Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Could an All-International Team Compete in the NBA?

As I previously discussed in the post The New Globetrotters, International players (foreign players that never played high school or college basketball in the United States) are here to stay and the NBA is better because of it. Nevertheless, some of my friends still insist that the international player is just a novelty, and they refuse to admit that the international basketball import was officially legitimized when Dirk Nowitzki was named league MVP last year.

I’m interested in your opinion. Here is my All- International team:

C - Yao Ming, Houston, China
PF - Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks, Germany
SF - Boris Diaw, Suns, France
SG - Manu Ginobili, Spurs, Argentina
PG - Tony Parker, Spurs, France

C - Pau Gasol, LA Lakers, Spain
PF - Mehmet Okur, Jazz, Turkey
SF - Peja Stojakovic, Hornets, Serbia
SG - Hedo Turkoglu, Magic, Turkey
PG - Leandro Barbosa, Brazil
PF - Luis Scola, Rockets, Argentina
PG - Jose Calderon, Raptors, Spain

Some very good players were left off of this roster due to the depth available, including: Nene, Andrea Bargnani, Andrei Kirilenko, Anderson Varejao, Andris Biedrins, and Beno Udrih.

So, would this All-International team be a title contender, a mediocre playoff team, or would they be lottery bound?


  1. AGMUserwhofollowedyourlink6:37 PM

    Your selection for an All-International team doesn't differ at all from the same All-International team in NBA 2k8. At least give credit when/where credit is due. Unless, of course, those are literally all of the international players in the league.

  2. Are you insane? This is why I can't allow anonymous comments on my blog. I've never played NBA 2k8 or any video game in the last 20 years.

  3. I think the no-American-influence-whatsoever notion is too difficult to openly claim!

    First off the NCAA is generally where the best players end up, even from foreign countries. The money, training and competition provided attracts the best players to the USA, but these players still grew up and developed their skills in foreign lands. Those skills were just honed further at the College level, however not initially taught. But would you say then that they’re no different than an American athlete because of the few years they spent in school in the States? Like everything previously learned up to that stage was just replaced by this newly acquired knowledge?

    On the flip side, what if an American had gone overseas to coach, develop and grow the sport over there using American methodology? (Mike D’Antoni is a prime example, an American Coach who coached and trained Euro ballers in Italy). Can you claim that player is a true foreign playing basketball if they were trained under an American teacher?

    I understand what you’re trying to do with your comparison however I’m going to go the other way and suggest that ANY player born out of the States may apply to the team I present below – as not only do I believe this would be an easier guidelines to follow (if your idea were implemented there’d be an uproar about who can play, who can’t, yadda yadda yadda!). But adding to that it would just be far more interesting seeing this team clash against the best America has to offer! :)

    C – Tim Duncan
    PF – Dirk Nowitzki
    SF – Loul Deng
    SG – Manu Ginobli
    PG – Steve Nash

    C – Yao Ming
    PF – Pau Gasol
    SF – Peja Stojakovic
    SG – Ben Gordon
    PG – Tony Parker
    PF – Luis Scola
    PG – Jose Calderon

    Now you see, matching a team like THIS up against the best of the American-born talent would be a battle of epic proportions! :)
    What are your thoughts though?