As we’re living in a more globalized world each day, more and more European basketball players make their way to the NBA. Time for us to honor some great European stars who made an impact in the NBA during the past 10 years. This ranking is based on the best European performers between the 2009-10 season and the 2019-20 season.
European legends have something in common. They love to stay with the same franchise for a long time, showing their loyalty and love for the team. Today, we start with our 10th pick.
As we all miss the NBA right now, we hope you enjoy this read. And most importantly, take care.
10. Rudy Gobert (current team: Utah Jazz) Age: 27
Maybe seeing Rudy Gobert in this list might come as a surprise to you, well, it surely isn’t. His career numbers aren’t sky-high as the others in this list, but he surely impacted the teams he played for in at least the same way. Especially the last four seasons, Gobert has been a dominant force for the Utah Jazz.
Gobert received worldwide attention -in a negative way- when he joked around about the Corona virus. A couple of days after his inappropriate behavior, Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive… Other NBA players followed soon. Of course, his apologies followed, as Rudy is a great guy.
Rudy Gobert was born in France in 1992 and started his professional career in 2010, playing for Cholet. Gobert declared for the 2013 NBA Draft and set NBA Draft Combine records for wingspan (7 feet, 8,5 inches) and standing reach (9 feet, seven inches). These dimensions gave him the nickname ‘The Stifle Tower’.
The Denver Nuggets selected Rudy Gobert as the 27th pick, but he got traded to the Utah Jazz on draft night.
After three relatively quiet seasons, Gobert became a star in the 2016-2017 season. In the 2017-2018 and the 2018-2019 season Gobert received the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
In 7 seasons in the NBA, Gobert averages an excellent 2 blocks per game, as he’s one of the best defensive players in today’s league. Gobert is not only known for his shot blocking ability, as he also became an offensive threat for the Jazz during the past years.
This season, Gobert averaged 15.1 PPG, 13.7 RPG, while scoring almost 70 percent of his field goal attempts. Mon dieu! Also this year, Gobert got his first All-Star selection.