Thursday, 23 May 2024

International Big Men Thrive in the NBA with All-Around Skills

The presence of international big men in the NBA has become increasingly notable in recent years. These players, hailing from various countries, have brought a level of all-around skill and dominance to the league that has garnered attention and accolades. Last season’s MVP voting, for example, showcased the prominence of big men from overseas.

Nikola Jokic, hailing from Serbia, took home the MVP trophy, while Joel Embiid from Cameroon, Giannis Antetokounmpo from Greece, and Stephen Curry rounded out the top four. France’s Rudy Gobert won his third Defensive Player of the Year award, and Switzerland’s Clint Capela led the league in rebounding.

According to Atlanta Hawks coach Nate McMillan, one key factor contributing to the success of international big men is their early exposure to the fundamentals of the game. These players are taught the importance of shooting, passing, and dribbling from a young age, which gives them a solid foundation to build upon.

In contrast, McMillan believes that some American players may be missing out on these crucial lessons. With the changing landscape of college basketball and players spending less time developing their fundamental skills, the gap between American players and their international counterparts in terms of all-around ability has widened.

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The international big men in the NBA not only excel individually but also support and inspire each other. They embrace their roles, whether it’s dominating the boards, making crucial defensive plays, or elevating their teammates’ performances. Their impact on the court is undeniable.

While there are still exceptional American players in the league, such as Anthony Davis and Bam Adebayo, the rise of international big men has added an exciting dynamic to the NBA. Their skill level and understanding of the game bring a unique perspective and style of play that fans and coaches appreciate.

In conclusion, the international big men in the NBA are making waves with their all-around skills and contributions to their teams. They have become vital components of the league and continue to shape the future of basketball. Their achievements and success serve as inspiration for aspiring players around the world.


1. Who are some notable international big men in the NBA?

  • Nikola Jokic (Serbia)
  • Joel Embiid (Cameroon)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece)
  • Rudy Gobert (France)
  • Clint Capela (Switzerland)
  • Deandre Ayton (Bahamas)
  • Nikola Vucevic (Switzerland)
  • Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia)

2. What sets international big men apart from their American counterparts?
International big men, having been taught the fundamentals of the game from a young age, possess a well-rounded skill set that includes shooting, passing, and dribbling. This foundation allows them to excel in multiple facets of the game, making them valuable assets to their teams.


International big men in the NBA have taken the league by storm with their all-around skills and contributions. Players from countries like Serbia, Cameroon, Greece, France, and Switzerland have made significant impacts on their respective teams and the league as a whole. These big men excel in fundamental areas of the game, such as shooting, passing, and dribbling, which they learn from a young age. While American players may have different development paths, the international players bring a unique perspective and style of play to the NBA, elevating the level of competition. As the league continues to evolve, the influence of international big men will undoubtedly play a significant role in shaping the future of basketball. Visit for more insights on the NBA and other sports-related topics.

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