The Europeans have taken over the NBA

Thirty years ago, the North-American Basketball Association was dominated by the Americans and the Europeans weren’t seen as a great choice. In fact, there was a saying “White men can’t jump” referring to the lack of athleticism that the players from other continents possessed. At that time, the sport was played differently and athleticism was a big part of the game, but now everything is changed. Shooting, which has always been one of the strengths of European athletes, became more and more important.
Also, they play great defense and have a great passing ability.

Therefore, in the modern NBA, European players under-25 are great contributors to their teams. For example, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is only 24 years old, has been a strong candidate for the MVP award, leading his team to the first place in the Eastern Conference. This season, “The Greek Freak” is averaging 26.6 PPG, 12.8 RPG, and 6.0 APG, while shooting 58.1% from the field. This is amzing considering that Antetokounmpo doesn’t have a great mid-range or distance shooting ability.

But, Antetokounmpo is the exception of this list, because he uses his strength and athleticism. Meanwhile, Nikola Jokic is dominating the Western Conference with his basketball IQ and great passing ability. His averages for this season are 19.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, and 7.6 APG. Nikola Jokic is for sure the best passing center in the league and he is in the discussion for the MVP award.

The next player on this list is Luka Doncic, the rookie who shocked America with how good he is. Being in his first year, the Slovenian is averaging 19.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 4.9 APG. He is also a very clutch player and this is why he is considered to be the unanimous Rookie of the Year.

Other great youngsters who are worth being mentioned in this conversation are Jusuf Nurkic, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Lauri Markkanen, and Domantas Sabonis. The first one plays for the Portland Trail Blazers and is a great presence under the basket, averaging 15.3 PPG, 10.4 RPG, and 2.8 APG. He recently had a break-out game, scoring 24 points combined with 23 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals, and 5 blocks. In the meantime, Bogdan Bogdanovic is hitting buzzer-beaters against the Lakers, shooting extremely well. This year, the Serbian is averaging 15.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 4.0 APG, while being one of the best young guys on the Sacramento Kings’ roster. This has been the story with Lauri Markkanen too, a player who recovered very well after a tough injury. In 18 games played, the Chicago Bulls’ player has proven to be a leader and he has 17.0 PPG and 7.3 RPG. The last person on the list is Domantas Sabonis, who plays for the Indiana Pacers. This season he is having great numbers: 15.0 PPG, 9.6 RPG, and 3.0 APG.

In conclusion, we can easily observe that the Europeans are becoming more and more popular, dominating the league, and being the best players of their teams. We can only hope for an increase in the number of players that go there in the best league in the world.

David Istrate,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *