From the Wailing Wall to the walking Great Wall of China…
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Vladi Divac, Tony Kukoc, Peja Stojakovic, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Yao Ming, Dikembe Mutombo, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili? If you’re an NBA fan, you’ll have no trouble answering that question. They’re all players who have left their mark on the game, and they all have one thing in common: they’re non-American.
One of the goals that the NBA has been working towards for a long time is the globalisation of the organisation. Although the league is based in the United States and is called American professional basketball, the overwhelming quality of the players competing in it makes it a league of interest to basketball fans all over the world. At this point, it”s safe to say that this desire is in the process of being realised.메이저놀이터
There are many basketball leagues around the world, but most international fans are only interested in the NBA aside from their national leagues. There are many countries that are more interested in the NBA than their national league. This is due in no small part to the efforts of the minority players who have competed tirelessly and fought prejudice in an all-American league. The most obvious way to make the NBA more appealing to a country is to have a player from that country play in the league.
No NBA superstar can compare to a homegrown player. Just the thought of playing in the NBA is enough to get excited about, but when you add in the fact that they’re good at it, the interest of the country’s fans explodes. Argentina is a soccer country. However, Ginobili’s popularity in his home country is comparable to that of football god Lionel Messi.
Mutombo is also known for his off-court good deeds. Since 1997, he has set up a foundation to help his country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been ravaged by civil war. In 2006, she opened the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, named after her mother, in her hometown of Kinshasa. It is said to have helped many Congolese who were unable to receive proper medical treatment due to lack of money. With stories like these and more, NBA stars from around the world have become heroes in their countries and have made a huge impact on and off the court.
The 1990s is considered to be one of the greatest eras for centres in NBA history. In addition to the “Big Four” of Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Shaquille O’Neal, there were more great centres than ever before, including Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Brad Doughty, Rick Smits and Shaun Bradley. Vladi Divac (55, Serbia, 216 cm) never ceased to compete in the midst of such a massive big-man era, and his consistent performances, including three seasons of double-doubles, confirmed the strengths and competitiveness of the European centre.
Two-time regular-season MVP and five-time assist king Steve Nash (49, Canada, 6’9″) is one of the greatest point guards of all time. If we narrow it down to the first non-black player, he’s right up there with John Stockton. He was an excellent field commander and one of the best shooters. He was the only player in NBA history to reach the 180 club four times, three of them in three consecutive seasons.
Like most white short guards, Nash was not physically competitive; his only advantage was his speed, which he combined with a high BQ and excellent ball-handling to become an effective court commander. He was also one of the best shooters of his era, as he shot over 50 per cent from the field, 40 per cent from three-point range and 90 per cent from the free throw line four times in his career.
Tony Kukoc (54, Croatia, 208cm) was once dubbed the “Magic Johnson of Europe”. His big-man size allowed him to play both guard and small forward, as he scored all over the place inside and out, as well as leading the game with his excellent vision. In fact, in international competitions, I often played more like a point guard, focusing on ball-handling and leading.
The version of Kukoc that most people still remember is the one where he was a key sixth man in the Chicago Bulls’ second dynasty. Based on his skills, he should have been a starter, but due to various positional balance issues at the time, he was primarily a bench player. Although he was a starter, he played all positions, including centre defence, depending on the situation. In fact, he was the Bulls’ all-rounder at the time.
Peja Stojakovic (45, Croatia, 208 cm) is a long-shooting sniper who was one of the mainstays of the Millennium Kings and is considered the best shooter in Sacramento Kings history. Stojakovic’s quick release and ability to burst from the top of the arc, using his length advantage to his advantage, made him a threat. He had a wide variety of offensive weapons, including shooting options from distance and post-ups, but his most potent weapon was his off-the-ball moves.
He had a very good eye for the gap and a very good feel for the game, and he was also very industrious. The motion offence that the Kings were running in the early 2000s created a lot of openings all over the court, and Stojakovic was the kind of player who could find them and get his shot off reliably. He was such a textbook shooter that his name is often mentioned when discussing the greatest shooters of all time.
As we’ve already mentioned, non-blacks are completely underrepresented in the sport of basketball, especially Asians. In addition to their natural physical disadvantage, they are also the least developed in terms of league size and level of development. While whites have been able to compete alongside blacks in the United States or have perfected their own style in Europe, Asians have yet to develop a competitive weapon.
But in any sport, there are so-called “mutants”. Yao Ming (43, China, 226cm), dubbed the ‘walking Great Wall’, is the pride of the Asian Centre, boasting a variety of techniques and a good shooting touch despite his large stature. His size alone would mean less, but he has a lot more to offer, making him one of the best black big men in the NBA.
Dirk Nowitzki (45, Germany, 213 cm) is considered the best player in the history of the Dallas Mavericks. Part of the reason is that the team was relatively weak and didn’t have a star player who shook up the league, but it was Nowitzki who helped them win their only Finals title. In a way, that ends the debate about the greatest hero in Dallas history.
He had a variety of scoring routes, but he’s one of the best in league history