Breakin Down the Foreigners in the NBA

Friday, February 29, 2008

The 3rd of the Four Part Series Analyzing the Composition of the NBA. Check out part 1, the BCS Conferences, part 2, the High Schoolers and part 4 the Non-BCS Schools.

This list of Foreigners only includes those that did not attend college in the United States. Thus players like Steve Nash (Santa Clara), Darius Songaila (Wake Forest), Linas Kleiza (Mizzou), etc. will not be incorporated into this list. The only players to be included are the straight to the NBA players. For instance Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitzki, Manu Ginobli, etc. Players who were drafted out of their local pro leagues.

Eastern Europe (23)

Starting Roster: Marko Jaric, Peja Stojakovic, Hedo Turkoglu, Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur
Bench Players: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Andris Biedrins, Beno Udrih, Bostjan Nachbar, Darko Milicic, Vladimir Radmanovic, Sasha Vujacic
Players Cut: Gordan Giricek, Nenad Krstic, Sasha Pavlovic, Zaza Pachulia, Rasho Nesterovic, Primoz Brezec, Kyrylo Fesenko, Oleksiy Pecherov, Marcin Gortat, Kosta Perovic, Viktor Khryapa

Roster Strength: 3-Balls, In their starting 5 alone they have 4 consistant 3 point threats. Than on the bench they come with two of the Lakers key 3-point threats in Radmanovic and Vujacic.
Roster Weakness: Point Guard, Marko Jaric has for the most part been a disappointment in the NBA and Beno Udrih while having his best season of his career this year has only averaged just over 2 assists per game in his NBA career.

Country Representation: Serbia (7), Slovenia (5), Turkey (2), Russia (2), Ukraine (2), Poland (1), Croatia (1), Georgia (1), Latvia (1), Lithuania (1),

Sum Up: Had Yugoslavia and the USSR not been broken there would have only been 4 countries represented. Yugoslavia (13), USSR (6), Turkey (2) and Poland (1).

Western Europe (15)

Starting Roster:Jose Calderon, Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol
Bench Players: Andrea Bargnani, Mickael Pietrus, Jorge Garbajosa, Juan Carlos Navarro, Thabo Sefolosha, Johan Petro, Marco Belinelli
Players Cut: Mickael Gelabale, Sergio Rodriguez, Ian Mahinmi

Roster Strength: Point Guard Play, Jose Calderon has emerged as one of the best distributors in the NBA this year. His Assist to Turnover ratio is phenomenal. And of course Tony Parker has helped lead the Spurs to multiple championships.
Roster Weakness: Depth & 'Soft', The Western Europeans have a formidable starting 5, but in comparison to others they lack big time impact players coming off of the bench. Also, it appears that the 'soft' european monicker comes from the Western Europeans. Parker, Nowitzki, Diaw, Bargnani are all players that could be a lot more physical than they are.

Country Representation: France (6), Spain (6), Italy (2), Germany (1), Switzerland (1)

Sum Up: The French and Spanish leading the way with 6 is pretty surprising. All of the British basketball players seemingly head to the United States to play college ball and even high school ball before going to the NBA. See Luol Deng.

Non-Euros (15)

Starting Roster: Leandro Barbosa, Manu Ginobli, Andres Nocioni, Anderson Varejao, Yao Ming
Bench Players: Nene Hilario, Yi Jianlian, Walter Hermann, Luis Scola, Fabricia Oberto, Carlos Delfino, Marcus Vinicius
Players Cut: DJ Mbenga, Cheick Samb, Mouhamed Sene

Roster Strength: Point Guard Play, Barbosa is Phoenix's 'backup point guard' in name only. This squad really has no true point guard and could have trouble getting into their offensive sets.
Roster Weakness: Defense, The foreigners, especially the Argentinians, can play tremendous pressure defense. With Yao anchoring the middle and ball pressure all over the court it would be tough to put up a lot of points on this team.

Country Representation: Argentina (6), Brazil (4),Senegal (2), China (2), Congo (1)

Sum Up: Surprisingly there are only three players in the NBA right now from Africa that did not go to college in the US. Those three players are having little impact on the NBA.

Overall NBA Sum Up

Foreigners are impacting the NBA at an increasing level. The Raptors, Lakers and Spurs have built their teams using several important secondary options. Each team is now in a position to push for a conference title if not an NBA title with these key foreign contributors.

Total Straight to the NBA Foreigners: 53

Most Europeans: Toronto Raptors, Golden St. Warriors and Lakers with 4

Most South Americans: San Antonio Spurs with 2.

Most Foreigners: Toronto Raptors have 5.

Posted by Simon at 12:41 PM   Digg! submit to reddit BallHype: hype it up!


hey wanna let you know nice articles over the past few days but it seems in the non euros category you mixed up the weakness and strengh other wize great set of articles

gary said...
6:35 PM  

Nice article. It has now changed as I recently saw there are actually 11 french players in NBA now (2011) so it doubled in 3 years...

Philfrombrux said...
7:45 AM  

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