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Nowitzki: Doncic on top of the list of current European stars
MUNICH (Germany) - Dirk Nowitzki is amongst the all-time greats of European basketball and the German legend has been discussing the standout players both past and present.
An MVP at FIBA EuroBasket 2005, Nowitzki is now the ambassador of Europe's flagship event and was given the tough task of selecting an all-star five of international stars in an interview with Spox.com.
Nowitzki picked out a number of FIBA Hall of Fame members that he grew up watching and played against.
"There were a few great players before me and also after me," he said. "I was a big fan of Arvydas Sabonis, Drazen Petrovic and Toni Kukoc. And Detlef Schrempf would of course be on my list because I followed his career very closely. Peja Stojakovic was one of the best shooters of all time for me, his shot was brilliant.
"Tony Parker comes to mind as a great point guard and now we have Giannis [Antetokounmpo], Luka [Doncic] and [Nikola] Jokic. It's hard to decide on five names. I've probably forgotten a few by now. We have seen a lot of incredible international stars."
"LUKA [DONCIC] IS AT THE TOP OF THE LIST BECAUSE HE IS ONLY 22 YEARS OLD."
Sabonis (1985), Petrovic (1989), Kukoc (1991) and Stojakovic (2001) were all former EuroBasket MVP award winners alongside Nowitzki, while compatriot Schrempf represented Germany in two editions of the event during the 1980s.
Parker previously held the EuroBasket scoring record before being overtaken by Pau Gasol at the 2017 event. The ASVEL Basket owner led France to the EuroBasket title in 2013 having also been named MVP in the triumph in Slovenia.
Now the current generation of stars are dominating on the global stage with a growing surge in the number of European players making waves in the world of basketball. And, it is Nowitzki's former Dallas Mavericks teammate Doncic that receives his most praise.
"For me, Luka is of course at the top of the list because he is only 22 years old. He still has room for improvement and a lot to learn. Already today there are hardly any gaps in his game, he is creative, can read the game, distribute the ball, score - no matter from which position on the court. And at his age, that's unbelievable.
"Nikola Jokic has already had an MVP season. Giannis Antetokounmpo has two MVP awards and a title - there are currently a lot of international superstars in this league, but for me Luka has the most upside."
The star trio will be amongst the biggest names converging for FIBA EuroBasket 2022 next summer with Doncic a defending champion with Slovenia.