It took a long time for the conveyor belt to get running between Europe’s domestic basketball leagues and the big daddy of them all across the Atlantic. Now, NBA franchises are finally beginning to see the light by giving European basketball players a much more prominent role.
This is not without controversies, because many observers cite the fact that European clubs are not being compensated enough for the development of young talent, which is often whisked away by NBA scouts for minimal or non-existent transfer fees. This is an issue that is increasingly making European basketball financially unfeasible.
However, the good thing is that European basketball players are now more than ever before able to make their way into the most prominent basketball league on the planet. Moreover, they can now wow both fans from their native countries as well as those situated all around the globe. Several of the Euro players who currently play in the NBA are on track to be among the best European basketball players of all time.
Danilo Gallinari has been an NBA mainstay since way back in 2008. The man known as the “Rooster” posted career-best numbers for the 2018/2019 season with the Clippers and, as a result, earned a lucrative trade to Oklahoma.
The Italian power forward started life playing in his native country and attracted attention from NBA scouts when he was named the Euroleague’s rising star of the 2007/2008 season.
The question now is if the veteran can upset the NBA odds and help the Oklahoma City Thunder win an NBA championship title?
The key to getting the best out of this Serbian big man is to keep him away from pancake breakfasts and buffet lunches because when he is at his optimum weight, he is one of the most creative players to be found anywhere on the planet.
He was an NBA MVP candidate in 2019 and has broken several statistical records.
One of his many impressive performances was when he poured in a whopping forty-seven points against the Hawks last season, reducing Alex Len to a gibbering mess in the process.
At only twenty-five years of age, NBA fans will be seeing plenty more of Nikola Jokić bullying people in the key. At least, as long as he stays away from Wendy’s and Dunkin Donuts.
The Greek Freak had everything going his own way in the NBA until just recently when he lost his temper after fellow European player, Mo Wagner, blocked him off, while he was charging to the rim.
The headbutt he doled out got him tossed from the game and earned him an additional one-game suspension.
Despite all this, he is still a front runner to be the league’s MVP for the second time in a row. Along the way, he is proving that European basketball players are very much in fashion and that when Lebron James retire, Euro stars might start dominating the NBA. Last season international players dominated the NBA season awards.
Luka Dončić of Slovenia and Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece are pushing Lebron James all the way in the race for this season’s MVP title, and you would be brave to bet against Dončić, who has been turning Disney World into his own personal playground this summer.
The man known as the Matador – a name he picked up when he played in Spain for Real Madrid – has dominated every league he has ever played in and has grown into NBA life at a rapid rate, making him what has been described at the ultimate advert for the Euroleague and European basketball as a whole. In retrospect, he should have been the number one in the 2018 NBA Draft.
With NBA scouts always on the hunt for top talent, it seems only a matter of time before more European basketball players begin filling more NBA rosters.