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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok so I will edit this thread every week (mid-weekish), hopefully by that time people will have contributed a few players from different countries. I will then slot these players into the list. Try not to just name players because this thread can be used as a tool to help those who may not know much about International basketball, so more info/clips/pictures the better.

7 Players from each country MAXIMUM
Allowed to be any country in the world even USA
No hogging all the players let people contribute unless of course this thread dies on its feet then go crazy :biggrin:

You name them and I compile them.


Perhaps I will even conduct a vote to rank teams once ordered :biggrin:

I will get things underway -

Brazil's Oscar Schmidt 6'8" Shooting Guard- This guy averaged over 30ppg in Brazilian league at almost 40. One of the best 3point shooters ever with a stroke that was clean but not so pretty. Although drafted by the Nets, he kept playing in Brazil and went to Spain, where he amazed with his scoring abilities . He played in 5 olympics his first in 1980 and his final appearance 16 years later. His scoring average on the world stage was 28.8 but during Barcelona in '92 he remarkably went off for 42.3 average on the tournament.

A substantial player not only for his incredible scoring abilities but he was in fact the first foreign player with no college experience to be drafted into the NBA. Schmidt never did make it to the L citing understandle reasons "I know my limitations, my defects, but I could never play 10 minutes a game. [The] NBA is great if you are a star. But if not, you get moved around. My friend (Georgi) Glouchkov played a year in Phoenix. He tells me bad stories about [the] NBA. The guards [did not] like him, they don’t pass him the ball. I would not like that. I could not stand that."

Video of an awesome battle where Schmidt scores 44 (I think) while Petrovic drops 62 :eek: in '89 European Cup Winners Cup, Enjoy :biggrin:
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LIST

Australia
Andrew Gaze

Brazil:
Oscar Schmidt

Germany
Dirk Nowitzki

Greece
Nick Galis

Portugal
Joao Betinho Gomes

Israel
Oded Katash

Serbia
Dejan Bodiroga

Spain
Alberto Herreros Ros

Turkey
Ibrahim Kutluay
Hidayet Turkoglu


Croatia
Toni Kukoc

Lithuania
Arvydas Sabonis
Sarunas Marciulionis
Sarunas Jasikevicius


United Kingdom
John Amaechi

Slovenia
Marko Milic

Russia
Sergei Belov
 

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Legal Smeagol
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Israel
Oded Katash

A 6'4 guard known for his ball-handling and shooting skills, formed a dynamic backcourt with former UConn star Doron Sheffer for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the late 1990s. Was going to play in the NBA, but the lockout of 1998 ended that hope, and he later suffered a career-ending knee injury in 2000, though he wouldn't formally retire until 2004.

Israeli League MVP 1997-1998 season, led Maccabi Tel Aviv to four Israeli championships and two Israeli cups, but ironically won the Euroleague title with Panathinaikos - beating his old team to win it.
 

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Serbia, Dejan Bodiroga, 6-9 SF (1973, drafted in 2nd round of 1995 NBA Draft by Sacramento Kings).

Probably the closest thing Europe has had to a Magic Johnson or Larry Bird in that Bodiroga never was a brilliant athlete. And like Magic, he never was a pure, deadeye shooter. He seemed like a PG sometimes, a SF or even PF at others. But he won multiple Euroleague championships and proved in international competition, including against the USA, that he was a truly top-flight player, if not talent.

Bodiroga played with powerhouses such as Real Madrid, Panathinaikos and FC Barcelona, as well as Rome and KK Zadar. Despite being drafted, he never came to the NBA.

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Turkey
Hidayet Turkoglu

Very unique skillset. Excellent shooter, nice handles for a big man. More comfortable at the 3 spot, but I am sure you could get away with playing him at the 4 on occasion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Serbia, Dejan Bodiroga, 6-9 SF (1973, drafted in 2nd round of 1995 NBA Draft by Sacramento Kings).
Great choice, the 'Bodriga bodywrap crossover' (as i have just officially dubbed it :biggrin:) was so darn effective and I never seen him mess it up. I practice that move everytime I step on court it just delivers perfect ball protection from the defender.

P.S - It is real easy to embed video's next time you go onto youtube and watch a video underneath About This Video is a little embed code just simply copy and paste that. Hope that helped :cheers:
 

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P.S - It is real easy to embed video's next time you go onto youtube and watch a video underneath About This Video is a little embed code just simply copy and paste that. Hope that helped :cheers:
Ah, i was thinking it was a button on the msg board--and obv not finding it. Thanks. And cheers, indeed (as i actually was taking a drink when i read your post).

But I think you're wrong that Schmidt was the 1st international, non-collegian to be drafted. I'll do some research to prove it...eventually.
 

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Turkey
Hidayet Turkoglu

Very unique skillset. Excellent shooter, nice handles for a big man. More comfortable at the 3 spot, but I am sure you could get away with playing him at the 4 on occasion.
He's starting at the 4 this year, isn't he?

Great choice, anyway. I love Turkoglu, and think he's been underrated for years. He played all five positions while he was in Sacramento. One of those guys (like my Serbian nominee, Bodiroga) who is simple a basketball player. I love skill guys.

If I can add to the Turkey list...

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Ibrahim Kutluay, a 6-3 combination guard. There was a time I thought he might be the first Turkish player to make the NBA, but he didn't actually get a shot until the mid-00s (if you can call what Seattle gave him "a shot"). Not a real PG, not a SG, not a shooter, not a leaper, just a player. Very good. The guy can score. A staple on the Turkish national teams, even when guys like Turkoglu sometimes begged competitions off.
 

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Croatia: I'll begin with a controversial choice. There are arguably two men who stand above the others, but I'll go with the one who (at least in America) isn't considered a legend.

Toni Kukoc, 6-11 F/G.

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The other player who is obviously deserving as being named among the top couple of Croatian players ever is the late, great Drazen Petrovic. And because of his scoring prowess, many people probably would rate him first. But Kukoc was such an amazing, versatile, multi-skilled player that I had to start with him. He won European league titles and competitions while with Jugoplastika Split and Benneton Treviso, then came to America and was a key factor in the Bulls' second set of titles. The 6-11 player could play all five positions ... and did, even in the NBA. Arguably both the best shooter and passer on the late Bulls teams, although inarguably not as good as either Jordan or Pippen overall. A player who was either behind or ahead of his time, his style was better suited to either the 80s or 00s, with tempos increased and a less physical game. Think about a younger, healthy Kukoc on the Phoenix Suns, the Orlando Magic or even the early 00s Sacramento Kings teams.

The Croatian Sensation, the Waiter, the Spider from Split, the Pink Panther...Toni Kukoc.
 

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Lithuania might just end up with the best collection of guys (with Serbia and Croatia probably most likely to compete, and Spain catching up rapidly). And with Lithuania, it all starts with...

Arvydas Sabonis (b. 1964), 7-3, C.

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This is the one guy I honestly believe would have been a flat-out superstar, a Top 50 of all time type of player, had he been in the NBA sooner. Even with the injuries he suffered (feet, knees, etc), he could have been a very great player. He was roughly the contemporary of David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon, and I do not believe he took a back seat to any of them. Go ahead and read that again: he was as good as or better than any of them.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing--apart from his injuries--is that after playing for Zalgiris Kaunas, Sabonis was allowed by the then-Soviet Union to come to the U.S. to play in 1989, but he chose to sign with Forum Valladolid, then Real Madrid, prior to finally joining the Blazers in 1995 as a 31-year-old with a history of injuries.

Sabonis had everything: he was enormous, but was surprisingly mobile and agile. He was brilliantly skilled. And he saw the game in that clear way that only a very select few do: Magic, Bird, MJ, etc. He was one of the best passers of his generation, regardless of position. And considering that skill was coming from an immense, immensely talented post player, it created unique threats. I believe a Blazers team with Sabonis when he had rejected the chance to join the NBA--1989 and onward--would have won multiple NBA titles, even against MJ's Bulls. Remember, this was a Rick Adelman team with that beautiful offense. If you recall Vlade Divac being particularly effective as its center (in Sacramento in the early 00s), that was nothing compared to what Sabonis might have done. And paired with Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Danny Ainge, Jerome Kersey, Cliff Robinson, Buck Williams ... it would have been beautiful. Sheer artistry.
 

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^ Great post. I remember seeing clips from the 1988 Olympics, where Sabonis just annihilated Robinson left and right. I've been a huge fan of his for a while, and wanted him to stick around no matter how slow his injuries made him. He was just that good, and that much fun to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Man, great posts Luther your an awesome asset to this International forum :biggrin:

After my weekend long hiatus I have returned and shall throw a name into the mix a little later on, I also will add the already given names to the list.

And Giordun you called out Hakeem one of THE greatest players and didn't describe him or throw in a video - fancy fixing that? :biggrin:

Good work guys!

Edit - Updated the list, as for now I shall leave Hakeem off until atleast a small description is made of the player. Hopefully this will encourage longer and more in-depth coverage of players such as those done by Luther.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
United Kingdom - John Amaechi

Now I do not claim Mr Amaechi to be a great player but good enough to represent his country (United Kingdom) in this list there can be no doubt. If you Google his name or mention it to a friend they always remember him for being the first gay NBA athlete, a fate he most certainly does not deserve but his honesty has brought upon him. Anyways to the athlete…

From Stockport, England in his early days he was picked off the street by a scout at 17 having never played bball simply because of his size, and over the course of the next few years made his way to Penn State university in America where he was a 2 time all American first team selection.

He unluckily missed out on the draft and wound up in Europe, where he stayed for three years playing in Italy (Bologna), France (?) and Greece (Panathanikos). His big break came after much hard work when he made history and became the first undrafted free agent to start the opening game of an NBA season where he played for the Cavs against the Pacers.

His best year came 99/00 where he averaged 10.5ppg and 3.3rpg in just 21 minutes per contest. He again made history by scoring the first NBA bucket of the new millennium a feat which earned a spot in the NBA Hall of Fame.

A pioneer of British basketball who has never forgotten his roots representing his country numerous times even coming out of retirement to help them secure a bronze medal in the commonwealth games a few years back. The United Kingdom and its basketball owe a lot to this fundamentally sound 6’10 Centre…

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Terrible video, more of an Iverson tribute but it is all I could find. Like I said all my searches just gave me video's of Amaechi being grilled about his sexual status...
 

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For our third Lithuanian...

Sarunas Jasikevicius (1976), Lithuania, Maryland, 6-4, G.
A guy (like Serbia's Aleksandar Djordjevic, Greece's Vassilis Spanioulis and others) whom I feel never had a fair shot in the NBA, even though his stats aren't as bad as one might suspect (More than 7 ppg in his time with Indiana before languishing on the bench in Golden State.). Admittedly, he had weaknesses after a good--but not great--career at Maryland (about 12-13 ppg his final two seasons, just under 4 apg). But he honed his game in Euroleague and became a flat-out star. Reportedly a favorite of Larry Bird, coach Rick Carlisle wasn't so keen on Jasikevicius, probably because he lacked the footspeed to effectively defend point guards (or wing guards, for that matter) man-to-man. Secondly, Carlisle used him primarily as a spot-up shooter. And while Jasikevicius can shoot, he's more a big-game, big-moment shooter than a spot-up guy. Frankly, anyone who uses him as a Steve Kerr type is wasting their and his time.

Sarunas Jasikevicius may not be a pure point. He may not be a pure shooter. He may not be a good defender. But Jasikevicius is one hell of a great basketball player, and anyone who can watch him play and not see that is a damned fool. Have a look.

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He has great size when playing the one, and his passing ability is something that makes him unique. Not only does he get those angles from his height, but he's unselfish and clever with the ball. The embedded video shows it off from before he came to the NBA, playing with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Even when he's making "mistakes," such as passes from the top of the key, but on the left, to the low post on the right (diagonal passes like that are just BEGGING to be intercepted), he's succeeding. He has the kind of confidence that is maddening, but he backs it up enough for a smart coach to allow it. Magic, Bird, Jordan, Isiah, Iverson, Nash--these guys made mistakes, too, turning it over. Jasikevicius isn't in their leagues as a player, but as a strong will, a character, a force, he is. And he's a good enough player that I promise you, any of those guys (or any other smart player) would want him on their teams.

It's tough competition among Lithuanians--they've had some great, great players--but Jasikevicius has to be ranked among the top four of all time.
 

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I wandered in this interesting topic and since I've got a couple of minutes on my hands I've decided to pitch in a fellow citizen since you've not named any Slovenian players yet.

Marko Milic (born 1977) - was the first Slovenian born basketball player to get the chance to play in the NBA, when he was selected as the 5th pick of the 2nd round (34th pick overall) by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1997. His short NBA career also included a two year fling in Phoenix. Though he achieved nothing in the NBA, he has done a lot for our country's recognition and has played for some of Europe's finest basketball clubs (including Fenerbahce, Real Mardid and Fortitudo Bologna). He is one of the most liked athletes in our country and has this year returned to play for our best club, Union Olimpija (the biggest succes of the club is winning the European cup in 1994 and placing 3. in the 1997 Final Four). Milic is perhaps best known for his exceptional athleticism (for a caucasian European of course :)) and has impressed with a number of dunks (still does at the age of 30) that were not seen often in the mid 90s throughout Europe. One of such is shown on this video, dating back to the 1994/95 (at the tender age of 17) season when he dunked over a Honda at the annual Slovenian All Star -
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Another relatively famous feat was "achieved" on the aforementioned Final Four where he broke the backboard in the game for the 3rd place against Asvel (we won that game and I remember I almost cried of joy.. first when I saw this dunk and later when we placed third):
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In the back you can hear our fans chanting "Olimpija, Olimpija", since the game was in Rome and more than a half of the coliseum was colored white&green (I'm actually getting shivers writing this when I remember how great our club used to be and how feared our home court was because of our fans *tear*). Then our comentators begin to talk about how rarely this happens in Europe :D.

Some more videos that I found include this one handed alley-oop performed a month ago vs Tau Ceramica (I was at the game screaming my lungs out when he did this... remember dunking is not so widespread in Europe as it is in the USA, so that's why it's such a big deal to us Europeans =))):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9FvQ31V80w

And I actually found some footage of him wearing the Suns jersey :):
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And some more random dunks to finish this off:
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They are really only 40-50 sec clips so don't be afraid to watch them :) when I was young he was my no.1 idol, because of his style of play and I already consider him one of our basketball legends and I hope that he'll stay with us a couple more seasons because he's one of the few I really enjoy seeing at games (we been sucking pretty badly for the last couple of seasons that's why :)).

That about sums it up, I've written much more than I had planned so I hope someone will read (and watch) this through and share his/her thoughts.

good night from Slovenia
 
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