“I want to win” – Maccabi Tel Aviv forward James Webb III lands in Israel

Aug 20, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

James Webb landed in Israel on Monday as yellow-and-blue fans descended on Ben Gurion Airport to meet and greet the club’s new forward. The Sports Rabbi was on site to hear his first words in the Holy Land and what his expectations are for the upcoming campaign.

“The flight was great, it was a little delayed but I am here and we made it,” the 29-yerd old began. “I reached out to a couple of guys, I talked to Wade (Baldwin), I know Wade and I played against him in the Spanish league. I reached out to Bonzie (Colson) and a couple of other guys as well. They welcomed me and also wished me a Happy Birthday.”

James Webb – Photo Credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv


As for what he know about his new team, a couple of games from last season stood out, “I had two of my worst games against Maccabi, that is something I‘ll always remember. But Maccabi is a great team, they made it to the playoffs of the Euroleague, they won the Israeli League, so they are a great team. I’m just happy to be a part of it and to add a little bit of what I can do for the team.”

Webb’s Valencia teammate, Jasiel Rivero also signed with Maccabi and Kyle Alexander went to Hapoel Tel Aviv, “Playing with Jasiel will be great, we have that chemistry already and playing against Kyle will be fun as well and competitive but hopefully we will come out on top.”

Maccabi kept most of their squad intact for the new season and will look too build off of their success last year, “They bringing pretty much everyone back, they’re staying solid as far as with their foundation. I think I can add to what they have bring a little bit of energy and hustle, so the little things and try to fit in where I can.”

Head coach Oded Katash told Webb over the summer that he just wants him to do what he’s been doing all along, “Just to come here and be myself. At the end of the day it’s basketball, change of scenery, change of teams but at the same time I’ve been doing this for a while now so just come in and be myself.”

As for expectations, Webb kept it short and simple, “Just to win, I want to win. They won last year so I would like to be a winner as well in Europe.”

For more on James Webb:

James Webb III joined Maccabi Tel Aviv on a 2-year deal earlier in the week and became the first new signing for the Yellow & Blue ahead of the 2023/24 season. The 29-year old forward has played for a number of teams in Europe having most recently featured for Valencia where he made his Euroleague debut and also played in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets and in the G-League.

The Augusta, Georgia native who stands at 6”9 attended North Idaho College in his freshman year and then transferred to Boise State University where he played his sophomore and junior years before forgoing his senior season and entered the NBA Draft. In his first year at Boise, Webb was selected as the MWC Newcomer of the Year and in his second campaign he was named to the MWC First Team.

Following two seasons in the G-League and a short stint with the Nets it was off to Europe in 2018 where he played for Bonn while the following season, Webb tried to give the NBA dream one more go with another year in the G-League at Iowa. But since 2020, Webb has played in Europe making stops at Larisa, Murcia and Valencia where he averaged 8 points and 4.1 rebounds while going 53/138 for a 38.4% from deep.

James Webb – Photo Credit: Euroleague


To learn more about James Webb III, The Sports Rabbi heard from journalists and former teammates about what the new Maccabi man will offer the club as they look to reach European glory.

Spanish basketball journalist Mario Gomez gave his thoughts about the Yellow & Blue’s new signing: From my point of view, Maccabi has found a rotation player who fits perfectly into the Israeli team’s playing philosophy. We are talking about a 2.03 m power forward who is much more of a finisher than a generator, with an acceptable “catch and shoot” from 6.75 with 38%.

He really likes to run on the counterattack and always finish it off with a powerful two-handed alley hoop dunk, he can even end up dunking from behind without a problem. Near the hoop, taking advantage of his height and physicality, he seeks to finish the play in the most forceful way, hence his correct shooting percentages of 65%. His 2nd option is the 1v1 attempting a one-handed hook. On the defensive glass, he closes the opponent well and manages to capture him with his long arms.

In twenty minutes on the floor, he can be an asset to be taken into account for Oded Katash’s team. From the first day, they will have to work a lot with him on the game without the ball, the anticipation of the offensive rebound, as well as being able to improve his percentage from the free throw line, for example in the Euroleague it was only 58.3%, the weak points that must be strengthened to achieve the most regular version of him. His two good seasons at UCAM Murcia as a leader, gave him the endorsement needed for him to reach Valencia Basket where Álex Mumbrú expected a physical, versatile player who could contribute on both sides of the court.

Despite his two poor performances last season against the Tel Aviv team, both at the Fonteta and Menora Mivtachim Arena, James Webb can be an interior player who can give rest to both forwards and centers. His physical condition will be key to assessing his performance, for example, arthritis in a toe on his left foot kept him off the court for a full month.

James Webb – Photo Credit: Euroleague


The fact that the player has paid the clause to be a free agent and reach Maccabi, shows the desire and commitment that he has to be part of this team knowing about the great atmosphere that is always in the arena. I hope you can enjoy him, in Valencia they ended up being satisfied with his performance. We’ll see how he responds by playing 2 or 3 games a week, but he’s used to it.

Sport basketball scribe Marc Del Rio also spoke about Webb: I think that it’s early to think that Webb will be in the starting line up or in the last minutes of the game. But it’s true that he played very well last two seasons in Spain, having an amazing year in Murcia where he was one of the best players on the team helping the club advance to the semifinals of Copa del Rey. As for his season in Valencia, I believe it was the same, he was one of the best players this but it was a difficult season in general for the club and I think their fans expected better results.

Webb is a quick player in the ‘4’ position with a great shot from the corner 3, with a high defensive level and he’s also a smart player that can cut easily and fast from the three point line to basket. One thing is sure, he arrives at Maccabi at the peak of his career when he is playing his best. He’s a good addition for the team as an American player with Euroleague experience.

An additional journalist Alex Reyes chimed in: He’s very good shooter. Small to be a 4, so he’s a 3.5. Very intelligent with good physique. He’s a team player, not individualist.

Boise State Teammates:
Kevin Allen: Webbie is a great guy and a heck of a player. Maccabi got a really good player. I’m excited to watch.

Igor Hadziomerovic: He was a great teammate!

James Webb – Photo Credit: Euroleague


G-League Teammates:
Stedmon Lemon: Great Player, Great Teammate, and even better person. A hard worker who has proved he can play at any level of basketball. A dog who gets after it every possession and who is a very versatile player who can stretch the floor and also defend the post. Maccabi is getting another electric piece to a well put together team and I’m sure he’s ready to get after it. It will be exciting to see! I’m very happy for him as a former teammate and friend! NBA level talent.

Brannen Greene: Super fun and exciting player to watch. High energy, plays with a lot of passion, very versatile, as well as coachable. I grew up with him as well, so I’ve known him for a while. Great teammate and super positive all the time.

Brandone Francis: Great guy. Great teammate. He gets better every year and he cares! I’m so happy for him, he deserves it. He has had to earn everything he’s got. After leaving the States he has shown that he belongs in the best leagues in the world. He can play at a high level and do multiple things in the court.”

Jaylen Johnson: That’s my guy, good friend of mine. He’s a hard worker and he’s really active on both ends. Really an NBA talent and if I could always pick a player, I would always play with him on my team.

Larisa Teammates:
Ken Brown: Amazing person, amazing energy, amazing character. He doesn’t really have too many bad days at all, he’s easy going and eager to learn always, he gets along with everybody and likes to communicate a lot. A very fun person to be around and a great character to be around. As a basketball player it goes without seeing it that the man played at the highest levels, he knows how to play and has a lot of intangibles that can really help Maccabi Tel Aviv achieve some of the goals that they are trying to achieve for this year coming in. He’s a great asset to any team that he goes to because of the abilities that he has on the court, and off the court he’s just a great teammate overall, one hand off.

James Webb – Photo Credit: Euroleague


Spyros Mourtos: I have only the best to say about James. Great teammate, very humble and respectful teammate, always smiley and positive. Stepped up in important games. Playing wise great stretch 4 with elite rebounding and open court ability with his athleticism.

Murcia Teammates:
Chris Czerapowicz: I got nothing but good things to say about Webb. I know it might be typical to say this but he really is the perfect example of a great player but even better teammate. A team first kind of guy, a glue guy both on and off the court. Maccabi’s lucky to have him join and I’m happy for one of my closest friends Jake Cohen to get the chance to play with Webb.

Emanuel Cate: James is a very competitive guy, funny in the lockerroom and a good add for sure for the team. Wishing him all the best! Can read and do multiple situations on the court, versatile player.

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