10 Best International NBA Players
Finding at least one international NBA player on an NBA team is not hard, so drawing up a list of the best is tough to limit to just the 10 best international NBA players. International players play a very important role in the NBA; they have led teams to championships and won NBA MVP trophies. They consequently make the sport international and becoming loved and watched across the globe. Here are the players that made the cut.
- Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks– One of a kind at seven feet, the German born player is the only German and first ever international player to win the NBA MVP. The power forwarder is considered one of the top scoring big men in NBA history; he averages 26.5 points per game and is the 34th player to pass the 20,000 point mark.
- Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns) – He is one of the best point guards that the league has produced. The South African born and Canadian bred is a two-time NBA MVP, seven time All-Star, averaging 17.8 points per game. Even at 36, he is still getting better and was named the ninth best point guard of all time by ESPN.
- Paul Gasol, LA Lakers – The Spanish born power forward is a two-time NBA Champion averaging 23.8 points per game. He is proving to be Spain’s best exports and teaming with Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom in the triangle offense, making the Los Angeles Lakers one of the best teams in the league.
- Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors – The Italian native was the first ever European to be selected with the number one pick in an NBA Draft, by the Toronto Raptors in 2006. Though his start has been slow, he has established himself as an excellent long range shooter and versatile as a starting center and power forward, averaging 24.0 points per game.
- Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs – The Belgium born, French bred athlete has led his team to three NBA titles, averaging 15.8 points per game. As one of the quickest and top five point guards in the league, he is a three time All-Star and the 2007 NBA Finals MVP.
- Yao Ming, Houston Rockets – Dubbed as ‘The Great Wall of China’ at 7’6, he uses his immense size to shoot over defenders and rebound and block shots. The seven time All-Star center will go down as the greatest Chinese basketball player ever.
- Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs – He is a three-time NBA Champion and one of the most dynamic and best penetrators in the league. The Argentinean born guard was an All-Star in 2005 and the recipient of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2008, averaging 19.3 points per game.
- Luol Deng, Chicago Bulls – The Sudanese born, British bred small forward is one of the core players on the Chicago Bulls teams. Though he has not won any titles or been picked for the All-Star team yet, he has been proving his skills as a solid defender and improved immensely in his shooting.
- Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Miami Heat – He will go down as one of the best and most beloved centers in Cleveland Cavaliers history. Joining long time team mate Lebron James in Miami Heat to make the dream team alongside DeWayne Wade and Chris Bosh, we hope to see the Lithuanian native, two time All-Star win an NBA Championship.
- Ben Gordon, Detroit Pistons – Though he was raised in New York, he was born in London, England and plays for Britain which makes him an international NBA player. Averaging 20.2 points per game, as a guard, he is the only player to receive the NBA’s Sixth Man of The Year during the 2004-2005 campaign as a rookie.