Elijah Bryant has played for Maccabi Tel Aviv this season before joining, right before the NBA playoffs the Milwaukee Bucks.
The guard has played one regular season game in which he scored 16 points and 11 playoffs games in which he had an average of 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 4.5 minutes per contest.
Bryant and his agent Adam Pensack of Pensack Sports spoke his Sportando about this unbelievable journey.
1) Leaving Israel and Maccabi in the middle of the season to join the Bucks and win the NBA title. Just un unbelievable story…
Yes it was a Blessing to say the least. We were very fortunate to have this opportunity. It wouldn’t have been possible without the lord, my family, Milwaukee, my agent and Maccabi. Very few players get an opportunity like this. I have always believed that if I keep working hard every day an opportunity in the NBA would come. My agent told me only 540 players in NBA history have a championship ring. This is unbelievable to me. I am also very happy Maccabi won everything after I left.
2) When it was first contact between you and the Bucks?
I have been in contact with Milwaukee since I played for them in summer league in 2019. I know they were following my progress in Israel since then so I always continued to work hard to make sure I would be ready when my opportunity came.
3) How was negotiations with Maccabi Tel Aviv?
Negotiations like this are never easy but I left this to my agent to handle. I’m forever grateful to Maccabi for allowing me to fulfill a lifelong dream. It is never easy to leave a team in the middle of the season. I was happy in Maccabi and the team was playing well so it was not easy to leave.
Thankfully after a long negotiation it worked out well for Maccabi, Milwaukee, and myself.
4) Did you push to leave or were you open to staying in Tel Aviv?
For a while I did not know what would happen. My agent told me Milwaukee was interested but I did not know if a deal would be completed. So, I was open to staying with Maccabi but of course my dream for my entire life has been to play in the NBA. Maccabi helped me reach that dream so i think in the end everyone can be happy with the end result.
5) Did Maccabi Tel Aviv help in letting you leave?
Yes, Maccabi helped. Of course everyone had to agree to the deal and they agreed. They allowed me to fulfill a lifelong dream and they were very understanding of my request even though I know it was very difficult during the season.
6) Where it will be your future? Do you have a contract with Milwaukee for next season?
Yes I have a contract with Milwaukee for next season.
1) What is the feeling of an agent to find the right situation and put the player from EuroLeague to NBA and the NBA title?
It is an amazing feeling. When Elijah made the jump to EuroLeague in his 2nd season it was a very big accomplishment. That is very rare for American players in Europe. Elijah earned and deserved that opportunity. Then in April of this year, Elijah, his mother, and I were on a zoom call discussing Elijah’s plan for next season (2021/2022). We agreed that we should pursue the NBA. Elijah had big interest already in April for next season from some of the biggest clubs in Europe and he was very appreciative for this interest. But Elijah was going to be a free agent this summer and he wanted to pursue the NBA first and then evaluate other opportunities if the NBA did not happen. Of course we did not know during that zoom call that Elijah would have an NBA opportunity just one month later. As an agent, I send information to teams constantly about our players. Thankfully these efforts paid off and the offer from Milwaukee came for Elijah. But of course, Elijah deserves 95% of the credit. He has worked incredibly hard every day for many years to be ready for this opportunity. Each year there is a small handful of American players who make the jump from overseas to the NBA and my brother, Ben, and I are very fortunate to have helped a few make this jump (Jack Cooley, Brandon Paul, Elijah Bryant, etc.). And for Elijah it is even more special since he won an NBA championship ring just a couple months later. It has been an unbelievable experience for everyone. I am just so very happy for Elijah and his family.