European’s Opportunity in the NBA
European settlers first came to America in 1742 to start over and improve their life styles. It was mostly European settlers that originated America. They did not have a good enough chance to make good money or support there family in Europe so they moved to a new nation to start over or to get away from the war. This is what European basketball players are doing now coming to the NBA in America to improve on there basketball skills as well as make more money. The NBA is the best way for any basketball player to make the most money and to promote themselves.
Lately in the NBA you might have noticed a lot more players from Europe playing for different teams in the league. Previously in the European players did not have the opportunity to play professional basketball for the NBA. Players that did get a chance rarely succeeded in the league of the worlds best basketball players, they were most likely traded until teams realized the little amount of talent compared to NBA superstars in the European players and then cut them. Currently that is a different story. European players are not only good enough to play basketball for the NBA but they are making headlines and becoming superstars as Americans as well as people from Europe.
Dirk Nowitzki is a great example of an European who was able to make it as a superstar in the NBA, he still travels home during the off season to visit family and work out in his old gym, which he now calls his summer gym because he only gets a chance to exercise there in the summer. By coming to the NBA to play basketball he has adapted our language as well as slang from MTV, BET and the NBA. Since Dirk has come to the NBA he has improved his rebounds by three a game every three years making him a better player offensively off the boards and defensively off the boards. His European background helped shape him into the best basketball player he could be there but he needed better competition in order to further improve his game. He still trains with his same trainer and improves in the off season, but he would not be as good as he is today without playing against the best basketball players in the world.
Now in Europe many players are being scouted. To make the chances of European players better to make the big bucks and claim stardom in the NBA, the NBA and the European league agreed to make their rules the same as each others.
They now both have the same eight second back court rule and a twenty four second shot clock rule, as well as making the three point line the same distance from the basket as each other. By doing this NBA scouts can compare European game play to NBA game play without making any distinctions.
There are many other players from Europe who have come to play in the NBA. Some known European players would be Peja Stojakovic, Vlade Divac and Hidayet “Hedo” Turkoglu, who all play for the Kings. With this noticeable to other European athletes they are starting early to set goals to reach the NBA for better opportunities. Whether its for more money or just to improve their game against better players who are in the NBA. One young 15 year old seven foot kid named Predrag Samardziski Practices six hours a day with 20 something pros to improve his game. Since he is living in Yugoslavia he has more chance to practice because he does not have to go to school like and American teenager would. He just dedicates his life to becoming the best basketball player in the world. He is not held back by any NCAA rules or feel the pressure of any recruiters. “Samardiziski is in an ideal incubator and he knows it” (Bucher, 98). Doing this is taking not only European players to a new level, also the NBA will be at a new level.
When European looked to settle in America they seen it as a great opportunity to improve and make more money, America is still looked at as a way to improve and make more money in Europeans eyes when it comes to the NBA. But now it is a little different because the NBA is looking a European player to make them more money by giving more intense game play and making the game open and more accepted by a larger audience. Also the European basketball players are not necessarily looking to settle in America but to settle in the NBA.