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 honour 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 take a closer look at our third pick. As we all miss the NBA right now, we hope you enjoy this read. And most importantly, take care.
3. Tony Parker (retired) Age: 37
Although he was born in Bruges (May 17 1982) Tony Parker has a French nationality, after growing up in France. Initially, Parker preferred to play soccer. Luckily, watching a couple of live games of Michael Jordan changed the mind of the young Tony Parker.
He started his professional career with Paris Basket Racing in 1999. At the age of 18, Parker led team France to win the European Championships in 1999. Parker got drafted as the 28th pick in the 2001 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs, two years after starting his basketball career as a professional. What followed was an amazing career and the making of a four-time NBA champion.
After being drafted, Parker quickly became the starting point guard of the Spurs. The Frenchman was lightning quick and had a very soft touch around the rim. Besides that, he was a solid mid-range shooter.
Tony Parker won his first championship in 2003. Parker absolutely peaked in the Finals against the New Jersey Nets and became an NBA champion at the age of 21. He went on to win four total NBA Championships, forming a legendary big three with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Parker became the first European player to win the NBA Finals MVP award, after winning the NBA championship in 2007.
Statistically whise, Parker had his best season in 2008-2009. Parker averaged 22 points, 6.9 assists and 3.1 rebounds in that season. Parker never had the craziest stats, but the consistency he showed between 2002 and 2014 was incredible.
After his legendary teammates Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili left the team, Parker decided to play a final year for the Charlotte Hornets. He retired in 2019. The Frenchman will be remembered as one of the best and most reliable European Point Guards the NBA has ever seen.