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NBA player plans Russia's 1st Hooters

| Thursday, April 17, 2014, 9:25 p.m.
New York Knicks' J.R. Smith, above, and Brooklyn Nets' Andrei Kirilenko of Russia scramble for control of the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in New York.
New York Knicks' J.R. Smith, above, and Brooklyn Nets' Andrei Kirilenko of Russia scramble for control of the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in New York.

Andrei Kirilenko, the National Basketball Association player known as AK-47, is defying Russian antipathy toward American brands by opening the country's first Hooters restaurant.

Kirilenko, who plays for billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's Brooklyn Nets, said the first of five restaurants he plans to build in Moscow will open April 28 under a franchisee agreement with Hooters of America Inc., the chain best known for the skimpy tank tops worn by its waitresses.

McDonald's Corp. 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 hamburger chain out of the country, a campaign backed by 62 percent of Russians, according to a poll by SuperJob's Research Center.

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