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Michael Jordan recognizes Europe’s contribution to basketball in America


Hall of Fame shooting guard, and now Charlotte Hornets owner, Michael Jordan partially made a name for himself overseas in 1992 at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, alongside the stunning “Dream Team” United States men’s national squad taking home gold and signing autographs across the Atlantic.

On Friday, appearing in Paris, France, with the Hornets as they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in an NBA regular-season game in Europe, Jordan spoke about the continent’s importance to the league back in the states.

Per Roderick Boone in The Athletic:

I think the European players have expanded the style of basketball because of the versatility that they have brought to the game which I think is good for the league, which has increased in scoring. So I think it’s just going to keep getting better, and it forces us as Americans how to play a much more rounded basketball game. That’s what the European players have taught us as individuals in the states.

More and more European and international players, in general, have entered the NBA in the past two decades, infusing the league with different skills and priorities in developing a basketball mind from around the world rather than the traditional means players have gone through to reach the Association from the U.S. Michael Jordan went to the University of North Carolina before being selected third overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 1985 draft, having a legendary career as a six-time champion and five-time MVP.

It’s impossible to mitigate the Euro connection on the NBA—just look at Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Greek national who led Milwaukee to a win in Paris today, as he is the reigning league MVP.