Hamed Haddadi and 5 Other NBA Washouts Who Starred in the Olympics

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Hamed Haddadi and 5 Other NBA Washouts Who Starred in the Olympics
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Iran lost every one of their five games by at least 15 points.

But Hamed Haddadi had a ferocious 2008 Bejing Olympics.

Months before he came to the United States to play for the Memphis Grizzlies, Haddadi led the Iranian national team in group play at the Olympics.

A defensive force, Haddadi led the tournament in rebounds (11.2) and blocks (2.6) per game. He also averaged 16.6 points a game.  

Fast forward to today.

The first Iranian NBA player, Haddadi has played three seasons in the NBA with the Grizzlies. Haddadi played 5.4 minutes per game in 31 contests for the Grizzlies last season, averaging 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game, and shot 51.7 percent from the field.

Haddadi can hang his hat on having played in the Olympics if he wants, but he has a long road ahead of him to make a niche for himself in the NBA. To his credit, he has earned an offer from the Grizzlies for whenever the NBA resumes play.

He had to start somewhere.

Haddadi's time with the Grizzlies suggests an NBA team should not cast his lot on a player's Olympic performance. 

Haddadi's Olympic line is not the only one that outshines his NBA line. Here are the Hamed Haddadi All-Stars: Haddadi and six other players who played splendidly in the Olympics but didn't go far in the NBA.

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