BEIJING – As interest has grown in the NBA over signing 7-foot-2 Iranian Olympian Hamed Ehadadi, the league office has sent a letter to its 30 teams instructing that they are forbidden to even discuss a contract with Ehadadi, Yahoo! Sports has learned.
In the letter, which was sent Friday, NBA legal counsel wrote: “It has come to our attention that representatives of Hamed Ehadadi, an Iranian basketball player, may be contacting NBA teams to discuss the possibility of signing Mr. Ehadadi to an NBA player contract.
“We have been advised that a federal statue prohibits a person or organization in the United States from engaging in business dealings with Iranian nationals.”
The NBA is applying to the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control for a license that, “if granted,” the league said, would allow teams to negotiate with the 23-year-old Ehadadi. Until then, no franchise is allowed to do so.
Commissioner David Stern invited the Iranian national team to compete in July’s NBA summer league in Utah, allowing the team a pre-Olympics tune-up. When NBA teams started to show an interest in signing Ehadadi, Stern had league counsel begin the process of clearing a path through this complicated circumstance with the U.S. State Department.
After his most impressive game of these Olympics – ... >>>
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