Quantcast
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 at 1:24 pm  |  98 responses

Decade’s Best: International Player

Nikola Vujcic was good enough for the L, but never left European ball.

by Casey Jacobsen

Selecting the best basketball player of the past decade at any level is a daunting task. Usually, arguments can be made for several guys. Do individual stats (I.e. Allen Iverson) or winning championships (I.e. Tim Duncan) define the best individuals in a team sport?

When discussing the best international player of the past decade, this is especially difficult because so many of these players have traveled overseas to test their skills against the NBA’s best and, as a result, their international resumes are left incomplete. Tony Parker and Dirk Nowitzki are two iNikola Vujcicnternational players who could easily win this award, but their successes the past 10 years have come exclusively in the United States.

I believe the “Best International Player” should be awarded to the best foreigner whose success was achieved outside of the NBA… and maybe even a player that many people have never heard of. To any of those hardcore fans out there who pride themselves on knowing the best players and teams in the world, Nikola Vujcic’s name will be familiar. For those casual fans, he is relatively unknown. Vujcic is the “Best International Player” of the past decade.

Nikola Vujcic, 31, was born in Croatia and grew up playing in his homeland for Split. In 2001, the 6-11, 250-pound center began his decade-long dominance in Europe when he won his first professional championship in the French Pro League with ASVEL Villeubanne, averaging 16 points and 6.5 rebounds. In 2002, he began a six-year stint for well-known club Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel, joining forces with Anthony Parker, Sarunus Jasikevicus and Derrick Sharp. Vujcic & Co. established a mini-dynasty in the Euroleague during this time.

Maccabi won Euroleague titles in 2004 and 2005, while losing in the finals in 2006 (after beating my team, TAU Ceramica, in the semi-final that year). From 2002-2008, Vujcic helped lead Maccabi to five Israeli league titles, two Euroleague titles, and two more Euroleague Final Four appearances. During the 2004 campaign, he averaged 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists while shooting 60 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line. And although this was his best statistical season, his numbers were incredibly consistent on a team loaded with stars.

Nikola became the first player in the Euroleague modern-era to achieve a triple-double when, in 2005, he recorded 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. The following season, he did it again with a 27-point, 10 rebound, 10 assist performance. What makes these numbers more impressive is the fact that he plays the center position. He wasn’t bringing the ball up the court or running the pick and roll, yet he still was able to make plays for his teammates. Whenever he decides to retire, he will go down as one of the best passing big men in the history of Euroleague basketball.

The lone opportunity I had to compete against Nikola came in the 2006 Euroleague Final Four in Prague. My team, Tau Ceramica oNikola Vujcicf Spain, had just made their second consecutive trip to the Final Four and we were confident that this could be our year. Maccabi Tel Aviv was the best team on the continent, however, and was looking for their third consecutive Euroleague title, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since Arvidas Sabonis’ Real Madrid teams. We knew we were fighting an uphill battle, but Vujcic took all the wind out of our sails from the opening tip.

He scored easily in the post a few times in the 1st quarter to establish his presence and then began setting his teammates up with an array of backdoor passes and post kick-outs to open teammates. Anthony Parker, Maccabi’s other stud that year, also caught fire from the perimeter and entering halftime, it was almost a 20-point lead. The game was already over. Vujcic finished with 16 points (6-8 shooting), 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals in 32 minutes.

I walked away from that game with a newfound respect for him. I knew he was good before I played against him. I read articles and saw his gaudy stats, but you never really appreciate a guy until you play against him (or play with him, which would have been a lot of fun!). It was the biggest game of the Euroleague season, and Vujcic came up with his best performance. That is what great players do and he has done it year after year for most of the past decade.

Nikola has never played a game in the NBA, although it has been written that he was interested in coming to the League a few years ago. Obviously, he never signed a contract and no one will know exactly why, but here might be a few reasons why we never saw him with a Jerry West logo on his shirt:

1) Vujcic is perfect for the European-style of basketball. He wouldn’t have been as good in the NBA. His ability to pass and see the floor made him a special big man. The slower tempo of the game in Europe allows a big man to utilize his passing skills more effectively. Maccabi ran their offense through Vujacic. In the NBA, this wouldn’t have been possible. He would have been left behind on the fast breaks and his offensive touches would have been cut in half, limiting his ability to change a game with his playmaking abilities.

2) He played for Maccabi Tel Aviv, easily the most storied organization in the past decade of European basketball. Maccabi wasn’t going to let him leave to the NBA duNikola Vujcicring his six-year career without a fight.

3) He was a white, “unathletic” center. I don’t want to play the race card, but it has to be mentioned. The modern NBA puts a greater emphasis on athleticism than they ever have in the past. Vujcic wasn’t fast and he couldn’t jump very well and he wasn’t the best defensive player. Those were his physical weaknesses, but he made up for them in other ways. But from an NBA standpoint, he wasn’t as valuable of a commodity.

4) He made too much money in Europe. In order to come to the NBA, he would have been forced to take a pay cut. A big one. There were a few summers where some NBA teams were thinking hard about bringing Vujcic over, but the offers weren’t big enough.

I’m sure many will wonder how Vujcic’s skills would have translated in the NBA, but we will never know. I think that is a good thing. In today’s basketball world where the United States has robbed Europe and other continents of every star in the past 25 years (Dirk, Parker, Nash, Gasol, Petrovic, Schrempf, Kukoc, Divac, Stojakovic, Scola, Navarro, Jasikevičius, Fernandez and eventually Rubio), at least European fans got to keep Vujcic and enjoy his talent the last decade. And the least I could do was give him the credit he deserves.

***

For more Decade Awards, check out the archive.

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , , , ,

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Hot Topics

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    IMO Manu has been the best international player of the decade. He has Olympic medals, a world championship, NBA Championships, there is literally nowhere in the world he hasn’t won this decade.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    nbk. you clearly didn’t read the article before posting did you. lol

  • JJJC

    Manu Ginobili anyone?

  • JJJC

    I did read the article and the facta that Manu isn`t even mentioned is a joke

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    If you don’t want to play the race card, then don’t mention his race. The NBA doesn’t put a greater emphasis on athleticism, unathletic players have a hard time keeping up with the NBA. It’s the other way around. A big man that can’t run, can’t jump and, most importantly, can’t play D can not be anything more than a situational player regardless of his race.

  • Milan

    While Vujcic is a good player and all, I think the best would be Dejan Bodiroga. He had such a unique style, but damn, was he clutch. And he won the World Championships as well, where has the MVP in 2002. And while a lot of his medals came in the previous decade, he still played a big role in this one too, especially in the first few years.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    oh i did. i just don’t agree that they have to be a person who played exclusively oversees. Its a good article for sure. but i was just giving my opinion

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Manu can be classified as an ‘international’ player in the sense that he wasn’t born in America. But for the purposes of this award, we’re looking at players who played the majority (if not all) of the decade overseas.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    so best foreign player

  • Yesse

    If Dirk or Gasol would be in the euroleague they would dominate more.They can even go triple-double in the Nba..

  • doom

    Seriously? Where has this fool won OUTSIDE of Europe? He hasn’t won against the best talent in the world in the NBA. Any gold medals? Nope. FIBA world championships? Nope. Tony Parker or Dirk should of won this award hands down as best INTERNATIONAL players. If this was best European player to never play in the NBA this decade then fine, he wins hands down.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Tony Parker? Dirk? Andrei Kirelinko has been more effective in international play then those two. If your gonna complain do it intelligently, the guys you named have non of the championships your asking of Vujcic.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Cool reasoning. If you’re going to do a best international player this way, than I hope there is also a best non-American NBA player.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Also, if the best center of the decade is Dwight Howard…

  • tavoris

    the article is best international NON-NBA player. geez.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    oh look at that, tavoris changed the name of the award

  • rainman10

    Ok you people saying it should be Parker or Dirk are idiots. Did you read what Casey wrote at the beginning? Did you get the point of the article? Slam asked him to write this piece because of the angle and unique perspective in which he would write it. Yes Dirk, Parker and many other foreign born NBA players are better than Vujcic, but they didn’t fit the criteria for the award. Damn. Keep it up Casey, you have been a great addition to the SLAM contributors.

  • Hussman25

    Come on folks… let the pros (the SLAM Writers) do their job; yall r too critical; the article is about the best “International Player.” Sure many, if not all of us, here in the US may never have seen the man play (im one who has never heard of him) u cannot discredit the writers POV. Casey would have a better knowledge of the players over there as he has played there and seen him. While I am biased and would have chosen Juan “Pepe” Sanchez, that’s just me… LOL! (TTTTUUUUUU!) Good job Casey; I think it is about time we here in the US get used to the international game… Basketball is not just stateside anymore ladies and gents… Get used to it!

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Teddy, unfortunately, we won’t have a ‘Decade’s Best: Non-American’ category.

  • tavoris

    nbk, that’s precisely what paragraph 2 of this article tries to explain to you…so you won’t be an idiot and harp on Ginobili’s absence ad nauseum. Reading is fundamental.

  • Lebron >Kobe

    how come yao ming got left out of the list of ppl that the u.s took from other countries, and Jasikevičius might have been good in europe but he sucked here

  • tavoris

    @Hussman25…it find it hilarious that non-writers are so quick to critique people that actually get PAID TO WRITE.

  • http://dyalekt.blogspot.com d.Y.

    What was up with the race thing? You imply that the NBA is racist, and then start talking about his lack of athleticism…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I believe the “Best International Player” should be awarded to the best foreigner whose success was achieved outside of the NBA… and maybe even a player that many people have never heard of. To any of those hardcore fans out there who pride themselves on knowing the best players and teams in the world, Nikola Vujcic’s name will be familiar. For those casual fans, he is relatively unknown. Vujcic is the “Best International Player” of the past decade.
    That tavoris is the 3rd paragraph. and it starts with “I Believe” Reading is fundamental, and I believe does not change the meaning of the award. Best: International Player by definition is any player that competes in 2 or more nations, Plus I said IMO (in my opinion). duesch

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    This award is actually best foreign player. it just doesn’t say it

  • tavoris

    nbk…it actually starts in the 2nd paragraph, idiot. The beginning of the 3rd sums it up. re-read the article…and who are you to say u think the topic should be different? Geez, you don’t work for Slam, Casey does.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    lol @ tavoris – aren’t you the one always talking about not making things personal….anyway, idiot (thats you) Nowhere in paragraph 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 1 does it say that the award is best international non-nba player. It is his opinion which i said is a good article. I can disagree, i did say IMO. Your the dumba$$ who can’t read

  • http://www.teflinprague.com SAB

    y’all some whiny little girls, huh..
    thanks for the article Casey. i started off thinking “this has to be Dirk, right?”, but i can understand your opinion after reading the article.

  • tavoris

    nbk…my calling you an idiot is nothing personal. You obviously haven’t done enough writing to understand how to build up an argument. Casey Jacobsen obviously has. His build-up to defining the criteria in this article began in the 2nd paragraph. Without the 2nd paragraph, your point of Manu’s non-mention (in spite of his lengthy international success) is 100% valid.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    you right this message board is not for our opinion. by giving it we are “whiny little girls”. guess we are just supposed to talk about how much we love every article on here

  • LA Huey

    I know nothing about international ball but it was a good read, Casey. I always enjoy your articles. My only qualm with this one is the whole ‘white and lack of athleticism’ part. Those attributes didn’t stop Big Z or Sabonis from being a solid NBA big man.

  • tavoris

    @nbk-this is a message board????

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    the only part of paragraph 2 that sets up his criteria is his criticism of international players (dirk and tp in this case) who find basically all of their success in the NBA. My point about MANU is 100% relevant because I am actually following the meaning of international – you and casey (which i have no problem with, was just disagreeing) are concerned with foreign players who dominately play foreign basketball. Just as Teddy said since this award does not coincide with its english definition Slam should also have a best NON-American award.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    idk what its called. comment section – whatever

  • tavoris

    @nbk-this is pointless-but he(Casey) wrote this article to praise a player that most American Basketball Fans (the primary readership of Slam) would not be familiar with. Dirk, Manu, Parker, Pau, etc. have all transcended the qualifications of this piece. The fact that you disagree with the selection means you don’t comprehend the point of the article.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    no the fact that i disagree means i disagree. you really aren’t that smart are you? If anything my ability to disagree and defend the articles main points at the same time are testament to my understanding. go back to school

  • tavoris

    @nbk- If you are going to make a feeble attempt to insult my education, you should at least use proper grammar. Kids…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    lol ouch he pokes fun at my grammar. i hope i still get an A.

  • doom

    THEN IT SHOULDNT BE BEST OF THE DECADE

  • Hussman25

    @tavoris: LOL! I hear you… also its pointless to get into a verbal sparring session w/ folks here… It is just endless and POINTLESS… This is a message board to give opinions about the article and to discuss “other” surrounding topics… @nbk: Name calling is just childish and shows the maturity u, as the reader, truly show… :O) Have a nice day… Stating, and I quote,: Manu has been the best international player of the decade. He has Olympic medals, a world championship, NBA Championships, there is literally nowhere in the world he hasn’t won this decade…” shows u MAY NOT read the article or at least in full. niQ had it when he called u on it (ur opinion was appreciated tho)… Lets keep the comments professional folks… I like discussing hoops, but sometimes this turns into kindercare! SMH!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    lol i didn’t start the name calling. i just kept it going. I read every word of the article you people are ridiculous if you think the article follows the title

  • http://slamonline.com Adam Fleischer

    I thought this was a great piece, Casey. I like that you decided to make it a non-NBA dude and, although I hadn’t heard of this guy, he seems like a very solid player. Hope to read more in the future.

  • Hussman25

    @Ryne Nelson: There should however be a category for Best International Player in NBA; although u said previously there was not gonna be one, this category is however needed. The NBA has ballooned into a league where there are many European and other nationalities playing in the L now; their impact cannot be overlooked… Also, since many of my countrymen have little too no knowledge about the European game has SLAM ever though of doing an all euro mag on some players and teams over there so we can have some familiarity??? The internet and NBA TV can only do but so much…

    Sincerely,
    A long time Reader…

  • tavoris

    @Hussman25…I agree. It’s a sadistic sort of fun to spar with someone so ill-equipped.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Hussman you jumping in a conversation between two people then giving your opinion without reading their comments in full is no different then what you accused me of doing

  • http://www.teflinprague.com SAB

    nbk, i’m all for the more opinion, but this “comment section” has become a completely stupid discussion. “whiny little girls” was more aimed at the people saying the award should be called this, it shouldn’t be called this, bla bla bla. chill man, it’s just a little article shedding some love. you might have wanted to call it something else, and maybe one day when you run your own succesful website you can use your own headlines… for now, arguing the toss over “best international player” or is it “best foreign player” – what is the point of that discussion?! your contribution was better than doom’s though…

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Yao Ming gets no mention? Even in mentioning Tony Parker and Dirk at the beginning as primarily NBA players?

  • Hussman25

    ^ this can also be answered by anyother SLAM writer available also?? Not just for Mr. Nelson either… @nbk: As soon as I seen the title I knew it was not gonna be an NBA baller??? but that’s just me being a basketball lover… and was further cemented when Casey stated: “I believe the “Best International Player” should be awarded to the best foreigner whose success was achieved outside of the NBA.” *dropps mike exits stage left*

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    tavoris read what i write – comprehend the meaning of the words in english – I disagreed with the article, gave MY reasons for the disagreement – Defended Jacobsens positions on Dirk and Tony Parker – THen continued to repeat myself to you in various ways hoping that somehow you would understand the title of the article Best: International player of the last decade does not mean the same thing as best Foreign Player who has no success in truly international competition. He plays in a league that happens to have teams in different countries. Well so does the NBA and thus can be considered international competition of the exact same variety.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    and once again IMO Manu has more NON-NBA success then Vujcic. IMO IMO IMO IMO IMO – I read the article, every word, I understand Jacobsen’s view of the award but IMO its wrong. I haven’t told one of you that your opinion is flat out wrong, just that Tavoris is an idiot for his ASSUMPTIONS (which most regulars on this site will attest to)

  • tavoris

    @nbk-u don’t get it.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    tavoris – you never will

  • Hussman25

    I read all the comments prior to posting… thats how I dont make an @zz out of myself…
    @everyone: just imagine folks if some of ur fav’s decided to stay overseas??? Definately all of them could have possibly made more money in their homelands; but the product/quality of the league has been helped with them being here… The best international baller in the L should be recognized (if not by SLAM; then who??) All im saying…

  • tavoris

    I don’t disagree with you Hussman…in due time.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Either the greek dude hasn’t seen this yet or he is busy ejaculating all over his computer screen.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I just think Jacobsen should have his own set of articles – he offers a very unique perspective to professional hoops. but that does not mean we cannot criticize his work. and if you did read all the comments you would have brought up the immaturity point to tavoris as well. a$$

  • tavoris

    TADOne…he never comments on articles about international players…trolling is ineffective when it’s in it’s natural habitat.

  • tavoris

    nbk – I’m sure Casey Jacobsen is unbothered by the shallow criticism. Your problem was a disagreement with the content. That has nothing to do with the quality of the work.

  • tavoris

    @Hussman…John Hollinger (ESPN.com) always gives love to the many great International players in the NBA.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I am more then positive Casey could give 2 shlts about what us commenter’s say. it just seems people are being more defensive of this article due to the author then the content

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    it seems to me that one couldnt possibly win more internationally than manu has. euro titles, worlds title, olympic title. plus as an added bonus, nba titles. seems like a no brainer. yes, most of his years have been in the nba, but you cant ignore all the winning he has done around the world. i think casey just wanted to get all cutesy with his pick and choose someone we’ve never heard of. slam is failing massively at these decade lists.

  • LA Huey

    @TADOne, I wondered about greek guy too. Maybe he’s attending a fundamentals camp but tavoris is probably right.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    manu does not have an olympic title. unless you consider bronze and silver titles

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Hmm, is the problem he’s a white unathletic center, or the fact that he’s just an unathletic center?
    Don’t see how the white thing plays a roll, particularly since being white an unathletic hasn’t been a problem for scores of cats to make NBA rosters.
    Maybe I’m missing something though.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    *role

  • JJJC

    Argentina won gold in 2004 with Manu as their best player

  • LA Huey

    @nbk, I think Argentina won gold in Athens.

  • kh

    “In today’s basketball world where the United States has robbed Europe and other continents of every star in the past 25 years”
    Robbed???
    Are you serious? You’d rather these guys stay in their respective countries playing against mediocre talent, all the while wondering “how would they fair against the world’s best?” just like your boy Vujcic?

  • dino

    I dont 100% agree with this.
    IMO it should be Manu. But what do i know? Great write up nevertheless

  • dino

    @ nbk are you under 21

  • tinchek

    vujcic didn’t play in the nba because one year when he really had a good chance (he even refused to play for croatia on eurobasket) he had several injuries (i think ankle was the biggest problem) and had a bad year statistically and no one offered him a deal. that was the las chance for him (i think that was year 2007 or something like that). i didn’t really like him because he was always kind of leaving a lot to be desired playing for croatia but unfortunately never saw him play for maccabi. anyway nice article casey, cheers from croatia :)
    btw split won 3 euroleague titles 3 years in a row (89,90,91 i think) when kukoc and radja (among others) were there

  • Boogie

    Pretty solid article and although I have to admit Manu (yes, despite your clause at the beginning) is better for the award as stated. It did leave me wanting a more comprehensive look at euro ball and maybe you should petition for a section on slam for that. Also, i have to agree with a lot of the comments here and completely DISagree with ur assessment of the nba as racist and that being the reason this guy may not have made it here. I’m sorry but this constant “athleticism” debate is getting a bit too much. It is now undeniably code for “black” which is unfortunate really becaue it makes young white players feel they shouldnt be able to dunk and creates distractions from the game itself. Thankfully we have guys like chase budinger and jerebko who can slam quite easily and are very athletic dudes. I hope they get more shine so they can make the athletic debate seem more stupid than it already is.

  • kite

    There’s absolutely nothing ing NBK’s statements that warrant insulting him…When I saw the title I thought Dirk for sure, read the article and understand why it’s not Dirk.

  • tavoris

    @kite-you obviously don’t know the guy u just defended. Only one with a limited knowledge of nbk’s persona would say that…which is why his lack of comprehension was so wholeheartedly shredded.

  • balizo

    what about theo papaloukas?

  • Scotty

    what bout Pero Cameron?

  • ben hunter

    Manu Ginobili should be the focus of the article.

  • Rnz

    TADOne Posted: Dec.22 at 4:46 pm
    Either the greek dude hasn’t seen this yet or he is busy ejaculating all over his computer screen.

    LOL…I was drinking coke when I read this, the damn thing burst outta my nose…anyway,the comment section is more fun the the article

  • milaz

    OK…. if he never left Europe that means he was never an “international player” in the NBA. He was a local in any team he played in Europe, so the whole article – from the title to the end is a bit confusing! Either the best international player is a foreigner, i.e. non-american in the NBA, or it is a non-European playing in Europe… otherwise…. just because SLAM is an American magazine does not immediately make everyone non-American “international players”.
    If this was in a croatian magazine people would really laugh… and since he has not appeared in front of American crowds, Americans cannot judge him.

    By the way Gasol played in Spain until 2001 then went to NBA, was rookie of the year and then won a title as the decade ended…. and even he will debated between Manu, Nash, Parker, Nowitzki…
    Plus I can give you a long list of players with just as many accomplishments as Vujcic in the past decade in Europe (who actually went to the nba and gave it a shot – some stayed, others left – just as some Americans stay or leave from Europe – ie. Von Wafer failed in Europe).

  • milaz

    not to mention…. Gasol has won titles in Spain, in the olympics, in the eurobasket, in the nba, in the world championship while being on of the cornerstones of each team he was on.

  • whooo!

    Casey says: “I believe the “Best International Player” should be awarded to the best foreigner whose success was achieved outside of the NBA… and maybe even a player that many people have never heard of.”

  • andrew

    best international player of last decade?
    gotta be bodiroga or jasikievitsious

  • milaz

    “whooo! Posted: Dec.23 at 5:18 am
    Casey says: “I believe the “Best International Player” should be awarded to the best foreigner whose success was achieved outside of the NBA… and maybe even a player that many people have never heard of.” ”

    That makes no sense! “Foreigner” is relative, why is that so hard for people to get. If you are playing in Europe and you are European you are not a foreign player! “International” players are players NOT playing in their home country!

  • Dan1L0

    I agree with those who named Pau Gasol and Manu Ginobilli. They has won in every championship they played: NBA titles,Olympics medals, WorldChampions medals, even in Europe before they came to USA.. So, one of those two guys.Much respect for Steve Nash, Dirk or Tony Parker, but they doesnt won so many titles as Pau and Manu does. Specially in WC or Olympics.. and NBA too! As someone says before “this is an American Magazine”.. I follow Slam from Spain, so… at least we can say “this is an international magazine”..

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Tavoris so you don’t take what I say and try and comprehend that? you just take that i disagree with you more then most anyone else (which a lot of people disagree with you cuz you say retarded crap) and that warrants insults and ignorant accusations. Your the dummy who tried to tell people they were a D-1 coach lmao. @Dino – no

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    and my bad about the olympic gold – manu statement, i meant world championship, which i actually said manu has which he doesn’t. So yeah my fault, he got Olympic gold in 2004 and doesnt have a world championship (flip flop from what i thought)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    milaz the term foreign is relative but your on a website for a magazine based out of the united states. everything outside of the US is foreign to the majority of the writers and commenters here

  • LA Huey

    wtf?!? still no greek dude? i hope nothing terrible has happened to him…

  • max

    @milaz you do know that europe is a continent not a country (i.e. started playing in france, then going to spain would make it international even though both countries are in EUROPE)?

  • milaz

    it’s a continent?! when did that happen?

    Anyways, since I live in a country that is an EU member and follow european bball and the Euroleague, I think I would know.

    As far as european BASKETBALL – you can play in ANY european country as a local – so a European in Europe is a local – a Greek player in Spain is a local not a foreigner – you only get three foreigners max, but as many europeans as you like….

  • milaz

    Another side note – I have SLAM issues that date back to 1996 so I know PERFECTLY well where I am

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Europe is not a continent. That is a myth.

  • Iraklis

    Decent argument, but quite the wrong pick. Vujicic could be the Euroleague center of the decade, but not more than that. Jasikevecius and Bodiroga won way more and were more influential for their teams. Papaloukas and Diamntidis similarly have done more for their teams. Nicola is a great passer from the center position, but he was never the best player in his team. Parker and Sarunas were the first and second options in Maccabi.
    Two further factual corrections. You mentioned Maccabi was easily the best team of decade, which is wrong. Panathinaikos has won most and has been selected as the team of the decade on FIBA points. CSKA would be second best of the decade. Secondly, Real Madrid never won 3 consecutive Euroleague titles, they only won once with Sabonis (1995). Last to win 3 in a row (and only one iirc) was Jugoplastica/Split.

  • J

    94 comments above and still no word from the Greek dude. weird.

  • brookie

    im not gonna read all the previous comments…im just gonna give a list of guys better than vujicic:

    JC navarro (sapain- he only played 1 year in the league), ramunas siskaukas (lithuania) Felipe reyes(spain), ricky rubio (even though hes been playing for a small part of this decade), bodiroga, papalukas, jasikevisius, luis scola,Tiago Splitter, Walter Herrmann, etc etc

    and im not even gonna start with american players that have made there career in europe….because if the condition is to not have played in the nba or to have played in the nba but actualy tear it up in europe…bufffff the list is too long

    peace

  • al

    I believe Juan Carlos Navarro has been the player of the decade outside the NBA. He has won everything with FCB and the National Team.
    Vujicic in his prime was excellent, but only lasted 2-3 years. He is not dominant anymore, and was not dominant till 22-23

  • Josh

    Scotty Posted: Dec.22 at 10:09 pm
    what bout Pero Cameron?

    Hahahaha PC… great call!

Advertisement