“I have had a long career with the national team since the 2000s,” Haddadi said following his final stint, against Team Lebanon, in which he notched 14 points and eight boards. “I try to play when I can even if I’m out of shape. I feel good but upset too because I’m leaving my team.”
Haddadi has been playing abroad since his last NBA experience, in 2012/13 with the Suns. All told, the 7’2″ big man spent five seasons in the league, averaging 2.2 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 151 regular season bouts.
Here are more notes from the World Cup:
- Massive disadvantages in rebounding and three-point shooting efficiency, along with a general height disadvantage, doomed Team U.S.A. to its first 2023 FIBA World Cup defeat on Sunday, a 110-104 loss to Lithuania, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Shooting guard Austin Reaves considers the loss a potentially galvanizing moment for the now-4-1 club, heading into the quarterfinals of the tournament, per Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews. “We were down by 17 at the halftime,” Reaves said. “It’s hard to climb back from a deficit like that. When you do that, it’s hard… But tip the hat off, they shot the ball from three really well. Offensively, they were really well. Congrats to them.”
- Hall of Fame point guard Tony Parker recently spoke to RMC Radio’s The Stephen Time Show at length about his native France’s upset early ouster from World Cup competition (hat tip to Eurohoops for the transcription). “There, we really experienced a fiasco,” Parker said. “It’s not normal for such a team to lose in the first round. We have never seen Spain and the United States go out in the first round. And it’s a shame because our generation worked so hard to bring France back to a certain level, so that we could be respected, by FIBA, the referees, the other countries. It’s so hard to have respect… We have to improve the team [ahead of next year’s Paris Olympics], we need changes, but it’s not going to be easy.”
- After a 112-79 defeat against Team Serbia, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ Dominican Republic national team was eliminated from the World Cup prior to the tournament’s quarterfinals. Towns told reporters after the loss that he deeply enjoyed his experience despite the ouster, according to Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops. “This is some of the most fun basketball I’ve ever played,” Towns said. “Coming here, the world expected us to fall flat in our faces, not being a contender and not winning games. Being one of those easy opponents to face, but we didn’t do that at all. We came out here and I hope we made our country proud with the way we competed. The way we fought. And I think the biggest word is we made our country believe.”