NBA has made household of many an American. People like Michael Jordan,
LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird etc. are all synonymous with
the sport and are recognised worldwide. And while the NBA may be a
prominently American sport it does have its fair share of Europeans,
many of whom have been able to carve out stellar careers over in the
States. So who are the best European players to have ever graced the
American courts? While you are reading this article, you might be interested to reload offers guide?
NBA Stats: 22.5ppg, 8.1 rpg, 23.5 PER in 16 seasons.
born Dirk Nowitzki is not only the greatest European player to have
graced the NBA, he is one of the greatest players to compete in it
period. The Dallas Mavericks power forward is one of the best shooters
to have ever played the game. Combine that with his seven-foot stature
and you have a point scoring machine. The Mavericks were never
considered title material until Nowitzki arrived, since then they have
become perennial playoff contenders – they are currently priced at 16.00 with Betfair to win the Western Conference
- while their 2011 NBA Championship was something they would not have
fathomed just 10 years earlier. Nowitzki also holds the honour of being
the only European player to have ever been named the NBA’s MVP, a feat
he achieved in 2007.
NBA stats: 17.1 ppg, 6.0 apg, 19.1 PER in 13 seasons
his name may suggest that he is American, Tony Parker is well and truly
French, albeit with a little American blood coursing through his veins.
The point guard has enjoyed a very fruitful time with the San Antonio
Spurs, his four NBA titles make him one of, if not the most successful
European player to cross the water. Parker, alongside Tim Duncan and
Manu Ginobili form the “Big Three”, one of the most dominant offensive trios seen since the original Boston Celtics “Big Three”. For a point guard Parker gets to the basket incredibly well and his jump shot is something to behold.
NBA stats: 18.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 21.5 PER in 13 seasons
a seven-footer Pau Gasol is very gentle. His soft shooting touch is
marvelled. Originally arriving in America with the Memphis Grizzlies;
he is currently their greatest player in history,
he went on to savour success with the LA Lakers, winning two NBA
Championships – he has also been named a four time NBA All Star. His
length, athleticism, low-post game and mental aptitude make him a
handful for any opposing defence. Away from the NBA, at the Olympic
Games Gasol has lead Spain to two Silver Medals, which is as good as
gold considering how America are unbeatable.
NBA stats: 15.4 ppg, 2.4 apg, 16.4 PER in four seasons
If it wasn’t for Drazen Petrovic the influx of
European players into the NBA may never have happened. After conquering
the European game with Real Madrid, Petrovic decided it was time for a
change; it was time for the NBA. After originally signing for the
Portland Timbers, a side where he spent far too much time on the bench,
he was traded to the New Jersey Nets, and it was here that Petrovic
showed America that European players can play. His winning mentality
and ridiculous shooting ability made him the nemesis of any side he
came up against. It is just a tragedy that his life ended so young; he
died in a car crash
aged just 28. Petro had a good 10 years left in him, so it is a real
shame that we will never know just how good, and successful, he could