Monday, August 30, 2010
It would have been easy to answer this question twenty years ago: Yugoslavia, no doubt. Nowdays people can disagree or have different opinions. And they are right and what they say it worths respect. Well, that means the competition is much bigger, and that's good either for the level and the interest of fans and for the uncertain results of the international competitions under FIBA. After disintegration of former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia in so many small indipendent countries we can see a bunch of new strong european National teams very competitive at any level. You never know who's gonna win. And superstars come out from any country from the Old Continent.
Where we just had the Soviet Union now there are Russia, Lithuania and also Ukraine who can excel at high level or they can offer outstading NBA materials.
Once upon a time Yugoslavia, yeah: now we have Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia. Do you want some names of their talents? Here we go: Sasha Vujacic, Brezec, Nachbar, Nesterovic and Dragic (and many more) from Slovenia; former NBA champion Divac from Serbia like his compatriots Danilovic and Jaric in the recent years, or the new emerging stars of Euroleague Teodosic, Tripkovic, Teletovic or even more Novickovic, Macvan, Dragicevic; the croatian Igor Rakocevic, Roko Leno Ukic or the Draftable Zubcic while the aged people will remember for sure the unforgettable Drazen Petrovic and his teammate Dino Radja.
From Lithuania we have the unstoppable Linas Kleiza, Kaukenas, the Lavrinovic twins but, still remembering the first (and maybe best ever) Arvydas Sabonis we have enjoyed with Siskauskas or we are now waiting for next superstars Valanciunas and Motejunas.
Spain is a wonderful crop as well - the best center of the NBA is nowadays Pau Gasol (okay with Dwight Howard) and the outstading Ricky Rubio - and many guys made the team in the NBA like french themselves either. Germany hero Dirk Nowitzki has been a NBA MVP candidate in the last 5 years while italian Andrea Bargnani was a 1st rounder pick of the lottery and a franchise player today.
Yes, which is the best crop for top level players is really questionable. From East to West, from South to North (yeah, we have also Jerebko and Koponen or Luol Deng) we can count fantastic players. Amazing topic.