Sports

The Best European NBA Players of All Time 

Ranker NBA
Originally by
Updated February 10, 2020 71.3k votes 9.2k voters 95.7k views 138 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest Europe-born players ever to play in the NBA

This list of European NBA players includes some of the games biggest basketball stars. From Tony Parker, Paul Gasol, Marc Gasol, and Dirk Nowitzki to Vlade Divac, Peja Stojakavic, and Hedo Turkoglu it is clear that the path to the NBA runs through Europe and sometimes even the EuroLeague. Some of the NBA greatest scorers and biggest stars are included in this list of the best NBA players born in Europe.

Many of these European NBA players also played in the NBA playoffs and some have even won NBA championships. Now it's your turn to vote for who you think are the greatest European basketball players of all time. If we missed any other foreign basketball players, feel free to add them to the list so that other basketball fans and Rankers can vote on them.

list ordered by
1
Dirk Nowitzki is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Würzburg, Germany

Position: Power forward

Age: 41

Number: 41

Teams: Dallas Mavericks

Dirk Werner Nowitzki (German pronunciation: [ˈdɪʁk ˈvɛʁnɐ noˈvɪtski]) (born June 19, 1978) is a German retired professional basketball player. An alumnus of Röntgen Gymnasium and the DJK ...more

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#126 of 158 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #163 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #43 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

2
Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
brianbiancardi added Athens, Greece

Position: Small forward, Point forward

Age: 25

Number: 34

Teams: Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo (born December 6, 1994) is a Greek professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed the "Greek ...more

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#2 of 82 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #40 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

3
Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Barcelona, Spain

Position: Power forward, Center

Age: 39

Number: 16

Teams: Portland Trail Blazers

Pau Gasol Sáez (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈpaw ɣəˈzɔl], Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpau ɣaˈsol]; born July 6, 1980) is a Spanish professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers ...more

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#21 of 61 The Most Hated Active NBA Players #6 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time

4
Arvydas Sabonis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Kaunas, Lithuania

Position: Center

Age: 55

Teams: Portland Trail Blazers

Arvydas Romas Sabonis (Lithuanian pronunciation: ​[ˈaːrviːdaːs ˈsaːboːnʲɪs]; born December 19, 1964) is a Lithuanian retired professional basketball player and businessman. Recognized as one of ...more

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#26 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #13 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time #263 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

5
Nikola Jokic is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
ZA Terorizam added Sombor, Serbia

Position: Center

Age: 24

Number: 15

Teams: Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokić (born February 19, 1995) is a Serbian professional basketball player for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He also represents the Serbian national ...more

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#13 of 82 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #464 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

6
Dražen Petrović is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
ArminSamardzic added Šibenik, Croatia

Position: Shooting guard

Age: Dec. at 29 (1964-1993)

Teams: Portland Trail Blazers, Brooklyn Nets

Dražen Petrović (pronounced [drǎʒen pětroʋitɕ]; 22 October 1964 – 7 June 1993) was a Croatian professional basketball player. A shooting guard, he initially achieved success playing professional ...more

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#852 of 926 People We Wish Were Still Alive #679 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time

7
Peja Stojaković is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Požega, Croatia

Position: Small forward

Age: 42

Teams: Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans

Predrag Stojaković (Serbian Cyrillic: Предраг Стојаковић, pronounced [ˌprêdraːɡ ˈstôjaːkoʋit͜ɕ]; born June 9, 1977), also known by his nickname Peja (pronounced [ˈpêd͡ʑa]), is ...more

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#12 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time #19 of 239 The Best White Players in NBA History

8
Tony Parker is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Bruges, Belgium

Position: Point guard

Age: 37

Number: 9

William Anthony Parker Jr. (born 17 May 1982) is a French-American former professional basketball player. The son of a professional basketball player, Parker played for two years for Paris ...more

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#15 of 21 The Best NBA Players Who Rap, Ranked #118 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

9
Luka Dončić is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
ElseñorFuzzo added Ljubljana, Slovenia

Position: Guard, Small forward

Number: 11

Teams: Dallas Mavericks

Luka Dončić (born February 28, 1999) is a Slovenian professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Slovenian national team. Born in ...more

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#397 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #26 of 239 The Best White Players in NBA History

10
Toni Kukoč is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Split, Croatia, Croatia

Position: Small forward

Age: 51

Teams: Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls

Toni Kukoč (pronounced [kukotʃ]; born September 18, 1968) is a Croatian retired professional basketball player who is currently Special Advisor to Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of the Chicago ...more

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#587 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #250 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

11
Vlade Divac is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Serbia, Prijepolje

Position: Center

Age: 51

Teams: Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers

Vlade Divac (Serbian Cyrillic: Владе Дивац, pronounced [ʋlǎːde dǐːʋats]; born February 3, 1968) is a Serbian professional basketball executive and retired player, currently serving as the vice ...more

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#33 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #325 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

12
Marc Gasol is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Barcelona, Spain

Position: Center

Age: 34

Number: 33

Teams: Toronto Raptors

Marc Gasol Sáez (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈmaɾɡ ɡəˈzɔl]; born 29 January 1985) is a Spanish professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association ...more

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#54 of 61 The Most Hated Active NBA Players #30 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

13
Kristaps Porzingis is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
CzarinaQuerubin added Ventspils, Latvia

Position: Power forward

Age: 24

Teams: Dallas Mavericks

Kristaps Porziņģis (born 2 August 1995) is a Latvian professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m) tall, and ...more

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#54 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #362 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

14
Goran Dragić is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Position: Point guard, Shooting guard, Guard

Age: 33

Number: 7

Teams: Miami Heat

Goran Dragić (born 6 May 1986) is a Slovenian professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He plays at both the point guard and shooting guard ...more

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#128 of 158 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #76 of 80 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today #22 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time

15
Rudy Gobert is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Createur Barchido Sept added Saint-Quentin, France

Position: Center

Age: 27

Number: 27

Teams: Utah Jazz

Rudy Gobert-Bourgarel (born June 26, 1992) is a French professional basketball player for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He also represents the French national ...more

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#69 of 80 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today #52 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

16
Hedo Türkoğlu is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Gaziosmanpaşa, Turkey

Position: Small forward, Power forward, Point forward

Age: 40

Number: 15

Teams: Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic

Hidayet "Hedo" Türkoğlu (Turkish pronunciation: [hidaːˈjet ˈtyɾkoːɫu]; born March 19, 1979) is a Turkish former professional basketball player and current president of the Turkish ...more

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#388 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #115 of 151 The Best NBA Players with No Championship Rings

17
Jonas Valančiūnas is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Utena, Lithuania

Position: Center

Age: 27

Number: 17

Teams: Memphis Grizzlies

Jonas Valančiūnas (Lithuanian pronunciation: ​[ˈjoːnɐs vɐɫɐnʲˈtɕûːnɐs]; born 6 May 1992) is a Lithuanian professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball ...more

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#128 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #72 of 82 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

18
Nikola Vučević is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Guest_6341db31-e352-42b2-8645-287ea8f62587 added Morges, Switzerland

Position: Power forward, Center

Age: 29

Number: 9

Teams: Orlando Magic

Nikola Vučević (born 24 October 1990) is a Montenegrin professional basketball player who currently plays for Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball ...more

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#57 of 82 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #42 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time #537 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

19
Ricky Rubio is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
El Masnou, Spain

Position: Point guard

Age: 29

Number: 9

Teams: Phoenix Suns

Ricard Rubio i Vives (born October 21, 1990) is a Spanish professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Rubio became the youngest player ever ...more

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#35 of 80 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today #57 of 71 The Best Sleeper Picks For Your Fantasy Basketball Team In 2019-2020

20
Bogdan Bogdanović is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
David Lukič added Belgrade, Serbia

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 27

Number: 8

Teams: Sacramento Kings

Bogdan Bogdanović (Serbian: Богдан Богдановић; born August 18, 1992) is a Serbian professional basketball player for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The ...more

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#46 of 82 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #55 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time #674 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

21
Lauri Markkanen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Tero Nousiainen added Vantaa, Finland

Position: Power forward

Number: 24

Teams: Chicago Bulls

Lauri Elias Markkanen (born May 22, 1997) is a Finnish professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In the 2017 NBA draft, he was taken by ...more

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#49 of 82 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #142 of 239 The Best White Players in NBA History

22
Detlef Schrempf is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Victor Eugene Caccam added Leverkusen, Germany

Position: Small forward, Power forward

Age: 56

Teams: Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Supersonics

Detlef Schrempf (born 21 January 1963) is a German-American retired professional basketball player. He played college basketball for the Washington Huskies from 1981 to 1985, and was drafted ...more

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#8 of 22 The Best Small Forwards of the 90s #306 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

23
Danilo Gallinari is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Guest_6341db31-e352-42b2-8645-287ea8f62587 added Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Italy

Position: Small forward, Power forward

Age: 31

Number: 8

Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder

Danilo Gallinari (Italian pronunciation: [daˈniːlo ɡalliˈnaːri]; born August 8, 1988) is an Italian professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball ...more

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#914 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #40 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time #449 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

24
Žydrūnas Ilgauskas is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
Kaunas, Lithuania

Position: Center

Age: 44

Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers

Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Lithuanian: Žydrūnas Ilgauskas; Lithuanian pronunciation: [ʑiːˈdrûːnɐs ɪɫˈɡɐ̂ˑʊ̯skɐs] (listen); born June 5, 1975) is a Lithuanian American retired professional ...more

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#91 of 158 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #430 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

25
Šarūnas Marčiulionis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best European NBA Players of All Time
gerard-ocón added Lithuania, Kaunas

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 55

Teams: Sacramento Kings, Seattle Supersonics, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets

Raimondas Šarūnas Marčiulionis ([ˈrɐ̂ˑɪ̯mɔndɐs ʃɐˈrûːnɐs mɐrʲtɕʊˈlʲôːnʲɪs] (listen)) (born June 13, 1964) is a Lithuanian retired professional basketball player. Widely considered as ...more

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#41 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time #278 of 858 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #113 of 178 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History