Ranking the 8 greatest international players of all time

Ranking the 8 greatest international players of all time

The last five MVP awards have been given out to three international players; Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, and Joel Embiid. International players have taken over the game and there is still more to come. Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are right there as the next international players to make noise in the MVP conversation.

Non-American players dominating in the NBA is not a completely new phenomenon, however. There is a long line of successful international NBA players so let’s look at some of the best.


International Player #8: Manu Ginobili

Manu Ginobili had great success playing in Argentina and Italy before coming to the NBA. Nevertheless, he was little known in NBA circles and received little attention in the draft. The Spurs eventually picked up the Argentinian shooting guard with the 57th pick, and he stayed with the team for 16 seasons, forming a big three with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.

The team had great success, winning four titles in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014. Individually, Ginobili also had notable success. After starting off his rookie season slowly, hemmed by injuries, he quickly found his footing in the playoffs and only got better from that point on. Over the years, he was a two-time All-Star, made two All-NBA Third Teams, and was named the 2008 Sixth Man of the Year.

Ginobili is one of only two players to win Euro League and NBA titles as well as an Olympic gold medal, which just shows how successful he was in all of his basketball endeavors. In light of that success, the Spurs retired his number 20 and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2022. Often being credited with bringing the Euro Step to the NBA, Ginobili left quite the mark on the league and deserves to be listed as one of the best international players yet.

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