The American most-followed basket league, the NBA, is ready to please its millions of followers with some new great news: the Milwaukee Bucks have just gained one of their best achievements in 50 years as they’ve become the champions of the NBA.
Arabic Bookmakers Are Going Crazy About The NBA
That is an amazing piece of news that the fans of the Milwaukee Bucks only heard when Abdul-Jabbar got the chance to hold up the famous Larry O’Brien trophy. It was a long time ago, sure, but the fervent spirit of the public got awakened once again this year, which generated a big outbreak of online bets on the world’s most accredited Arabic bookmakers. We all know that Arabs take sports seriously enough to spend generous amounts of money on football, volleyball, car racing, and basketball betting online especially when it comes to Arab Muslim Athletes. So, while thousands of Arabic fans were targeting their preferred online bookmakers to place bets on the Milwaukee Bucks, many fans focused on what the New York Knicks were doing.
Probably, not all NBA followers know that Muslim player Enes Kanter joined the Knicks last September. Being Muslim in an American basket team may mean facing and managing some life aspects. Professional sports players can’t separate their private life from their public life because sports at that level means to become entirely devoted to it, no matter who you are or where you are from.
Things All Arab Bettors Should Know About Muslim NBA Players
As a fan of one (or even more) NBA team, you may already know that Muslim players often face challenging situations regarding their religious responsibility. Prayers have an important part in every Muslim’s life, which affects the professional activity as a basket player, of course. We want to show our readers an interview with some of the most famous Muslim NBA players about how their spiritual life can meet their sports tasks e what non-Muslim teammates see Islam be like. Here are the questions we addressed to some of the biggest names of the NBA:
What about prayers, Ramadan, and other religious duties as an NBA player?
Abdul-Rauf, who converted to Islam as a college student, says that praying is quite hard as the team has to travel a lot, so he must follow it everywhere. The most challenging aspect is meeting precise prayer times as he is often training or doing other activities with the team at those times.
Senegalese player Dieng also reveals that praying is the hardest part of being a Muslim in the NBA. Sometimes he feels he hasn’t time enough to pray, but other times an appropriate place to pray. Dieng doesn’t even disdain to pray in the locker room.
Born in Switzerland, Kanter says that time is the worst enemy for praying, but no matter how tough, praying is possible when you want to do it.
How did your teammates, coaches, or executives react when they found out you are Muslim?
Abdul-Rauf noticed a big difference between teammates of other religions and himself: while nobody used to pray during the day, he had to do it. His teammates looked at him a bit shocked at first, as though he was doing anything weird.
Olajuwon was probably a little luckier than many other Muslim players: his teammates showed respect to him and his faith, which encouraged him to feel part of the family in the NBA world.
Have you ever experienced discriminatory situations as a Muslim in your team?
In Abdul-Wahad’s life, discrimination was often not an open reaction from teammates and coaches, but he’s aware they could comment on his religion badly behind closed doors.
Faried’s teammates and coaches never seemed to discriminate against him for being a Muslim, but some followers did it more than once, especially on social networks.
What do you think non-Muslim people don’t understand about Islam?
Abdul-Wahad answers that most people miss an important aspect of Islam, that it’s no longer a religion for a small group of Bedouins in the Arabic deserts, but it’s a worldwide faith with an impressive number of cultural expressions. Abdul-Rauf focuses his answer on the fact that many non-Muslim people still have old misconceptions like Muslims are all terrorists or that Muslims hate western countries and their lifestyles. Kanter says that one of the biggest misconceptions about Islam is about being Arab: many people identify the religion with the Arabs, which isn’t always correct as there are millions of Muslims outside the Middle East, too.
Although several NBA stars found a not really favorable atmosphere about their faith, the New York Knicks announced they have a new private room in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan for their Muslim team members. It’s an important sign of opening toward Muslim players who need to take some time for prayers.