Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players?

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Which NBA international players are better, all-time best retired or best active?

all-time best retired are better
31
55%
active players are better
18
32%
about the same
7
13%
 
Total votes: 56

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Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#1 » by THE J0KER » Tue Dec 27, 2022 6:41 pm

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Are the current TOP30 best international players a better group of the players than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players?

Because NBA foreign players are traditionally much more often frontcourt players than guards I didn't present TOP30 as TOP6 teams but as TOP5 teams (where one guard spot is guard-forward) and instead 6th team 5 backup centers. As you see Canadians are counted as foreign players, and notable veterans Horford, Gallinari, Rubio, and Dragic who are far away from their peak years are moved to the all-time group, while for some young players which coming this season after a long pause (B.Simmons, J.Murray) be free to grade them based on pre-2022 games. The reason why I have not just listed TOP30 for both groups is that it matters who is 1st team, 2nd... (of course, 1st team counts the most, then 2nd... etc...).

Please, don't discuss too much about the presented choice or ranking unless you think some mistakes are really big.

So, which group of international players is stronger, retired or active (based on the quality of their play, not on career achievements, which of course favors retired players)?
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#2 » by Texas Chuck » Tue Dec 27, 2022 6:54 pm

I guess Puerto Ricans are getting counted as American despite playing on a totally different national team.

Only thing that could possibly explain Barea not playing a prominent role on the retired internationals. And I don't want to suggest a Nuggets fan might want to tilt this towards the current guys led by Jokic, but how else to explain leaving off the best international guard in the history of basketball? 8-)

As to the question, as talents yeah I think one can make the argument the current guys are more top heavy. I mean Dream/Dirk did it for so long as such a high level, but the current guys can match MVP level player for MVP level player and maybe then some. But as you go down the list its hard to argue for the current guys. Jamal Murray on the 2nd team? Giddey and Banchero on the 3rd? The old guys just wreck that.

More interesting to me would be if you tried to play an actual series with just the top 8-9 guys. Talent wise it probably favors the current guys, but fit favors the older guys by enough I think they win. It hurts that your 3 best players are 2 centers and Giannis and your guards are best when they are getting into the paint. And Luka loses a bunch of value if he isn't controlling everything.

So to answer this question, I'd say the old guys are still superior, but this is testament to how strong the current international group is.
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#3 » by MrGoat » Tue Dec 27, 2022 6:58 pm

The depth on that all time team blows away the current team. Just look at the difference between the 2nd and 3rd teams. That first team lineup would be crashing into all of each other in the paint on offense too. I got the all time team
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#6 » by THE J0KER » Wed Dec 28, 2022 1:01 am

Johnny Bball wrote:Depends what rules they are playing under.


Under NBA rules, of course.
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#7 » by Johnny Bball » Wed Dec 28, 2022 1:05 am

THE J0KER wrote:
Johnny Bball wrote:Depends what rules they are playing under.


Under NBA rules, of course.


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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#8 » by ropjhk » Wed Dec 28, 2022 1:12 am

Overall I'd take the retired players at their peak. Many of the current players are still developing. By the time the current players retire they could arguably have a better overall peak if they all reach their potential.
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#9 » by leolozon » Wed Dec 28, 2022 1:24 am

Isn't it unfair that a lot of the current players still haven't reached their peaks?

It could be a discussion if guys like Banchero, Wagner, Giddey, Sengun, etc reach their full potential.

I think current could well be better in 2-4 years once you add Wemby and some others.

Also, why are the players with a * put in retired when they aren't retired?
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#10 » by THE J0KER » Wed Dec 28, 2022 4:30 am

Foreigners in the past 2 weeks:

Doncic 60-21-10 , 50-8-10
Jokic 41-15-15 , 40-27-10
Embiid 48-10 , 53-12
Giannis 45-22-7* , 45-14-4 (*added 28.12.)
SGA 44-10-6
Sabonis 28-23-7 , 21-20-7
Siakam 52-9-7 , 38-15-6


Looks scary even for 2 seasons' highlights!
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#11 » by Kingdibs19 » Wed Dec 28, 2022 4:47 am

Shows how weak the Jordan era really was compared to the current NBA but apparently it was like the UFC back then and every player was tough as Iron Mike Tyson or something.
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#12 » by CobraCommander » Wed Dec 28, 2022 6:02 am

THE J0KER wrote:Foreigners in the past 2 weeks:

Doncic 60-21-10 , 50-8-10
Jokic 41-15-15 , 40-27-10
Embiid 48-10 , 53-12
Giannis 45-14-4 , 42-10
SGA 44-10-6
Sabonis 28-23-7 , 21-20-7
Siakam 52-9-7 , 38-15-6


Looks scary even for 2 seasons' highlights!

SGA North American like drake and Celine dion and Ryan Reynolds -

But the rest of that looking insane- Giannis with another ring is potentially a top ten all time type player -

Jokic is going to be in the goat center conversation if he gets a ring or two

Who knows where Luka ends up - dude is an alien - he could end up harden or he could end up Kobe ..;.(don’t forget harden had a 60 point triple double)

The rest of the guys are good but those three re-writing the top 50 players all time for sure and could be top 20 type guys -
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#13 » by CobraCommander » Wed Dec 28, 2022 6:06 am

Kingdibs19 wrote:Shows how weak the Jordan era really was compared to the current NBA but apparently it was like the UFC back then and every player was tough as Iron Mike Tyson or something.

Found the youngster....
Image

MJ had to deal with magic, bird, Kareem, Hakeem, Shaq, Ewing, Barkley, Kobe, Malone & Stockton, etc etc etc....the difference between now and then is jordan dominated all his peers and it was clear to everyone watching and playing who the best was...right now - Luka and espn saying Giannis, The writers saying Tatum, the purist saying Jokic, tonight we all saying Luka, tomorrow Embiid will drop 55 and we will start this all over....

When MJ played....it was unanimous
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#14 » by THE J0KER » Wed Dec 28, 2022 6:15 am

CobraCommander wrote:
THE J0KER wrote:Foreigners in the past 2 weeks:

Doncic 60-21-10 , 50-8-10
Jokic 41-15-15 , 40-27-10
Embiid 48-10 , 53-12
Giannis 45-14-4 , 42-10
SGA 44-10-6
Sabonis 28-23-7 , 21-20-7
Siakam 52-9-7 , 38-15-6


Looks scary even for 2 seasons' highlights!

SGA North American like drake and Celine dion and Ryan Reynolds -

But the rest of that looking insane- Giannis with another ring is potentially a top ten all time type player -

Jokic is going to be in the goat center conversation if he gets a ring or two

Who knows where Luka ends up - dude is an alien - he could end up harden or he could end up Kobe ..;.(don’t forget harden had a 60 point triple double)

The rest of the guys are good but those three re-writing the top 50 players all time for sure and could be top 20 type guys -

With better health, Embiid also can be a very notable HoF member in his best-case scenario, especially because seems Philadelphia as a franchise can surround him with better teammates than Nuggets/Mavs/Bucks. Also, Wembanyama is coming and we still don't know yet what is Banchero's ceiling, so the international part of the NBA is at the start of a Golden era.
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#15 » by Moonbeam » Wed Dec 28, 2022 6:39 am

This is a very cool thread and speaks to the amazing international talent in the game today. That said, the All-Time team still has a notable edge. When you're relegating a guy like Mutombo to 4th team and Andrew Bogut to a Wild Card, it's hard to compete with that level of talent.

I decided to take a broad brush statistical approach and looked at 1- and 3-year peaks in WS and WS/48 to get a rough sense of how the teams stack up. I've compiled a spreadsheet here for anyone interested.

Win Shares aren't a perfect stat, and some of the new guys don't have 3 seasons under their belts yet, but allowing for peak seasons in 2023 already despite only being ~35 games in may offset that advantage.

Aggregating all 30 players across both teams, the averages are as follows.

Peak Season Win Shares

All-time: 10.4 (total 311.4)
Current: 7.2 (total 216.2)

Peak Season WS/48

All-time: 0.194 (total 5.812)
Current: 0.177 (total 5.296)

Peak 3-Season Win Shares

All-time: 26.2 (sum 785.5)
Current: 17.5 (sum 524.6)

Peak 3-Season WS/48

All-time: 0.175 (sum 5.248)
Current: 0.151 (sum 4.532)

Given some of the younger players have a chance to statistically improve their profiles, these gaps will narrow, but I imagine it wouldn't be enough to overtake the all-time team in the end.
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#16 » by aliasxn » Wed Dec 28, 2022 10:46 am

IMO Dream is still the goat foreign player, but current foreign team is the best we've ever had.
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#17 » by Kingdibs19 » Wed Dec 28, 2022 1:04 pm

CobraCommander wrote:
Kingdibs19 wrote:Shows how weak the Jordan era really was compared to the current NBA but apparently it was like the UFC back then and every player was tough as Iron Mike Tyson or something.

Found the youngster....
Image

MJ had to deal with magic, bird, Kareem, Hakeem, Shaq, Ewing, Barkley, Kobe, Malone & Stockton, etc etc etc....the difference between now and then is jordan dominated all his peers and it was clear to everyone watching and playing who the best was...right now - Luka and espn saying Giannis, The writers saying Tatum, the purist saying Jokic, tonight we all saying Luka, tomorrow Embiid will drop 55 and we will start this all over....

When MJ played....it was unanimous


MJ had to deal with Kobe and Kareem? Lmao really reaching for straws there buddy. Talking about youngster and posting gifs. MJ never beat Bird or Magic until they were past their prime. Stockton, Malone and Ewing are not top 20 players of all time, they were good for their era because their era sucks.

To your point about Giannis, Jokic and Luka, yes the league has way more top end talent now, glad we agree. MJ dominated a league with much less talent that was watered down by expansion and lacking the foreign stars we have today.
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#18 » by Showtime 80 » Wed Dec 28, 2022 3:05 pm

Kingdibs19 wrote:
CobraCommander wrote:
Kingdibs19 wrote:Shows how weak the Jordan era really was compared to the current NBA but apparently it was like the UFC back then and every player was tough as Iron Mike Tyson or something.

Found the youngster....
Image

MJ had to deal with magic, bird, Kareem, Hakeem, Shaq, Ewing, Barkley, Kobe, Malone & Stockton, etc etc etc....the difference between now and then is jordan dominated all his peers and it was clear to everyone watching and playing who the best was...right now - Luka and espn saying Giannis, The writers saying Tatum, the purist saying Jokic, tonight we all saying Luka, tomorrow Embiid will drop 55 and we will start this all over....

When MJ played....it was unanimous


MJ had to deal with Kobe and Kareem? Lmao really reaching for straws there buddy. Talking about youngster and posting gifs. MJ never beat Bird or Magic until they were past their prime. Stockton, Malone and Ewing are not top 20 players of all time, they were good for their era because their era sucks.

To your point about Giannis, Jokic and Luka, yes the league has way more top end talent now, glad we agree. MJ dominated a league with much less talent that was watered down by expansion and lacking the foreign stars we have today.


LOL!!! The same soft foreigners that the league had to change the rules for along with the high schooler/one and done generation so they could succeed in the league without physicality are now the ones saying it's harder to score in friggin FIBA than in the NBA, UNREAL!!

Bird and Magic's teams in the 1980's were light years ahead of the Bulls, let Michael get drafted by a perennial playoff contender in Milwaukee, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix or Portland and see what happens!! He was already the best player in the NBA by 1987 and unlike Magic and Larry only needed 1 all-star level teammate to absolutely demolish the league. Also fun fact Magic was only 31 years old in 1991 and second in MVP voting!!

When did Shaq, Kobe and Duncan start making an impact in the West?!? Oh yeah after the Jazz of Malone/Stockton/Hornacek got literally decrepit heading to their late 30's after blasting the Spurs and Lakers for two straight years in the playoffs. Go ask Shaq and Duncan how much Stockton and Malone sucked :lol: Same thing with LeBron, when did he beat Duncan, in 2013?!?

And please give me a break, the top 10 players from 1988 to 1991 (The true Golden Period of the NBA) absolutely dwarf the modern list and Michael was the best player in the toughest era finally winning the title in 1991:

1. MJ
2. Magic
3. Drexler
4. Olajuwon
5. Bird
6. Barkley
7. Malone
8. Ewing
9. Robinson
10. Thomas

Compare that to the rule enhanced stat inflated poseurs of today like Jokic, Doncic, Tatum, Embiid etc... and its just no contest.
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#19 » by El Turco » Wed Dec 28, 2022 3:17 pm

for all intents and purposes hard to classify players like SGA who played high school and up in u.s. as international players, they are largely devloped domestically. unless intent is weird comparison of their genetic makeup.
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Re: Are the current TOP30 best international players a better than NBA's TOP30 all-time best retired foreign players? 

Post#20 » by Hungry » Wed Dec 28, 2022 3:20 pm

Texas Chuck wrote:I guess Puerto Ricans are getting counted as American despite playing on a totally different national team.

Only thing that could possibly explain Barea not playing a prominent role on the retired internationals. And I don't want to suggest a Nuggets fan might want to tilt this towards the current guys led by Jokic, but how else to explain leaving off the best international guard in the history of basketball? 8-)

As to the question, as talents yeah I think one can make the argument the current guys are more top heavy. I mean Dream/Dirk did it for so long as such a high level, but the current guys can match MVP level player for MVP level player and maybe then some. But as you go down the list its hard to argue for the current guys. Jamal Murray on the 2nd team? Giddey and Banchero on the 3rd? The old guys just wreck that.

More interesting to me would be if you tried to play an actual series with just the top 8-9 guys. Talent wise it probably favors the current guys, but fit favors the older guys by enough I think they win. It hurts that your 3 best players are 2 centers and Giannis and your guards are best when they are getting into the paint. And Luka loses a bunch of value if he isn't controlling everything.

So to answer this question, I'd say the old guys are still superior, but this is testament to how strong the current international group is.


Your semi-serious JJB thesis actually looks to be correct lol, as by the same logic Tim Duncan should qualify as an international player. You may counter with "but he played internationally for the US", to which I would retort "Hakeem is listed".

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