Just like Steve Nash, Hakeem Olajuwon, and some other well-known NBA players of African descent, Salah Mejri was initially not inclined to play basketball. He was introduced to the game at an older age than usual but was able to build a career that took him to Europe and now the United States of America, where he currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks in the National Basketball Association.
6 Things to Know About Salah Mejri
His First Sport of Choice was Soccer
Salah Mejri revealed during his childhood that he played football at a somewhat competitive level before he even had a chance to jump a basketball. He found out that football is a more popular sport in his country than basketball and that there are more people willing to play football than those willing to learn basketball. However, when he was 20 years old, he started his basketball career with the local team Étoile Sportive du Sahel.
Liga ACB and EuroLeague Career
Salah Mejri’s first team in the ACB league was Obradoiro CAB, which he joined in August 2012 after spending two years with the Antwerp giants of the Belgian league. After his first year in Spain, Mejri was named Rising Star/Best Young Player in the league. His achievements caught the attention of Real Madrid, who signed him in July 2013, making him the first Arab and Tunisian player to play for the club.
In the 2013-14 season, Mejri’s first year with the Spanish giants, he scored an average of 3.5 points and 2.9 assists per game in 26 EuroLeague games, winning the Spanish King’s Cup and Supercup. The following season he helped his team keep these trophies and also added the Spanish League and EuroLeague to win the triple crown before moving on to the NBA.
Salah Mejri NBA Career
Salah Mejri joined the Dallas Mavericks on July 30, 2015. He was added to the team’s roster on the opening night of the 2015-16 season but did not make his debut as the first Tunisian in an NBA game until three days after the opening game on October 28, 2015.
Mejri played in five of the Mavericks’ first eight games before he was repeatedly sent to the team’s G-League subsidiary, Texas Legends, for several missions. His next appearance in the NBA is scheduled for January 13, 2016. In his NBA rookie season, Mejri made only 6 stars out of 34 games played and averaged 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. In the 2016 playoffs, he averaged 4.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 4 games.
Prior to the 2016-17 season, Mejri underwent arthroscopic surgery for right knee debridement. He recovered in time for the start of the season, where he managed to play 73 regular-season games in an NBA career with an average of 2.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. In the 2017-18 season, he averaged 3.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in 61 matches.
Salah Mejri International Career
Salah Mejri plays for the Tunisian national basketball team at the international level and is the country’s most recognized player. He was part of the Tunisian team that won bronze at the 2009 FIBA African Championships in Libya, which meant that his country should participate in the 2010 FIBA World Championships for the first time ever, as the World Championship qualifiers in Africa are reserved for the medal winners of the continental tournament.
In 2011, Mejri was named the most valuable player at the 2011 FIBA African Championships, which his country won. The victory earned the country another place at a global showcase event, this time at the 2012 London Olympics. Although Mejri only played 5 games and lost all of them at the summer event, he had the highest number of blocked shots.
Since then, Mejri has won another gold medal in the 2015 African Championship, which will be held in his country.
Contract and Salary
On August 3, 2018, Salah Mejri agreed to join the Dallas Mavericks for another year after putting a deal worth $1.57 million on paper. The number, which is the league minimum paid to a player with three years of NBA experience, was agreed by both parties after negotiations were deemed to be terminated after Dallas withdrew a qualifying offer and waived its rights as Free Agent for the player who had been employed by the Dallas Mavericks since 2015.
Salah Mejri is not the tallest person who has ever played in the NBA, although he has a very impressive height of 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 m). His weight is stated as 235 pounds and 107 kg.