Philadelphia 76ers forward Arsalan Kazemi has been busy this summer. He was the 54th pick in the NBA Draft, played for the Sixers in the summer league and addressing the media as the first Iranian-born NBA draft pick. The only thing he won’t be doing this summer is representing Iran’s National Team at this year’s Asian Championships in the Philippines.
Iran just announced this year’s roster and Kazemi’s name was missing from the final roster. The reason is he probably chose to focus on his upcoming rookie NBA season rather than risk injury and suffer fatigue like most international players have opted to do as well.
Iran could use his help considering they only have the one NBA player, Phoenix Suns center Hamed Haddadi, on its roster. Kazemi averaged 12 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 steals for Iran during the 2010 FIBA World Championships. He would have also been the only player on that roster with NCAA experience.
The other players on the roster all play domestically, which will hinder Iran’s ability to win the title since they are in the round of death competing against heavily-favored China, Asian powerhouse South Korea and Malaysia. Playing for Iran would also hinder Kazemi’s growth since the competition in Asia isn’t quite on the level of the US, Latin America, Europe or even Australia.
Kazemi will most likely be offered a one-year contract from the Sixers because of his potential and will be competing for the back-up spot at one of the forward positions. He struggled in the Summer League averaging 4.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals.
The 2010 championships might be the only time you’ll see Kazemi in action since he seems to be focused on developing his game.