Four on the floor of international movement
If a combination of Argentinean, Lithuanian or Serbian all-stars can beat the hell out of a team consisting of American stars, why haven't any of those countries produced a true NBA superstar?
But, in large part, international players are still looking for respect in the arena it matters the most to them the NBA.
Phoenix Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni, who spent years coaching in Italy between stints in the NBA, says the internationals deserve that respect.
"They've come a long way," D'Antoni told Insider. "There was a time when they were just role players sharpshooters or finesse players. Now you're seeing difference makers. That's the true test."
When D'Antoni's Suns take the floor in Utah and the Dallas Mavericks visit the Spurs in San Antonio on Tuesday night, fans can get their best view ever of what he's talking about.
Those four teams, some of the most successful in the NBA, have a combined 22 players on their roster who were born outside the United States. Of those players, 15 came directly to the NBA from an international team. Eight of the 22 are starters.
While there might be an international backlash brewing in the draft these days, these four teams are proving that not only do international players belong in the NBA they can thrive there.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Kobe fires back at Brown's culture remarks
- Nets' Pierce, Garnett top former coach Rivers
- Aldridge, Blazers outduel Howard, Rockets
- LeBron, Durant early leaders in All-Star voting
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- FANMATS Phoenix Suns Basketball Mat