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Who is the best European talent in the NBA?

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Dirk Nowitzki
Who is the best European talent in the NBA? Photo/ Eurosport.
  • The idea that a European player could be the best in an NBA court would be laughed at 30 years ago
  • However, things have really changes since the turn of the century
  • European players who have been playing in the NBA have done incredibly well

Over the years, most of the players in the NBA have been Americans. In fact, the idea that European talents could make the list of the greatest players in the NBA would have been laughed at barely 30 years ago.

However, things have now changed. European players have been streaming into the NBA and they are doing incredibly well.  The influx of these players have made the NBA adapt. With the European style of playing basketball brought into the NBA, fans have seen some amazing clashes of culture.

Some of the best European players could stack up with some of the best American players. So, who are the greatest European players in the NBA? Read on to find out.

5. Luka Doncic – Slovenia

Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic. Photo/ Marca.

Luka Doncic is a Slovenian professional basketball player who plays for the NBA franchise the Dallas Mavericks. After playing three years for Real Madrid, winning the 2018 EuroLeague title, EuroLeague MVP and the Final Four MVP, Doncic declared for the NBA Draft in 2018.

He joined the Dallas Mavericks and was selected unanimously to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. He also won the NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2018-19 season. As of now, he is is the Mavericks’ franchise leader in career triple-doubles.

Luka Doncic’s talent is clear to everyone. If he helps the Mavericks win the NBA title, he might be ranked higher in the list of the greatest European players in the NBA.

4. Nikola Jokic – Serbia 

Nicknamed The Joker, Nikola Jokic is another amazing European talent in the NBA. His athletic prowess has earned him two MVP awards, three All-NBA First Team selections and Four All-Stars. He has also won a silver Olympic medal.

Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic. Photo/ The Japan Times.

The Denver Nuggets selected Nikola Jokic in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft. In 2016, he was voted the NBA All-Rookie First Team. The 28-year-old has been a key player of the Denver Nuggets, and this can be proven by the fact that he ranks among the top 10 on the all-time list of the NBA players with the most most triple-doubles.

3. Pau Gasol – Spain 

You can’t talk about the greatest European players in the NBA and fail to mention Pau Gasol. The Spain international is a two-time NBA Champion, both with the Los Angeles Lakers back-to-back in 2009 and 2010. He earned four All-NBA selections and six All-Stars during his days in the NBA.

Pau Gasol ranked 21st in blocks, 28th in rebounds, 40th in scoring, 125th in assists and 449th in steals. He is regarded as one of the greatest power forwards of all time.

Besides the Los Angeles Lakers, Pau also played for the Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. The 42-year-old is the older brother of former NBA star Marc Gasol.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Greece

Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo. Photo/ Rappler.

Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo plays for the NBA franchise the Milwaukee Bucks. Born and raised in Greece to Nigerian parents, Giannis is nicknamed the Greek Giant due to his size, speed, ball-handling skills and strength.

The 28-year-old is widely regarded as one of the greatest power forwards of all time. Giannis is a one-time NBA Champion, one finals MVP, two MVPs and six All-Stars. He has also earned four All-NBA First Team selections, four All-Defensive First Team selections, six All-Stars and one Defensive Player of the Year award.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is widely regarded as one of the greatest European players in the NBA.

1. Dirk Nowitzki – Germany 

Dirk Nowitzki is a former German basketball player who is widely regarded as the greatest of European talents in the NBA.

Dirk’s achievements include one NBA title, one Finals MVP, one MVP, 14 All-Stars and 12 All-NBA selections. The German spent over 20 years playing for the Dallas Mavericks, and his contribution to the NBA title win in 2011 is ranked among the best individual performances.

He holds several all-time records for the Dallas Mavericks. Dirk retired in 2019 and was selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team two years later. The 44-year-old is currently a special advisor for the Dallas Mavericks.

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki. Photo/ Eurosport.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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