No, this headline is actually true. According to Bloomberg, Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko will open the first Hooters in the entire country of Russia, apparently flying in the face of Russian “antipathy” towards U.S.-based companies.
McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) this month closed its restaurants in Crimea, citing supply problems, a move seen as a snub in Russia for its annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, which prompted U.S. sanctions. The deputy speaker of the Russian parliament, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, called for protests to drive the Big Mac maker out of the country, a campaign backed by 62 percent of Russians, according to a poll by SuperJob’s Research Center.
“What do politics have to do with a sports bar?” Kirilenko, 33, said by phone from New York. The Nets will begin the NBA playoffs this weekend.
“Russians and Americans are more alike than different — huge sports fans who are looking for great food and good times,” Kirilenko said. “When you’ve got waitresses that look like ours, it’s a slam dunk.’
Via Bloomberg — Hoops to Hooters as AK-47 Courts Moscow Mad at McDonald’s
Wait, what!? Let’s read that last sentence again: “When you’ve got waitresses that look like ours, it’s a slam dunk.” I had to look it up to make sure that’s not a Hooters tagline. It’s not. That’s just something Kirilenko said off the cuff on the phone.
That’s just about as perfect as an off-the-cuff advertising line about a “sports bar” like Hooters can aspire to. It doesn’t sound like a 32-year-old married Russian man who plays basketball for a living, it sounds like he was being fed lines by a 27-year-old Hooters executive who in the middle of doing hanging ab crunches while looking in the mirror.
Kirilenko lives in Russia in the off-season, and has a player option for next season.