1. Founders Generation
It all started in 1932 in the open air court at the Shapira suburb in Tel Aviv South. Young newcomers from the USA like Al Fleisher and Sam Steinberg, introduced the game and taught the locals which included 17 years old Yehoshua Rozin, later known as "Mister Basketball" who coached the team until 1974.
Until 1954 there was no organized activity. The rival teams were YMCA Jerusalem and also Armenian teams as well as Christian Arabs.
The Tel Aviv derby vs Hapoel was also launched in the thirties.
In April 1939 Maccabi Tel Aviv played some games in Egypt. In 1944 they visited Lebanon and in 1947 went on their first European tour and played in Czechoslovakia, Holland, Belgium & France.
2. Second Generation
The first official league season was held n 1954, six years after independence. Eight teams took part and Maccabi Tel Aviv were the first champions. Five of Maccabi players were the backbone of the Israel national team ranked fifth in the 1953 European Championship in Moscow: Avraham Shneur, Zecharia Offri, Yehuda Wiener, Menahem Korman and Ralph Klein. Maccabi were also the first winners of the State Cup in 1956 with a double victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv.
The first games in the European Cup for Champions were held in 1958 and Maccabi were eliminated in the first round by Romanian champions CCA Bucarest. Only five years later Maccabi recorded its first win in the competition by beating the Yugoslav champion Olimpja 72-71 in Ljublijana.
Tanhum Cohen-Mints, Israel's top player those days, played for the starting five of the European All Star selection who won 91-87 in Madrid vs Real.
3. First European Final
In August 1966 a young Jewish-American player, Talbot (Tal) Brody from Trenton, New Jersy, landed in Tel Aviv. The "All American" from the University of Illinois, selected 12th in the NBA draft by the Baltimore Bullets, opted to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv bringing to Israel the best of American basketball.
In his first season he led Maccabi to the final of the newly formed Cup Winners Cup competition. On the way he was involved in what has been described as "The Badalona Miracle". Maccabi lost by 32 points the first game played in Spain vs Juventud Badalona. Led by Brody Maccabi won the second leg in the open air Yad Eliyahu stadium by exactly 32 points and won the decider 48 hours later in Tel Aviv 75-51. In the semi finals Maccabi overcame Bulgarian team Botev Bourgas and in the final faced Ignis Varese. The Italians won at home 77-67, Maccabi replied with a 68-67 win in Tel Aviv but the cup went to Varese.
4. First European title
After two brilliant seasons, Brody left Israel to serve in the US Army.
"I owe it to my home country who gave me so much", he said.
In 1969 a young advocate named Shimon Mizrahi, was appointed as club's president "for a short period" which has lasted until these days.
Tal Brody returned to Israel for good after playing for the US national team who was ranked fifth in the 1970 World Championship in Ljubljana.
In June 1975 Tanhum Cohen Mints was honored with a farewell game between Maccabi and a European All Star selection.
Less then two years later Maccabi became the first Israeli team to win a European trophy. Coach Ralph Klein built a brilliant squad which had to overcome many obstacles on the way to the final. Two of Maccabi rivals, CSKA Moscow & Zbrojovka Brno, refused to play in Tel Aviv and to host Maccabi in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. This due to the fact that there were no diplomatic relations between the countries since the six day war.
Due to the intervention of Mr. Leon Wandel, one of FIBA's top officials, a solution was agreed so that Maccabi's away games were held in Belgium with Maccabi winning both of them in Vilvorde and Virton.
The final was played at the "Pionir" arena in Belgrade where Maccabi beat Mobilgirgi Varese 78-77. Maccabi's top scorers: Mickey Berkowitz 20, Jim Boatwright 18, Tal Brody 15, Lou Silver 14, Aulcie Perry 10 points.
5. Five Finals, 1 Cup
At the start of the 1978/79 season, Maccabi TA hosted the then NBA Champions, Washington Bullets and won 98-97. In April 1980 Maccabi played in its second EC Final and lost to Real Madrid 85-89 in Berlin.
The 1980/81was a record season. It opened with a farewell game for Tal Brody vs a All Star European Selection.
Under American coach Rudy D'Amico Maccabi won four trophies: The Intercontinental Cup in Sarajevo, the Israeli championship, the state cup and for the second time the European Champions Cup. In Strasbourg, France, Maccabi beat Sinudyne Bologna 80-79. Top scorers: Mickey Berkowitz 20, Earl Williams 19, Aulcie Perry 18 & Jim Boatwright 12 points. The following year Maccabi played its third final in a row, losing to the Italian club Squib Cantu 80-86 in Koln, Germany.
In 1987, 1988 & 1989, Maccabi TA took part in three more European finals under coaches Zvi Sherf (twice) & Ralph Klein. In spite of fielding some top class players like Doron Jamchy, Kevin Magee, Lee Johnson & Kenny Barlow, Maccabi remained losing finalists.
6.The Goldedn Era
After 11 seasons without a European final, Maccabi returned on the scene in 2000. Under head coach Pini Gershon and assistant coach David Blatt, the team reached the final of the Final Four in Thessaloniki, Greece where they lost 67-73 to Panathinaikos Athens and Oded Kattash who was a product of the Maccabi youth section and starred on the first team.
The following year, in the Bercy Arena in Paris, Maccabi won its third European trophy, beating the same Panathinaikos 81-67 with players like Nate Huffman, voted Suproleague MVP, Arriel McDonald, the Final Four MVP, Anthony Parker, Nadav Henefeld and Tal Burstein.
After a two years break, coach Gershon returned to the club and led them to two more Euroleague trophies: In 2004 in Tel Aviv with a record (118-74) win over Skipper Bologna and in 2005 in Moscow overcoming TAU Vitoria 90-78.
Anthony Parker was voted Euroleague MVP, Nikola Vujcic & Sarunas Jasikevicius were members of the All Euroleague Team. Maceo Baston and Tal Burstein completed the Maccabi starting five.
Since Maccabi played in three more finals losing to CSKA Moscow twice & Panathinaikos Athens.