As we’re living in a more globalized world each day, more and more European basketball players make their way to the NBA. Time for us to honour some great European stars who made an impact in the NBA during the past 10 years. This ranking is based on the best European performers between the 2009-10 season and the 2019-20 season. European legends have something in common. They love to stay with the same franchise for a long time, showing their loyalty and love for the team. Today we take a closer look at our second pick. As we all miss the NBA right now, we hope you enjoy this read. And most importantly, take care.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (current team: Milwaukee Bucks) Age: 25
Antetokounmpo grew up in Athens, Greece. He only started playing basketball at the age of 13, in 2007. A couple of years later, Giannis competed for the senior team of Filathlitikos, a Greek basketball club based in Athens.
Things went very rapidly for the Greek Freak, as the Milwaukee Bucks selected Giannis as the 15th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. What followed was pure greatness. After having a quiet rookie season, Giannis received more playing time. He averaged more than 22PPG in the 2016-2017 season.
In 2019, Giannis won the MVP award. He became the third foreign player to win the MVP award after joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to average at least 27 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, one block and one steal in a season. He’s the second European player to win the award (the other was Dirk Nowitzki).
At the age of 25, Giannis Antetokounmpo has established himself as one of the best European players to have played in the NBA. Giannis only became a star during the 2016-2017 season, but his impact on the game is enormous.
He might be the most dominant player since Shaquille ‘O Neal, being almost impossible to guard. Since Giannis started to develop a proper three point shot, he probably is one of the most versatile players in the league. Before the corona-outbreak, Antetokounmpo was on his way to win another MVP award.