Poll

Who's the best international player of all time? (players in alphabetical order)

Giannis Antetokounmpo
7 (11.7%)
Vlade Divac
0 (0%)
Luka Doncic
2 (3.3%)
Joel Embiid
1 (1.7%)
Pau Gasol
0 (0%)
Manu Ginobili
1 (1.7%)
Rudy Gobert
0 (0%)
Nikola Jokic
0 (0%)
Sarunas Marciulionis
0 (0%)
Yao Ming
2 (3.3%)
Dikembe Mutombo
0 (0%)
Steve Nash
5 (8.3%)
Dirk Nowitzki
8 (13.3%)
Hakeem Olajuwon
23 (38.3%)
Tony Parker
0 (0%)
Drazen Petrovic
1 (1.7%)
Kristaps Porzingis
0 (0%)
Arvydas Sabonis
9 (15%)
Oscar Schmidt
0 (0%)
Pascal Siakam
0 (0%)
Ben Simmons
0 (0%)
Peja Stojakovic
0 (0%)
Karl-Anthony Towns
0 (0%)
other (please name below)
1 (1.7%)

Total Members Voted: 60

Author Topic: Poll: Best international player of all time  (Read 6618 times)

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Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2020, 09:13:02 PM »

Offline Jvalin

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I love Hakeem but did he ever compete internationally?

I know Arvydas did...boy did he..

IMO he is hands down the best...

If he was EVER let loose to come to the NBA in the 80s...wow.

Off topic but put him on my All-Time best passers at their position list:

C - Arvydas
F - LeBron
F - Larry
SG - Hondo
PG - Magic

Ball movement is DIZZYING from every position in this lineup. Would it work as a competitive team? I bet it could - even in TODAY's NBA....
Off the top of my head, gimme Oscar Robertson over Hondo. I mean, he led the league in assists per game 7 times. Not to mention, his career average was 9.5 assists per game!

Btw, this should make a great poll. I promise I'll make one tomorrow cause it requires some research first. "Who's the best passer of all time?" Plenty of players to choose from: Sabonis, Magic, Bird, Stockton, LeBron, Oscar, Luka, Walton, Jokic, Jason Williams, CP3, Kidd, Nash, Rondo, Rubio, Simmons, Bob Cousy, the list is endless. :)

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2020, 10:21:32 PM »

Offline hwangjini_1

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so far i think the poll is accurate - olajuwan and sabonis are hard to beat. antetokounmpo may do it, but not yet.
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Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2020, 11:48:01 PM »

Offline Ogaju

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You really could just limit the voting to Sabonis, Schmidt, Dirk and Hakeem. I don't see that anyone else is really in the discussion at this point, though Luka and Giannis might eventually be added to that list.

Weirdly enough, Pau might be the most successful international player but not in the discussion as best overall.
I wanted to include plenty of options in the poll in hope of provoking conversation.

Personally speaking, I definitely think Drazen is in the discussion. Luka and Giannis will most definitely be in the discussion in a few years' time (if they aren't already). Possibly Jokic-Embiid-Simmons-KAT-Porzingis as well.

Steve Nash is a 2-time MVP. Tony Parker is a Finals MVP. Gobert is a 2-time DPOY. Imo, all these guys were/are great players. At the very least, they should be in the discussion.


Does Tim Duncan not count as an international player?
Didn't include him cause he has played for team USA. The same goes for Patrick Ewing and Kyrie.

So did Hakeem. Kyrie? Isnt he born in the USA?

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2020, 11:53:07 PM »

Online gouki88

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You really could just limit the voting to Sabonis, Schmidt, Dirk and Hakeem. I don't see that anyone else is really in the discussion at this point, though Luka and Giannis might eventually be added to that list.

Weirdly enough, Pau might be the most successful international player but not in the discussion as best overall.
I wanted to include plenty of options in the poll in hope of provoking conversation.

Personally speaking, I definitely think Drazen is in the discussion. Luka and Giannis will most definitely be in the discussion in a few years' time (if they aren't already). Possibly Jokic-Embiid-Simmons-KAT-Porzingis as well.

Steve Nash is a 2-time MVP. Tony Parker is a Finals MVP. Gobert is a 2-time DPOY. Imo, all these guys were/are great players. At the very least, they should be in the discussion.


Does Tim Duncan not count as an international player?
Didn't include him cause he has played for team USA. The same goes for Patrick Ewing and Kyrie.

So did Hakeem. Kyrie? Isnt he born in the USA?
Kyrie was born in Melbourne, AUS

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2020, 12:02:46 AM »

Offline Ogaju

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You really could just limit the voting to Sabonis, Schmidt, Dirk and Hakeem. I don't see that anyone else is really in the discussion at this point, though Luka and Giannis might eventually be added to that list.

Weirdly enough, Pau might be the most successful international player but not in the discussion as best overall.
I wanted to include plenty of options in the poll in hope of provoking conversation.

Personally speaking, I definitely think Drazen is in the discussion. Luka and Giannis will most definitely be in the discussion in a few years' time (if they aren't already). Possibly Jokic-Embiid-Simmons-KAT-Porzingis as well.

Steve Nash is a 2-time MVP. Tony Parker is a Finals MVP. Gobert is a 2-time DPOY. Imo, all these guys were/are great players. At the very least, they should be in the discussion.


Does Tim Duncan not count as an international player?
Didn't include him cause he has played for team USA. The same goes for Patrick Ewing and Kyrie.

So did Hakeem. Kyrie? Isnt he born in the USA?
Kyrie was born in Melbourne, AUS

To american parents, or no?

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #35 on: March 15, 2020, 01:34:07 AM »

Offline Jvalin

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You really could just limit the voting to Sabonis, Schmidt, Dirk and Hakeem. I don't see that anyone else is really in the discussion at this point, though Luka and Giannis might eventually be added to that list.

Weirdly enough, Pau might be the most successful international player but not in the discussion as best overall.
I wanted to include plenty of options in the poll in hope of provoking conversation.

Personally speaking, I definitely think Drazen is in the discussion. Luka and Giannis will most definitely be in the discussion in a few years' time (if they aren't already). Possibly Jokic-Embiid-Simmons-KAT-Porzingis as well.

Steve Nash is a 2-time MVP. Tony Parker is a Finals MVP. Gobert is a 2-time DPOY. Imo, all these guys were/are great players. At the very least, they should be in the discussion.


Does Tim Duncan not count as an international player?
Didn't include him cause he has played for team USA. The same goes for Patrick Ewing and Kyrie.

So did Hakeem. Kyrie? Isnt he born in the USA?
Kyrie was born in Melbourne, AUS

To american parents, or no?
Yes, his family moved to Australia cause his father received an offer to play for the Melburne Boomers (at the time, the Bulleen Boomers). Regardless, he holds duel citizenship. He could have opted to play for Australia if he wanted to.

You are 100% right on Hakeem. I made a mistake. Based on my self-imposed criteria, I shouldn't have included him in the poll. When I realized it, you guys had already casted multiple votes and I didn't think it would have been fair to reset the count to zero. Ironically, the results would have been more interesting that way, but oh well.

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #36 on: March 15, 2020, 08:45:13 AM »

Offline Surferdad

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You really could just limit the voting to Sabonis, Schmidt, Dirk and Hakeem. I don't see that anyone else is really in the discussion at this point, though Luka and Giannis might eventually be added to that list.

Weirdly enough, Pau might be the most successful international player but not in the discussion as best overall.
Agreed, and as an admittedly NBA-centric fan,  I wavered between Dirk and Hakeem, but finally voted for Hakeem based on having one more championship.  That said, being NBA-centric introduces a bias.  If you don't follow international basketball, you really aren't qualified to vote on this poll.  :-[

Dirk never seems to get love in these conversations.  It was more than his fantastic skills; he was also a role model for young European players to show they could make it in the NBA.

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #37 on: March 15, 2020, 08:47:20 AM »

Online gouki88

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You really could just limit the voting to Sabonis, Schmidt, Dirk and Hakeem. I don't see that anyone else is really in the discussion at this point, though Luka and Giannis might eventually be added to that list.

Weirdly enough, Pau might be the most successful international player but not in the discussion as best overall.
Agreed, and as an admittedly NBA-centric fan,  I wavered between Dirk and Hakeem, but finally voted for Hakeem based on having one more championship.  That said, being NBA-centric introduces a bias.  If you don't follow international basketball, you really aren't qualified to vote on this poll.  :-[

Dirk never seems to get love in these conversations.  It was more than his fantastic skills; he was also a role model for young European players to show they could make it in the NBA.
Plus he's left a really staggering influence on the modern game. All these big-men launching threes stem from him breaking the mold in a major way

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #38 on: March 15, 2020, 11:15:54 AM »

Offline mmmmm

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You really could just limit the voting to Sabonis, Schmidt, Dirk and Hakeem. I don't see that anyone else is really in the discussion at this point, though Luka and Giannis might eventually be added to that list.

Weirdly enough, Pau might be the most successful international player but not in the discussion as best overall.
Agreed, and as an admittedly NBA-centric fan,  I wavered between Dirk and Hakeem, but finally voted for Hakeem based on having one more championship.  That said, being NBA-centric introduces a bias.  If you don't follow international basketball, you really aren't qualified to vote on this poll.  :-[

Dirk never seems to get love in these conversations.  It was more than his fantastic skills; he was also a role model for young European players to show they could make it in the NBA.
Plus he's left a really staggering influence on the modern game. All these big-men launching threes stem from him breaking the mold in a major way

Arvydas Sabonis had already broken that mold, especially internationally and to a lesser extent when he finally came to the NBA.  Dirk just helped made it more common in the NBA.

Sabonis had been a 38% 3PT shooter at about 2 per game through most of his pre-NBA career, which was totally unheard of for a 7'3" giant.  He was 31 & with ruined knees when he finally got to the NBA and so took fewer, but still managed about a 33% average.

Sabonis was why so many international big men, including Dirk, became 3PT shooters sooner than domestic big men.
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Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #39 on: March 15, 2020, 01:20:06 PM »

Offline ederson

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Arvydas Sabonis had already broken that mold, especially internationally and to a lesser extent when he finally came to the NBA.  Dirk just helped made it more common in the NBA.

Sabonis had been a 38% 3PT shooter at about 2 per game through most of his pre-NBA career, which was totally unheard of for a 7'3" giant.  He was 31 & with ruined knees when he finally got to the NBA and so took fewer, but still managed about a 33% average.

Sabonis was why so many international big men, including Dirk, became 3PT shooters sooner than domestic big men.

And  Achilles' tendon injury. IMHO Sabonis is underrated ... very underrated. And very unlucky.  He destroyed his tendon in 1989 .... Even now such an injury is carrier threatening. But he came back  and dominated. Imagine him without the injuries that slowed him down. The doctors in Portland said before he signed there that he could get a parking place in the handicapped area!

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #40 on: March 15, 2020, 03:29:22 PM »

Offline Jvalin

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Really like the fact that Sabonis is getting some love in the poll! Didn't expect it to be honest.

Off topic but put him on my All-Time best passers at their position list:

C - Arvydas
Check out this top 10 (mind you, the majority of his games in Europe aren't recorded on video)



Not all plays are equally impressive (for instance, at #9 he flies by prime Shaq, but the dunk is nothing special). There are plenty of gems though. I mean, check out that pass at #8! He grabs the ball Dr.J style and he throws a full-court pass over 2 retreating defenders for an easy basket in transition!

Check out the play at #5 where he dunks the ball with his back to the basket (similar play at #7 as well). The defenders are right next to him, yet they can't react quick enough. [dang], he was fast prior to the injuries! You want more proof of his early days athleticism? Check out the plays at #4 and #3 (especially #3)! He annihilates David Robinson, one of the strongest big men in the history of basketball! Sabonis just flies over him and throws him to the ground. Robinson seems like he got hit by a truck! I mean, this is ridiculous!

Anyway, just check out the whole video, cause I ended up mentioning pretty much all the plays! :P

Listen to Nate McMillan at the start of the following video: ''I didn't see him when he was young, but I've heard, you know, about when he was a young guy and he could take off from the free throw line''! He's 7'3'' and he was taking off from the free throw line for crying out loud!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHAdHgRHAo4

Check out the play right after the McMillan part is over. That pass has Larry Bird written all over it!

Check the pass at 3:38! I've never ever seen anybody making a pass like this! I've seen Larry making a similar pass, but not a no look, behind his back pass like this!

Another Larry Bird type of pass here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv1qpF2AEgc

I'm telling you guys, Sabonis was the real deal! The stuff he did with the ball in his hands are unparalleled for a 7-footer! The guy was truly a 7'3'' Larry legend!
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 03:57:29 PM by Jvalin »

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #41 on: March 15, 2020, 03:42:22 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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It's interesting to think what NBA history would look like if Sabonis was born in America. Do the Bird and Magic years become the Bird and Magic and Sabonis years? Yet another multi skilled, excellent passing big man that hadn't been seen before and would break the mold on how basketball would be played. One a PG, one a SF, one a Center.

Sabonis would be in talks as top 5 in NBA history if he was born in America.

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #42 on: March 15, 2020, 03:50:38 PM »

Offline GreenFaith1819

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I bet this dude could've gotten out of some technicals, too...

Look at his dance move in response to a call he didn't like, lol

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Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #43 on: March 15, 2020, 03:55:49 PM »

Offline GreenFaith1819

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It's interesting to think what NBA history would look like if Sabonis was born in America. Do the Bird and Magic years become the Bird and Magic and Sabonis years? Yet another multi skilled, excellent passing big man that hadn't been seen before and would break the mold on how basketball would be played. One a PG, one a SF, one a Center.

Sabonis would be in talks as top 5 in NBA history if he was born in America.

As punishing as Sabonis would've been I think out chances against him would've been good..

We had McHale, Chief AND a fountain of youth Bill Walton to throw at him.

We could also throw Greg Kite at him for some hard fouls.

LAL? I think they would've had a harder time...only Kareem - and an Older Kareem at that..maybe Michael Thompson?

HOU's Twin Towers basically stopped LAL from advancing in 86. KAreem put up a good fight but Sampson and Akeem (back then) were a load for him.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 04:15:45 PM by GreenFaith1819 »
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Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #44 on: March 15, 2020, 03:58:42 PM »

Offline mmmmm

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I bet this dude could've gotten out of some technicals, too...

Look at his dance move in response to a call he didn't like, lol



That's always been one of my favorite Arvydas vids!   Makes me laugh every time.
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