Interested in getting into European hoops this season? Get to know the 50 most important players in overseas competition.
NBA Season Preview time is well underway. The season doesn’t start for another month and a half, but now is the time when fans and media start jonesing for basketball to come back. The nightly show-stopping performances, as well as the daily drama, the league thrives on make it unlike any other professional sport. Basketball junkies are one of a kind. We know you can’t get enough of the sport, and even when the season starts, many won’t be able to get enough.
What if I told you there’s an easy supplement to the NBA’s pageantry? What if there was a basketball league that offered the same stakes, same drama and similar entertainment value, with the added bonus that you could watch during the day like a year-round March Madness? If that sounds like something you could get behind, let me introduce you to European basketball.
The European game doesn’t have the talent the NBA does, but there’s plenty of fun reasons to tune in. The pride of the individual teams and fans is unmatched, in some cases even by their counterparts in soccer. The play is high level, more refined and cohesive than college basketball, with more drastic differences in style than the NBA. And there are multiple leagues and competitions, creating multiple rivalries and high-stakes games that you can tune into almost every day.
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But mostly, you need to tune in for the players. European players span a wide variety of backgrounds and origins that creates a brilliant melting pot that is the core of enjoying the leagues for the NBA fan. That player your team signed to a 10-day deal once that you liked, but didn’t make it? He’s here. That dude who went for 20 points against the U.S. in Olympic play? He’s here too. That mystery man your team is locked in on for the 2018 NBA Draft? He’s no mystery to us. There’s plenty of fascinating players on the fringes of the NBA in Europe, if you know where to look.
We’re here to help you do that. If you think European Hoops is right for you, and you’re ready to take the plunge, we’re here to help. As a primer, we wanted to make sure you had a list of the players who matter most in the European game, to help you identify who to watch week-to-week and why. This will be presented in a 5-part series, highlighting 50 players who will be the most interesting as they head into the new season.
So without further ado, let’s jump into the rankings, with numbers 50-41.