Marc, Ibaka ... All the Europeans who have played the Finals

The Raptors players have joined Pau and Calderón and place Spain as one of the countries with the most representatives in the Finals ... but there are those who have had more.


Since the first NBA Finals were played in 1947, the League has undergone a constant evolution in which the inclusion of foreigners, and especially of basketball players from European basketball, has been very difficult to carry out. The openness of the 80s allowed many outsiders to reach the North American competition, and gradually, it has been seen as numerous players became part of the franchises that fought for the title.

This year, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka were They have been in the last round of the final phase and have put Spain as one of the countries that has had more representatives in the Finals. However, there are countries that have also had a great participation in the post season and have been able to fight for the ring. Next, which have been the countries with more representatives in the Finals of the NBA.

France (6)

It is the country with more participants in the Finals, thanks, above all, to San Antonio Spurs, which has had several of them in their ranks. The one who stands out is Tony Parker, four times champion of the NBA and finalist in 2013. Boris Diaw accompanied him both in the final lost and in the last ring of the franchise (2014). Nando de Colo, flaming champion of the last Euroleague, did not have much success in the United States, but also played the final of 2013.

In addition, Ronny Turiaf has been champion in 2012, when he belonged to the staff of the Heat of LeBron (before he was a finalist in 2008 with the Lakers). Ian Mahinmi won the ring in 2011, when he shared a team with Nowitzki in the Mavericks, and Michael Pietrus reached the final in 2009 (with the Magic) .

Spain (4)

Also with many representatives thanks to the participation that Marc will have this year and Ibaka. The Catalan and the Spanish-Congolese will play the Finals after Calderón did last year with the Cavaliers, although Ibaka already did it in 2012, when he played in the Thunder. In the head is, of course, Pau Gasol. Champion in 2009 and 2010 along with Kobe Bryant, also slipped in the last round in 2008. In this season has been about to return (despite not playing) with Nikola Mirotic, but in the end it was the Raptors who were imposed in the East.

Serbia (4)

Peja Stojakovic is the most outstanding player in the Balkan country and managed to put the finishing touch to his career by winning the 2011 ring when he played in Dallas. He had no luck in the Kings (he skated the finals in 2002) or in the Hornets (along with Chris Paul and David West), but in the final part of his career he finally won the trophy. Before, Darko Milicic had managed to raise it in 2004, in the Pistons of Hamilton, Prince, the Wallace and Larry Brown in the bench. The young player played only 5 minutes and promised, but then his career was not as expected. Between them, Sasha Pavlovic was a finalist in 2007 with the Cavs and Vladimir Radmanovic did the same the following year with the Lakers.

Eslovenia (3)

Curiously, he is one of the most represented. Sasha Vujacic was champion in 2009 and 2010 with the Lakers and finalist in 2008. Beno Udrih meanwhile, won in 2007 with the Spurs and in 2005 with the same team, when he shared costumes with his compatriot Rasho Nesterovic.

Turkey (3)

Mehmet Okur was champion in 2004 having an important role as substitute for the Wallace in the inner game of the Pistons. Hedo Turkoglu also participated with the Magic in the 2009 finals against the Lakers. Finally, Cedi Osman would colería in the last final that disputed the Cavs of LeBron last year like rookie, although without prize.

Yugoslavia (2)

Entramos now in the countries that have to two representatives between their rows. Yugoslavia does not stop being a curious case. Drazen Petrovic was the first European to play an NBA final. He did it in 1990, in his first season, and on the orders of Rick Adelman in the Blazers. His participation was scarce, but it helped him to make history until later to become a star in the ranks of the Nets. Vlade Divac would play the Finals in '91. They fell to the bulls in what was the last time Magic was so close to a ring. The biggest curiosity is that the last match of this tie was played on June 12 of that year. The dissolution of the former Yugoslavia began on January 25 of that year. Although Divac continued to play matches with the Balkan national team, today he is Serbian, while Petrovic would be Croatian.

Croatia (2)

Toni Kukoc's rings in 1996, 1997 and 1998 are the highlights of this country in NBA. Zan Tabak, on the other hand, would be the champion in 1995, being theHakeem Olajunwon and finalist with the Pacers in 2000. Then, Tabak would be part of Real Madrid in the 2001 season and would then pass through other Spanish teams such as Joventut and Unicaja.

Germany (2)

You are fortunate to have Dirk Nowitzki as the best European ever and one of the best in the history of the League. The German achieved the coveted ring in 2011 after painfully losing the 2006 final against the Heat. Before, Detlef Schrempf had been a forerunner of German basketball in the NBA: Best Sixth Man, All Star, and finalist with Seattle in 1996. He shared team with Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp. And they lost against Jordan's Bulls. How no.

Russia (2)

Timoféy Mozgov reached the finals in 2015 and was champion with the LeBron Cavs in 2016. In the latter he shared team with Sasha Kaun, who prolonged his career one more year to test the dream of NBA . 25 games in the regular season with less than 4 minutes on average per game and not a single second in the playoffs did not prevent him from being considered a league champion.

Netherlands (2)

Rik Smits played and lost along with the Pacers the final of 2000 against the Lakers of Shaq and Kobe. On the other hand, Francisco Elson ended up being the champion with the Spurs, in this case in 2007. The Dutchman grew up in European basketball and played at Barça before playing up to 8 seasons in the NBA.

Italy (1)

Entramos en the countries with only one representative. Marco Belinelli was champion in 2014 with the San Antonio Spurs, one of the most international teams in the NBA.

Slovakia (1)

Richard Petruska was champion in 1994 with the Houston Rockets.

Poland (1)

Marcin Gortat played his only Finals as substitute of Dwight Howard in 2009, playing in the Orlando Magic under the command of Stan Van Gundy.

Lithuania (1)

Zydrunas Iglauskas is a basketball myth of his country. He became an All Star in the NBA and was an outstanding power forward who played the 2007 final with the Cavs and the 2011 final with the Heat. He had the bad luck to start his decline when LeBron, eternal teammate, started to win. He retired without rings, but with a great legacy and jersey retired by the Ohio franchise.

Georgia (1)

Zaza Pachulia has been champion in 2017 and 2018 with the Golden State Warriors.

Belgium (1)

This country can boast of ring thanks to nationalization Didier Mbenga. The pivot, who never had too many minutes in the United States, did know how to be at the right time and place. played the Finals of 2006 with the Mavericks, where despite his lack of prominence he became an idol for the fans. He repeated in 2008 with the Lakers before winning with the same franchise in 2009 and 2010. Just 16 minutes spread over four Finals and with two championships as a result. It is clear that he has seized the time.

Ukraine (1)

Stranilas Medvedenko was champion with the Lakers in 2002 and played the final in 2004.

Great Britain (1)

This year Marc will not be the only one to debut in a Finals. And his companion OG Anunoby, who will be the first British to do so.

Sweden (1)

The same goes for Jonnas Jerebko, who after joining the Jazz signed for the Warriors and will deputize the Finals for the first time.



Photos from as.com

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