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 9552 times)

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Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #45 on: March 15, 2020, 04:04:56 PM »

Offline Somebody

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Sabonis looks incredible in those videos, his size, skill and athleticism would've definitely made him a top 10 centre of all time if he was born in America.

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #46 on: March 15, 2020, 04:20:13 PM »

Offline Jvalin

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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.
Fwiw, Clyde Drexler is on record saying that if Sabonis had been able to spend his prime in Portland the Blazers would "have had four, five or six titles. Guaranteed. He was that good. He could pass, shoot three pointers, had a great post game, and dominated the paint." Don't know about the ''4, 5 or 6'' part, but I bet he would have transformed the Blazers into a legit championship contending team. I mean, Jordan, Bird and Magic were no scrubs either. :P


Sabonis looks incredible in those videos, his size, skill and athleticism would've definitely made him a top 10 centre of all time if he was born in America.
Lots of journalists/fans in Europe already consider him a top 10 Center of all time and that's without even seeing him play during his prime years (exluding international competitions). If he were born in the US (or if he were allowed to leave the USSR in his late teens/early 20s), imo he'd be in the same conversation with Wilt, Kareem, Russell, Shaq and Dream. To put it another way, he would have been considered a GOAT candidate.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 04:38:40 PM by Jvalin »

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #47 on: March 15, 2020, 04:29:23 PM »

Offline GreenFaith1819

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I bet this dude was a LOAD as a teammate...

Deep Russian voice with humor LOL........
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Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #48 on: March 15, 2020, 04:36:24 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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I think the recency bias votes in the poll are pretty misplaced. Giannis, Luka and Embiid are nowhere near the best international player ever. Not yet. Both would have to do what they are doing for many years and achieve a whole bunch more before being considered best ever. Maybe get back to me in 10 years before raising them to such lofty status when they haven't come close to earning that title yet.

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2020, 08:50:52 AM »

Offline Jvalin

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A few words on the Brazilian basketball legend Oscar Schmidt (the only player in the poll not to have played in the NBA).

He is widely considered the greatest player never to have played in the NBA. In fact, he had multiple offers to join the NBA, but he turned them all down cause he wouldn't have been eligible to play for the Brazilian national team (at the time NBA players couldn't play for their national team).

Schmidt was called “Mão Santa” (Holy Hand) because of his ability to shoot the ball. He scored 49,703 points throughout his 23-year career, which is about 11,000 more than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
I'm just gonna leave this here. It's a short video about Oscar Schmidt (from when he entered the Basketball Hall of Fame). Bird, Kobe, David Robinson and Mike D'Anthoni pay tribute to Oscar. He is a basketball legend, no doubt about that.



Had he played in the NBA, I bet he would have gotten at least a few votes in the poll.

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2020, 09:46:34 AM »

Offline Somebody

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A few words on the Brazilian basketball legend Oscar Schmidt (the only player in the poll not to have played in the NBA).

He is widely considered the greatest player never to have played in the NBA. In fact, he had multiple offers to join the NBA, but he turned them all down cause he wouldn't have been eligible to play for the Brazilian national team (at the time NBA players couldn't play for their national team).

Schmidt was called “Mão Santa” (Holy Hand) because of his ability to shoot the ball. He scored 49,703 points throughout his 23-year career, which is about 11,000 more than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
I'm just gonna leave this here. It's a short video about Oscar Schmidt (from when he entered the Basketball Hall of Fame). Bird, Kobe, David Robinson and Mike D'Anthoni pay tribute to Oscar. He is a basketball legend, no doubt about that.



Had he played in the NBA, I bet he would have gotten at least a few votes in the poll.
Don't think he was close to being as good as Sabonis when it came to players who spent a significant amount of time outside of the NBA. His offence was pretty much only volume scoring and his defence was porous from what I've heard.

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2020, 11:49:09 AM »

Offline PhoSita

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Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2020, 11:49:41 AM »

Offline PhoSita

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Does Tim Duncan not count as an international player?

He does.

I mean, okay, technically the Virgin Islands are a territory of the U.S.


But I think it counts.  He wasn't just born there, either, he went to high school in St. Croix.



If you don't think that St. Croix counts and you want to take Duncan out of the equation, then I think it's Hakeem.  I'm not sure what the argument is for anybody else.
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Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #53 on: March 17, 2020, 01:39:25 PM »

Online Tr1boy

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- Dirk
- Av Sabonis
- Hakeem the dream
- Mano Ginobilli
- Tony Parker

Has a chance
- Doncic
- Giannis

Less than stellar
- Rubio (so much hype)

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #54 on: March 17, 2020, 01:48:38 PM »

Offline GreenFaith1819

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Don't forget Andrew Bogut and Aron Baynes for Australia





While not among the best these two are / were quality Bigs that were exceptional defensively.
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Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #55 on: March 17, 2020, 02:19:34 PM »

Offline Jvalin

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Don't think he was close to being as good as Sabonis when it came to players who spent a significant amount of time outside of the NBA. His offence was pretty much only volume scoring and his defence was porous from what I've heard.
Yeah, I believe Sabas was the better player between the two. Scmidt was an elite shooter+scorer, but his defense and his court vision left a lot to be desired (at least from what I've heard). As crazy as it sounds, prime Sabonis had literarily no weakness in his game. I mean, if you think about it, pretty much all the GOAT candidates had at least one weakness in their game.

Jordan: average 3pt shooter
Magic: average D + average shooter
Bird: way below average athleticism
LeBron: average shooter + his D has declined in the recent years (although I bet he can still play elite level D when he's into it)
Shaq: non-shooter + average court vision
Wilt: free throws + long distance shooting
Kareem: long distance shooting
Dream: court vision + long distance shooting
Russell: probably the best defensive player ever, but his offensive game wasn't anywhere near the same level

I get that big men weren't supposed to shoot from distance till the emergence of small ball in the recent years. Thing is, Sabonis wasn't supposed to shoot from distance either, but he did anyway! He famously hit 4 three pointers in the semis of the 1986 FIBA World Championship against Yugoslavia. A thrilling game to say the least! The Soviets were down 9 points with 1 minute to go. Sabonis spearheaded the Soviet comeback with a three pointer to cut the lead to 6 points. One of the greatest comebacks in basketball history!

Maybe Oscar Robertson and Jerry West had no real weakness too? Can't say I know enough about their game to be honest. I've heard people questioning their defensive impact, but then again I've read stories like these:





Prime Sabas, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West might be the only players with no holes in their game.



Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #56 on: March 17, 2020, 02:44:28 PM »

Offline Jvalin

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Tim Duncan
I mentioned Duncan in the OP.

I didn't include guys like Ewing/Duncan/Kyrie etc. cause they have played for team USA. I included KAT cause he has represented the Dominican Republic.

Based on the above criteria, I shouldn't have included Hakeem either. I forgot that he was a member of the dream team 2.

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 #57 on: March 17, 2020, 02:47:49 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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You are wrong about Bird's athleticism. He wasn't way below average, below average or even average. He was very strong, had a great first step, was faster in the open court than you would think and had elite hand eye coordination.

That's very good athleticism. Add that to his elite skills and one of the highest BBIQs around and you have the greatness of Bird.

Oh, and I think he is ambidextrous.

Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #58 on: March 17, 2020, 03:04:16 PM »

Offline GreenFaith1819

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You are wrong about Bird's athleticism. He wasn't way below average, below average or even average. He was very strong, had a great first step, was faster in the open court than you would think and had elite hand eye coordination.

That's very good athleticism. Add that to his elite skills and one of the highest BBIQs around and you have the greatness of Bird.

Oh, and I think he is ambidextrous.

Agreed.

Anyone questioning Larry's athleticism just check out this mixtape, right around the 3:00 mark



Dude had underrated handles, too - shaking several players off their feet.

I've said it before on here...call me crazy but I don't think Larry Bird or Magic were human.
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Re: Poll: Best international player of all time
« Reply #59 on: March 17, 2020, 03:13:28 PM »

Offline Somebody

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Don't think he was close to being as good as Sabonis when it came to players who spent a significant amount of time outside of the NBA. His offence was pretty much only volume scoring and his defence was porous from what I've heard.
Yeah, I believe Sabas was the better player between the two. Scmidt was an elite shooter+scorer, but his defense and his court vision left a lot to be desired (at least from what I've heard). As crazy as it sounds, prime Sabonis had literarily no weakness in his game. I mean, if you think about it, pretty much all the GOAT candidates had at least one weakness in their game.

Jordan: average 3pt shooter
Magic: average D + average shooter
Bird: way below average athleticism
LeBron: average shooter + his D has declined in the recent years (although I bet he can still play elite level D when he's into it)
Shaq: non-shooter + average court vision
Wilt: free throws + long distance shooting
Kareem: long distance shooting
Dream: court vision + long distance shooting
Russell: probably the best defensive player ever, but his offensive game wasn't anywhere near the same level

I get that big men weren't supposed to shoot from distance till the emergence of small ball in the recent years. Thing is, Sabonis wasn't supposed to shoot from distance either, but he did anyway! He famously hit 4 three pointers in the semis of the 1986 FIBA World Championship against Yugoslavia. A thrilling game to say the least! The Soviets were down 9 points with 1 minute to go. Sabonis spearheaded the Soviet comeback with a three pointer to cut the lead to 6 points. One of the greatest comebacks in basketball history!

Maybe Oscar Robertson and Jerry West had no real weakness too? Can't say I know enough about their game to be honest. I've heard people questioning their defensive impact, but then again I've read stories like these:





Prime Sabas, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West might be the only players with no holes in their game.
I think the excerpt was laying the praise pretty thick on Oscar's defence, that was when he played with Kareem in Milwaukee and could leverage his size without worrying about it backfiring (Kareem was an amazing defensive anchor in Milwaukee). His situational value might've been All-Defensive in those years, but I think he was roughly neutral to above average on that end in a vacuum (he played on some porous defences in Cincinnati, a truly elite defensive guard would've helped out somewhat). The 70s was a strange time in basketball - you had a lot of people looking at the game with the wrong lens imo (that doesn't make them poor basketball minds, they were decades before our time and it just results in some wonky schools of thought at times) and the awards given during that era are pretty good evidence. I definitely think that West was more of an all round player compared to Oscar, the tape, stats and eye accounts all scream that he was a good guard defender at the very least while Oscar had mixed signals throughout his career.