All time all-world roster – basketball edition

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Inspired by the Word Baseball Classic, there’s a baseball version of this going around the internet right now. I know how these things go, so I’m getting ahead of the trend on this one.

So I think the strategy is to build the best starting five first and then fill-in backups and reserves. Also, you’re going to want to get the greatest player of all-time on your roster. Whatever that means to you – Wilt, LeBron, MJ – they’re all American, which means you only get one. The good news is that it gives you position flexibility – C, SF, SG – so you can figure out your other 4 and pick the American that fits at the end.

The best foreign born player ever is Tim Duncan (Virgin Islands). The benefit of taking him is that he is a PF so he leaves the American flexibility. Next is probably Dirk Nowitzki (Germany)…unfortunately also a PF, so probably my first backup.

The underrated Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) is next. I’ll gladly give the Center position to The Dream and cut loose any shot at Wilt.

So my C and PF are filled. Looking through a list of foreign born players, it turns out many of best are big men. Maybe I’ll use some of these to fill in: Pau Gasol (Spain), Patrick Ewing (Jamaica), Dikembe Mutombo (Congo), Yao Ming (China).

At PG I found two fun surprises for my team. I was expecting Steve Nash. The surprise was that he was born in South Africa, not Canada. Similarly, the same thing for Tony Parker. I was expecting France, but he was actually born in Belgium.

So France is still available…and there is a surprise Hall of Famer. SF Dominique Wilkins was born in France. Taking Dominique eliminates LeBron as my SF. The last of my original Americans is Jordan. No complaints.

Starters:
PG Steve Nash (South Africa)
SG Michael Jordan (US)
SF Dominique Wilkins (France)
PF Tim Duncan (Virgin Islands)
C Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria)

Backups:
PG Tony Parker (Belgium)
SG Manu Ginobili (Argentina)
SF Peja Stojakovic (Croatia)
PF Dirk Nowitzki (Germany)
C Patrick Ewing (Jamaica)

Reserves:
Pau Gasol (Spain)
Rolando Blackman (Panama)
Kyrie Irving (Australia)

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