That is where you are wrong. The talent has not gotten better, just flashier. Also, international play is watered down now, period. Galis went up again beast of Soviet teams and Yugoslavia. Meaning Yugoslavia was an all-star team comprised of Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Macedonia. You're going to tell us that a team put together with the best players from those 6 countres would be weaker than the countries competing alone today? Same with the USSR, it would be Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Latvia and so on.
Pau has benefitted from playing with one of the best international teams of the past years and th eLakers eith Kobe. Just what did he win with Memphis?
A name a lot leave out because of "his lack of defense" is Oscar Schmidt, one of the deadliest shooters and scorers ever. Had Oscar gotten to play for an NBA coach, they would have shaped up his D a bit. In fact we forget how one-dimensional players like Alex English and Kiki Vandewheghe were known as great but they too didnt play a lick of defense nor rebound.
So you are saying European basketball haven't progressed in the past 25 years? Yes, European talent got better, significantly! Simple eye test shows the significant improvement. Saying the game just got flashier is pretentious conservative talk.
Soviets and Yugs were pure superpowers, a collection of basketball nations. Course those teams were very good, even by today standards. But the overall talent, the depth, individual talent, athleticism, all this gathered huge improvement.
And by the way, if you assemble all former Yugoslavian nations into one team now, you have a better team now. Some current Balkan and former Soviet countries might be worse, but thats because they all split. Thats logic.
You really think Galis would have been equally head and shoulders above everybody else if he was playing today? You really think that?
Pau Gasol is amazing player. The way people dismiss him is criminal. He is dominant among other Euros. If he never happened to play in the NBA, he would have been an Euro legend.
What did fine with Memphis. What he supposed to do? You think Nikos Galis would have done a better job?
I think Schmidt is very overrated. Ultimate chucker with bad approach. His strengths are very concentrated, while everything else are red flags. Player like him shouldn't be considered among all time bests.