The Top 5 Non-American Basketball Players

28th February 2019
If you enjoy basketball then don't miss this article! Here, we'll analyse the top five, non-american players in the history of the NBA.

When we consider the best five basketball players in the history of the NBA, most fans would conclude that the dream team would be Johnson, Jordan, James, Duncan, and O’Neal. Thus, if we analyze the best non-American players, it opens up a world of possibilities.

The Top 5 non-American basketball players in history

Tony Parker

Our first player is quite an impressive name in the NBA. William Anthony Parker Jr. was born in Brussels, Belgium on May 17th, 1982. He’s currently playing for San Antonio Spurs and he’s also the captain of the French basketball team.

His fans in Europe often chant at him, “Oh la lá Parker!” This should tell you how much of a good player he is. In 2007 he was in the NBA finals MVP, the first European to get this title. Additionally, by 2014 he’d already won the NBA championship four times.

He’s only lost one final series in the NBA, which was in 2013. He’s currently the player with the most assistance passes in the history of the Spurs. And, if that’s not enough, he led the French team to become champions of the Eurobasket in 2013.

His record says it all, Parker has scored an average of 16.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 5.9 assistance passes per game throughout his career.

Drazen Petrovic

This player has the nickname, “Mozart of basketball”, which he was given during his career with Cibona of Zagreb. This team is one of the strongest in Europe and they fought hard against the big league European teams such as Real Madrid.

Petrovic briefly played for Real Madrid in 1988/1989, and then went on to make a career in the United States. Then, he played for the Portland Trail Blazers, who bought him for 1.5 million dollars.

Although he didn’t shine in that team, he later showed his full potential with the New Jersey Nets. And so, his record shows that he has been one of the best basketball players: 15.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assistance passes per game.

Drazen Petrovic was the Mozart of basketball players

He also had many wins in his international career, among them was the gold medal in the world championship in Argentina 1990. Then, he played with the national Yoguslavia basketball team.

He was loved by American fans and European fans alike. He died in a car accident at the age of 28 and following his death, the New Jersey Nets retired his number 3 jersey.

Toni Kukoc

Kukoc is, without a doubt, one of the best European basketball players in history. After a successful career in Europe, he decided to go to the United States to play in the NBA. There, he played with the Chicago Bulls.

Although he played mostly as a wingman, he had the physical and technical characteristics to be able to play any position on the field.

Thus, his versatility helped him to become one of the stars of the Bulls alongside Jordan and he won three championships with them.

What’s more, he won eight international medals, first with Yugoslavia and then with Croatia. One of them was the gold medal in the world championship in Argentina 1990.

Dirk Nowitzki

Without a doubt, one of the best European 4s in history is the 41 who plays for the Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki. After playing four seasons with the German team DJK Würzburg, he finished his studies and served in the military. At the age of 21, he was drafted for the NBA as a number 9 for the same team he currently plays in.

Dirk Nowitzki is one of the best European players in history.

Among his main achievements with this team are one NBA championship ring and one final MVP for the 2010-2011 season. Additionally, he has also achieved:

  • 13-time All-Star
  • Chosen for the NBA ideal team four times in, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009.
  • The NBA second ideal team five times in, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, and 2011.
  • The NBA third ideal team three times in, 2001, 2004, 2012.

He’s also the first European player to win the triple All-Star competition of the NBA in 2006.

During his international career, he’s led the German national team. Winning bronze in the 2002 Indianapolis world championship and silver in the 2005 European championship. On both of these occasions, he also won MVP.

Arvydas Sabonis

And last but not least, we have one of the best European basketball players of all time. He started out successfully in the Zalgiris, Forum de Valladolid, and Real Madrid.

In 1995, at 31 years of age, he signed with the Portland Trail Blazers. That same season he was the rookie of the year runner up and best sixth man.

His playing style was very effective in the NBA and he was very successful. However, many fans often wonder what he would have achieved if he had entered the NBA at an earlier age.

At an international level, Sabonis represented the Soviet national team. Among his most memorable participations was winning the gold in the world championship in 1982, winning silver in 1986, and Olympic gold in Seul 1988.