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Top 5 foreign origin players in the NBA right now

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Top 5 / Top 10
175   //    16 May 2018, 03:35 IST

Phoenix Suns v New York Knicks
Kristaps 'The Unicorn' Porzingis

The NBA is the absolute gold standard when it comes to all things hoops related across the world and attracts top talent from all corners, countries and continents. The world's most elite ballers ply their trade in the NBA.

As the United States created the game of basketball, it is unsurprising that most players in the NBA are of American origin. America has a great hoop culture and has the proper infrastructure and platform set up to bring in nurtured talent into the league through their college system.

However, not all of the good players in the NBA are from the USA though. Many players of foreign origin too and have done their nations proud by performing at the highest levels in the league.

Many have risen over extreme challenges in the form of poverty, lack of opportunities and risk of abuse and exploitation to get to the level that they have gotten to. For this, deserve all our respect and much more.

Here, we present to you a list of the 5 best players of foreign origin playing in the NBA today!


#5 Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks)

The 'Unicorn' is not just one of the best foreign players, he is one of the best players in the league. Period. The fact that someone of his ability is 5th on this list speaks volumes about the sheer quality of the international players who ply their trade in the NBA today.

On draft day 2 seasons ago, Porzingis was subjected to boos from the crowd as he was selected by the Knicks. He has come a long way since then, firmly establishing himself as the face of his franchise at just 22 years of age.

Unfazed by the skepticism, he took challenges in his stride and became a fan favorite at Madison Square Garden, becoming one of the top stars of the league in the process.

The 7'3" Latvian averaged nearly 23 points per game in 48 games this season (a career best). Despite being a big man, he also made massive strides in the 3-point department maintaining a career-best 39.5% shooting percentage from downtown.

The year of 2018 represented a career-best showing for Porzingis in the defensive department as well as he reached new highs in both steals and blocks per game. Consequently, he was rapidly developing into a dual offensive and defensive threat, much like the likes of NBA royalty such a Kawhi Leonard and John Wall, before his season was cut short by injury.

Already a dark horse prospect in the MVP conversation, Porzingis' stock in the rankings has taken a hit because of the unfortunate ACL injury he suffered that has kept him out for not only half of this season, but also threatens to derail him for a major part of the coming season. But if there is anyone who has what it takes to rise above such challenges, it's Kristaps Porzingis.

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