Category: Players (page 1 of 1)

Top All-Time European Basketball Players (Part IV)

 

Sergei Belov|Russia

In 1991, FIBA voters picked the late shooting guard as the top FIBA player ever. Similarly impressive, he was the 1st international player put into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1992.

in October 2013, Belov died at the age 69.

Tony Parker was a significant asset to the San Antonio Spurs from the time he was a teenager all the way up until his retirement in June 2019, 

Tony Parker|France

The San Antonio Spurs once took a huge gamble on the French teenager (No. 28 pick in the 2001 NBA Draft) and that risk has paid off. Big time. How so? Due to the fact that Parker has been a powerful force of the team’s offensive attack ever since.

In June 2019, Parker stated his retirement.

Pau Gasol|Spain

For 20 years, the cerebral big man has served as a vital part of his teams’ identity and success.

Starring for FC Barcelona, the Spain national team and the NBA’s Lakers, Grizzlies, Bulls, and Spurs, he has perfected his clubs. In the NBA since 2001, Gasol is a regular double-digit scorer. 

Dejan Bodiroga|Serbia

He’s been referred to as the best European player to never play in the NBA. But his complete domination in European basketball without an NBA career does not dummy down his historical impact.

Arvydas Sabonis|Lithuania

In spite of a slew of injuries, the dominating 223-cm Sabonis excelled as an offensive catalyst in the post and on the perimeter. He was a talented defender as well.

Drazen Petrovic|Croatia

The excellent career of the Croatian shooting star came to a horrible end in June 1993 when he died in an automobile accident in Germany at the age of 28. Petrovic’s death was a huge loss that sparked intense sadness in his homeland and beyond. He touched many individuals with his infectious love for the game. His charm shined through whenever he stepped onto the court for Cibona, Sibenka, Zagreb, Real Madrid, Portland Trail Blazers and New Jersey Nets.

Top All-Time European Basketball Players (Part III)

 

The Best Players (In No Particular Order)

Dino Radja|Croatia

Radja’s NBA career was short-lived, but he showed that Euro centers could be a massive force in the world’s top circuit. Dino Radja produced 8.4 rebounds, 16.7 points, and 1.6 assists in his NBA career.

Nikos Galis put Greece at the top of the ladder when it comes to European basketball. 

Nikos Galis|Greece

The overpowering Greek American guard was a bad dream for defenders and opposing coaches. His scoring prowess put Greece on top of European basketball.

Detlef Schrempf|Germany

He was a two-time Sixth Man of the Year winner and a three-time All-Star. Detlef Schrempf truly ranks among the top European NBA players ever.

Dimitris Diamantidis|Greece

His amazing career went from 1999 to 2016. Additionally, Diamantidis is No. 1 in steals and assists in the Euroleague record books for the 21st century.

Sarunas Marciulionis|Lithuania

For him, it all began by becoming a Golden State Warriors regular, followed by times with the Nuggets, SuperSonics, and Kings. From 1989-97, Marciulionis averaged 13 ppg in the NBA, including a career-best 19 ppg for the 1991-92 Warriors.

Marciulionis was the 1st Soviet-born player in the NBA. As a result, he paved a way for Eastern Europeans who followed.

Vlade Divac|Serbia

Time after time, the 216-cm Divac shown to be a workhorse in the NBA. He also grew into one of the all-time top European basketball players.

Toni Kukoc|Croatia

Blessed with a high basketball IQ and versatility, Kukoc made crucial contributions to the Chicago Bulls’ 2nd back-to-back title run in the ’90s.

Radivoj Korac|Serbia

Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point tour de force for the Philadelphia Warriors in March 1962 is perhaps the most well-known basketball performance ever by a North American. But for Europeans of a certain geographic location and age, the left-handed shooting Radivoj “Zucko” Korac had a comparable amazing game.

Sadly, he was killed in a car accident on June 2, 1969. Korac was among the 1st honorees of the inaugural 2007 FIBA Hall of Fame class in Madrid in 2007. One of Korac’s nephews, Marko, accepted an award on his behalf. 

Top All-Time European Basketball Players (Part II)

 

Goran Dragic|Slovenia

The Slovenian southpaw, Goran Dragic, aka “The Dragon,” divides time between point guard and shooting guard in the NBA.  One of the top European basketball players in the new millennium, Dragic made his debut in 2008 with the Phoenix Suns in 2008. He’s surpassed the 20-ppg plateau twice (2016-17, Heat; 2013-14, Suns) and had a career average of 13-plus ppg going into 2018. Goran Dragic retired from the Slovenian National Team after the historical win at EuroBasket 2017.

Marc Gasol|Spain

Pau’s other brother and a fixture on the Spain national team for a long time, Marc Gasol is one of the top all-around centers in the NBA. Big Marc, a three-time All-Star, has spent his whole NBA career with the Memphis Grizzlies. Marc, one of Europe’s chief basketball players, scored a career-high 19.5 ppg in the 2016-17 campaign. He was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.

One of the best basketball players for the Utah Jazz was from Russia. 

Andrei Kirilenko|Russia

A two-time FIBA Europe Player of the Year (2012, 2007) and four-time Russian player of the year. Kirilenko (“AK-47”) was a keeper for the Utah Jazz for 10 years (2001-2011) with later stints with the Nets and Timberwolves. Kirilenko led the NBA with 3.3 blocks in 2004-05, a cue that he’s one of the most vital basketball players from Europe.

Hidayet Turkoglu|Turkey

Turkoglu was in the NBA from 2000-15, assisting the Orlando Magic to reach the Finals in 2009. He was the 2007-08 NBA Most Improved Player award recipient, averaging a career-best 20 ppg.

Rik Smits|Netherlands

Rik Smits was the #2 overall pick out of Marist College in the 1988 NBA Draft. Indiana picked the 224-cm Smits right after Kansas star Danny Manning’s name was called by the Clippers. From 1988 to 2000, Smits was in charge of the middle for the Pacers. He posted a 15 ppg average in his career and assisted in pushing the Pacers into the 2000 Finals.