To the surprise of very few, Bryant included his teammate since 2008, Pau Gasol, on his list. But Pau wasn’t the only player mentioned by Kobe.
Dirk Nowitzki is the best foreign player of all time, period. After him, I have to put my companion on the list, Pau (Gasol). Pau has always been one of the best, one of the most skilled I’ve ever seen. And then, perhaps Manu (Ginobili). And then, you know, there’s Drazen Petrovic, Vlade Divac, Arvydas Sabonis. I’m sure I’m forgetting many, but these are the ones that come to mind. And Tony Parker.
I’m not sure many will argue with Bryant’s assertion that Dirk is the best NBA player to be born outside of the United States. Dirk was NBA Finals MVP back in 2011, leading his Mavericks to the franchise’s first championship. Gasol was obviously a key cog in the Lakers’ back-to-back championships in 2009 and 10, but didn’t bring home the Bill Russell hardware.
Dirk and Tony Parker are the only two foreign-born players to win NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
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