The NBA is rightly considered the best basketball league in the world. It is dominated by American players, who also make up the majority of the best player lists. It is not a coincidence that the US Men’s Olympic basketball team is nicknamed the Dream Team. They are consistently the best of the best.
But in recent years there has been a growing presence of international players entering the NBA. Recently all three of the candidates for MVP were born outside of America – and if you looking to place a bet on NBA finals online you could easily go for a team led by a foreign star. Here are five of the best international players currently playing in the NBA.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks
The “Greek Freak” was born in Athens and is undoubtedly one of the most exciting ballers in the league right now. He originally played for a Greek team but made himself eligible for the NBA Draft in 2013 and was taken 15th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.
He has since turned the Bucks from a playoff hopeful, at best, to one of the teams consistently considered the favourite to win the championship. They achieved that feat in 2021, when Antetokounmpo also claimed the Finals MVP award, after winning the league MVP award in the previous two years.
Luka Dončić – Dallas Mavericks
Considered to be the greatest Slovenian basketball player of all time, Dončić actually played professionally in Spain for three years before being taken third overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2018 NBA Draft. He was subsequently traded to the Dallas Mavericks where he has excelled for the past five years.
He won the Rookie of the Year award in his first season and has been named as an NBA All-Star in the four years since. He has not been able to claim the MVP award yet but he is a highly regarded player who helped the Mavericks reach the Conference Finals last year.
Nikola Jokić – Denver Nuggets
This five-time NBA All-Star started off his professional career in his native Serbia before making the move to the big league. He has been at the Denver Nuggets since 2015 and has risen to the very top, without quite being able to drag his team to the championship yet.
Jokić made the NBA All-Rookie First Team and has since gone on to win the MVP award twice in a row. He consistently posts triple-doubles throughout the regular season and has led the Nuggets to the number one seed in the Western Conference this year. Maybe 2023 will be his year?
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