Five Notable NBA Players Who Thrived in the EuroLeague

Five Notable NBA Players Who Thrived in the EuroLeague image

📖 Published on: May 17th, 2024

✍️ Updated: May 20th, 2024

⏳ 9 mins read


EuroLeague basketball is one of the most underrated leagues in the world, and it cannot be denied that they showcase some of the promising talents that the world has seen. This is why there are many players who are keen to see the games in the competition, and the number of promising stars in the EuroLeague are putting up impressive performances down the stretch.


What is the EuroLeague?


The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague began as the FIBA European Champions Cup in 1958, before being renamed as the EuroLeague in 1996, with the rebranding made official in the 2000-01 season. While it may not be as hyped in the American market, the EuroLeague is one of the biggest and most popular indoor sports leagues in the world, averaging almost 9,000 spectators in a given game. It is played by a total of 18 clubs, with these stretched among 10 countries in Europe, showing how versatile and promising the league can be for everyone to enjoy.


EuroLeague image


Over the years, the EuroLeague title has been won by a total of 22 clubs, and 14 playing teams have won it more than once. Real Madrid is the winningest team in the league with a total of 11 titles, including the 2023 championship, which says a lot about their impressive dominance in the league over the years.


The EuroLeague as a Stepping Stone for NBA Players and Vice-Versa


The EuroLeague has become one of the staple basketball leagues in the world, and for good reason. It is home to many former NBA players who didn’t have success in the Americas but have enjoyed a rejuvenated career in the EuroLeague. On the other hand, the EuroLeague has also served as a launching pad for many players who have worked their way in the European games before eventually moving to the NBA and creating a promising career there.


EuroLeague has seen players from the NBA to and from image


Of course, we have seen the surge of European talent thriving in the NBA. The mere fact that the league is now seeing multiple European stars emerge as MVP candidates and are leading teams to the top of the league, it cannot be denied that the EuroLeague has forged these players into being the best version of themselves. This just says a lot about the way the EuroLeague is setting the standard in the game at a high level.


Who are the top five notable players in the NBA who have thrived with a promising career in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague?


Shane Larkin


Shane Larkin image

Shane Larkin has seen some lows in his NBA career, playing only one season with the Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, and the Brooklyn Nets. He moved to join Baskonia in 2016-17, only to be signed by the Boston Celtics. He would go on to have a promising run in the playoffs with the team. However, Larkin wanted more responsibility with the ball and not as a third point guard, which led him to be in search of bigger opportunities, until he got a massive offer from Anadolu Efes in the EuroLeague in 2018. One game after another, Larkin impressed, and he would go on to show that he has what it takes to become a promising player and a capable leader in the game. Larkin would then go on to become a two-time EuroLeague champion, a Super League champion, a three-time Turkish Super Cup winner, and many other achievements that would prove his success in the EuroLeague.


Luka Doncic


We all know that Luka Magic has become a staple in the NBA over the years. Before becoming the franchise player of the Dallas Mavericks since 2018, Doncic has already been a spectacular player of his own right, and no one can deny that he’s been a successful player in the EuroLeague before moving to the NBA. The Slovenian star made his debut for Real Madrid’s senior team at the age of 17, becoming the youngest player to win the EuroLeague MVP and the Final Four MVP in 2018. He was also the ACB MVP and led Madrid to win the 2018 EuroLeague title, showing his potential in just three years with his European team before delivering his promising performances on the big stage and building a promising NBA career. Since then, Doncic has become a five-time NBA All-Star, being named to the All-NBA First team since 2020, and a fiery star for the Mavericks at this point.

Luka Doncic image


Vasilije Micic


Vasilije Micic image

Larkin played with Vasilije Micic, a high-IQ guard who has been the MVP for the Anadolu Efes in their championship campaigns. Micic has won the EuroLeague with the Efes in 2021 and 2022, being named as the MVP for both years. Before all that, Micic played for Mega Vizura in 2010 to 2014 before moving to Bayern Munich and the subsequent trade to Crvena Zvezda in 2016. He would go on to play for Zalgiris Kaunas for a season before his move to ther Anadolu Efes, where he spent most of his successful career and enabled him to gather promising achievements. After his stint in the EuroLeague, Micic would then sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA, starting out as a promising and experienced player before being traded to the Charlotte Hornets, where he is expected to become one of the team’s best players to build around so far.


Mike James


Mike James went undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft, so he went on to bring his talents to Zagreb in Croatia. That was followed by a flurry of moves to Hapoel Gall Elyon, Kolossos Rodou, and Paffoni Omegna in the next years, before finally landing with Baskonia in the 2014-15 season, marking his fresh start in the Liga ACB and the EuroLeague. In the 2016-17 season, James would then find his way to Panathinaikos, which marked his best performances in the EuroLeague at the time. He also had some promising stints in the Phoenix Suns and the New Orleans Pelicans in 2017 and 2018, but could not last well for a promising stay in the NBA. This prompted James to play for Olimpia Milano and CSKA Moscow from 2018 to 2021, where he enjoyed the best of his runs in the EuroLeague.

Mike James image


Edy Tavares


One of the most surprising players to play both in the EuroLeague and the NBA is Edy Tavares, who was known well for his impressive length and wingspan. Tavares started out with the Atlanta Hawks in the 2015-16 season, playing G-League assignments for the Austin Spurs, Canton Charge, Bakersfield Jam, and the Raptors 905 in a single season. He would go on to be signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017 with the hopes of enforcing their presence in the paint. However, injuries kept him from playing well and was waived by the team later on. It was with Real Madrid that he managed to shine bright on the big stage, becoming a EuroLeague champion twice and holding the record for the most blocks in the competition, which just says a lot about his promising potential that was revived in the EuroLeague.

Edy Tavares image


Bet on EuroLeague Games Today!


The EuroLeague is one of the most promising basketball competitions in the world, and for good reason. This is why you should consider placing wagers on the biggest games in the league for a chance to score handsome prizes that you have been waiting for! Enjoy top-notch betting experience in the EuroLeague like no other!


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