I have to wonder: when Hassan “Upside” Whiteside went to play in Lebanon, did he bother learning any Arabic at all? I have to imagine that his team provided him with a translator/guide of some sort, since he probably was the highest-profile player that the team had ever been able to sign.
I’m guessing no. A stop like Lebanon was very unlikely to be more than a one-season type deal. He could easily overpower his smaller opposition without knowing any plays or anything of what his teammates were saying, so why bother? I’m pretty sure he averaged twenty and twelve or something sick like that.
Another thing to consider is that, just by going to Lebanon, he was likely placed on some kind of terrorist watchlist. Learning the language would just be another mark against him that might prevent him from ever re-entering the US. However, if he was openly dismissive of their culture and customs, US officials would be more likely to let him back in. It worked, and now we reap the benefits!