12 time all star. When he finished playing the game he was the NBA’s all time leading scorer (19,249) and had played in the most NBA games (1,059). He was also the 1966 NBA Coach of the Year.

Below is our interview with the greatest Jewish basketball player of all time. The one, the only, Dolph Schayes (yes…the father of Danny Schayes).


1) Tell TGR a little bit about your playing days?
I loved the game in basketball. I played at NYU. He had good skills at it. Being tall definitely helped. I continued to develop. I got good and got some recognition. I received a scholarship to college. That was very helpful. I was the first in my family to go to college. And I made it into a professional career. My career lasted 15 years longer than I thought it would. And I coached a little bit.

2) What was it like seeing your son Danny play?
It was wonderful.  He played for a long time.  He played for 18 years which was two more than me. At the time it was more difficult position because he went up  against Jabbar, Shaq, and Olajuwon. It was credit to his team and himself. He lasted for so long which proved he was valuable.

3) Who was the greatest player you ever played against?
Oscar Robertson was the best player I ever played against. But I played with some great players like West, Cousy, Pettit, Chamberlin, and Russell.

4) Who is the greatest player who ever lived?
You cannot really say who the best player who ever lived was. Oscar is on that short list. Jordan, Russell, Wilt, Kobe, and Lebron are probably on there too.

5) What was it like being named to the top 50 greatest players list?
It was a wonderful pick from my point of view. To be in the same group as Magic and Bird meant a lot. I enjoyed watching it. It was certainly a proud day. When you realize that that team covered 5-6 decades and the pickers recognize the players from all those eras. I was lucky enough to be in the early days. I will tell my grandkids and they can be proud of it.

6) What does Dolph Schayes do today?
I own some property in Syracuse. I also own some toilets. It keeps me busy managing and owning these things. I am an avid basketball fan. I like the college game. Basketball is the greatest game in world with best athletes in the world. I also have a wonderful family that I spend my time with.

Thank you to Dolph Schayes on the great interview.
1 year down in the books. Thank you to everyone for reading.
And Let Us Say…Amen.
-Jeremy Fine


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