The 20 Best Foreign-Born Players in NBA History

19. Arvydas Sabonis

Country of origin: Lithuania
Team(s): Blazers
Career years: 1995-2001; 2002-2003
Career stats: 470 G, 12.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.1 BPG
Accolades: Basketball Hall of Fame, 1996 NBA All-Rookie First Team

The only disappointing element of Arvydas Sabonis' career is that NBA fans were deprived of seeing the Lithuanian big man at his absolute apex; Sabonis didn't make his way to the United States until 1995, when he was already 31 years old. As a "rookie," he hit the ground running as the highly skilled 7'3" center still put up strong numbers for Portland by averaging 14.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He posted excellent numbers for the next two seasons as well, and in 1997-98 was one of just three players in the league (along with Karl Malone and Antoine Walker) to average 16 points, nine rebounds, and three assists per game. One of the most decorated European players in history, Sabonis was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.

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