SportsProf

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Americans Hooping in Iran

I had blogged over a year ago about two Iranians who had entered the NBA draft, Jaber Rouzbahani and Hamid Haddadi. I couldn't understand either why Iranians were playing the Great Satan's game or, more hypocritically, why the Iranian government was permitting them to play in the United States. After all, the public rhetoric is so bitter that to allow access to America might be inferred to admit that America isn't so bad after all. Or so one might think.

Now the Sports Law Blog discusses the opposite -- Americans playing professional basketball in Iran. Only in America, right? This is no joke. According to the linked article in The Christian Science Monitor, there are 18 Americans playing professionally in Iran. To me, this is about as puzzling as the entry of Rouzbahani and Haddadi into the NBA draft a few years ago -- or not as puzzling. Putting politics aside, it's clear why Rouzbahani and Haddadi would want to play here -- some of the best basketball in the world is played here, if not the best (Argentina's Olympic victory notwithstanding). Putting politics aside again, it's clear why some Americans might play professionally in Iran -- it's a job, and most young men with hoops talent would opt to play professionally for as long as they can, especially if they enjoy it more -- and it pays more -- than anything else.

Without politics, this wouldn't be much of a story. But given Iran's polar (if not bi-polar) stance against America, it's one interesting story.

1 Comments:

Blogger Mehrdad said...

well, you are in for a surprise. we also play Baseball and Women Softball in Iran.

iran-baseball.page.tl

4:10 PM  

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