Basketball: the Language of Diplomacy

Another piece of President Obama's diplomacy with Turkey: his knowledge of NBA basketball. "The ties among our people have deepened as well, and more and more Americans of Turkish origin live and work and succeed within our borders. As a basketball fan, I've even noticed that Hedo Turkoglu and Mehmet Okur have got some pretty good game," Obama told the Turkish parliament today (links mine).

Neither Turkoglu (forward for the Orlando Magic) nor Okur (center for the Utah Jazz) made the NBA All-Star lineup this year, though NBA fans will attest that they do have game: both effectively implement the inside/outside, Euro-style techniques seen in other talented big men from abroad.