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Clippers broadcasters suspended for comments about Haddadi

By Dan Arritt, for NBA.com
Posted Nov 21 2009 12:00AM

LOS ANGELES -- The longtime announcer of the Los Angeles Clippers and his partner were suspended for a game following their comments about Grizzlies backup center Hamed Haddadi during Wednesday's telecast from Memphis.

Ralph Lawler, in his 31st season as the voice of the Clippers, and analyst Mike Smith were suspended by Fox Sports Prime Ticket for Friday's game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center.

Toward the end of the 106-91 loss to the Grizzlies, Haddadi entered the game. A 7-foot-2 center, Haddadi is the first Iranian to play in the NBA. When he entered, Smith began a 40-second exchange by saying, 'Look who's in?" Lawler then answered, "Hamed Haddadi. Where's he from?" The exchange continued as follows:

Smith: "He's the first Iranian to play in the NBA."

Lawler: "There aren't any Iranian players in the NBA."

Smith: "He's the only one."

Lawler: "He's from Iran?"

Smith: "I guess so."

Lawler: "That Iran?"

Smith: Yes.

Lawler: "The real Iran?"

Smith: "Yes."

Lawler: "Wow. Haddadi -- that's H-A-D-D-A-D-I."

Smith: "You're sure it's not Borat's older brother?"

Smith: "If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I'm going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part."

Lawler: "Here's Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball."

Smith: "Especially the post players.

Lawler: "I don't know about their guards."

A viewer apparently complained about the exchange and later received an apology from Fox Sports.

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