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Gilbert Arenas Want to ‘Get Rid’ of European NBA Players. How will it Impact the NBA?

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European NBA players might be in shock that in a recent episode of his podcast, former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas made headlines with a controversial proposal to “Get rid of all Europeans” in the NBA. As the league continues to evolve, Arenas believes that European NBA players are diluting the game’s essence.

European NBA players

Over the past few decades, the NBA has witnessed an influx of talent from across the Atlantic. European NBA Players like Luka Doncic, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Victor Wembanyama and Giannis Antetokounmpo have left an indelible mark on the league. Their unique skill sets, on-court prowess and versatility have enriched the game, challenging traditional norms.

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Gilbert Arenas’ Hot Take

Arenas, however, isn’t buying it. His argument centers around defense—or the perceived lack thereof. According to him, European players lack athleticism, speed, and jumping ability. He even went as far as saying“They are 150 Euros in the league today… name the top defenders. None! Just Rudy [Gobert] and the Greek Freak. Other than that, they are offensive players.”

While Arenas’ comments do touch on a real issue. The NBA has become an offensive showcase, with scoring records shattered regularly. But what about defense? The days of bruising battles in the paint seem distant. European players, often praised for their finesse and basketball IQ, haven’t always been known for their defensive prowess.

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The Euro Style vs. the American Way

Arenas contends that the NBA’s shift toward a more European style of play—characterized by ball movement, three-point shooting, and finesse—has diluted the league’s aggression. He argues that the NBA softened its rules to accommodate international players, allowing them to thrive. But is this necessarily a bad thing?

The Impact on the NBA

If the NBA were to heed Arenas’ advice and “get rid of all Europeans,” it would undoubtedly alter the landscape. Teams would lose key contributors, and the game’s dynamics would shift. But would it improve defense? Or would it stifle creativity and innovation?

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Arenas’ credibility has taken a hit over the years. His uninformed takes and lack of self-awareness have made him a polarizing figure. While he dismisses European players, he conveniently overlooks stars like Luka Dončić, Nikola Jokić, and Kristaps Porziņģis—players who excel on both ends of the court.

In the end, Arenas’ call to “get rid of all Europeans” is more sensationalism than substance. The NBA thrives on diversity, and European players are an integral part of that tapestry. Instead of exclusion, let’s celebrate the global fusion of talent. After all, basketball knows no borders.

So, will the NBA heed Arenas’ advice? Unlikely. But one thing’s for sure: the debate will continue, and European NBA players will keep dazzling fans with their flair and finesse.

 

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Bishal Roy
Bishal Roy
Bishal has been working with several renowned publications and has generated sports content for 3+ years. He expresses insightful opinions and analysis having the expertise in writing sports news articles. He has been mainly covering US sports such as NFL, NBA, MLB and more for the website. He also writes for SportsIndiaShow and MMA India. When not writing, he will binge-watch web series.
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