Skip to main content

Julius Erving talks about the impact international players have on the NBA

Julius Erving (2) (1)

The NBA is a global product consumed by viewers and fans across the globe. Therefore, the number of international players in the NBA has dramatically increased in the last two decades, with the first foreign players coming to the NBA during the '80s. In an interview with David Friedman, the legendary Julius Erving talked about the impact international players had on the game of basketball in the US.

Erving thinks the game itself changed and evolved quite a bit in the last decade predominantly because the role players have on their teams altered from the traditional roles. Nowdays, the centers are shooting threes, which was something completely unusual two or three decades ago. On the other hand, the guards are more athletic than ever before, which results in a completely different type of basketball than the one Erving was accustomed.

"The game has changed. It has evolved. It is more of a wide-open game. It is a game of matchups. It's like a jigsaw puzzle, but now when you have big guys going outside and shooting three-pointers, and you've got little guys who can go in and slam dunk, you are kind of flipping the script. With the evolution of the sport and the flipping, the script it has also opened doors for experimentation and teams are willing to do that."

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Erving believes the first international players in the NBA, like Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic, opened the doors for other players coming to the NBA from different parts of the world. He believes the number of international players in the NBA will further increase which is a good point when you take into consideration that the NBA is a global product consumed and watched by people from almost every part of the world.

"I think if we go back to the teams that first included the international players, Vlade (Divac) coming over and doing a great job with the Lakers and (Drazen Petrovic) with the Nets--those guys coming in and doing a great job opened the door for the rest of the world, and that's how the gap has closed. I'm sure that probably 30% of the NBA players now were born outside of the United States."

New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose

Why Derrick Rose isn't your average superstar — “I hate fame. It's just not who I am.”

DRose's answer demonstrates how humble he is, despite all his achievements.

Laker center Shaquille O'Neal

“He bought a new Rolex for every single guy on the team” — former Laker Mark Madsen reveals Shaquille O'Neal's generosity

Just when Madsen thought Shaq buying him a car would finish the shopping spree, O'Neal decided to buy every Laker a brand new Rollie.

LeBron James admits he started taking care of his body pretty late in his career

LeBron shares his top three players of all time: "This is tough!"

Back in 2014, LeBron had a lot of trouble picking just three guys.


Tracy McGrady calls out Rudy Gobert: "What the f**k are you doing in the off-season?"

T-Mac just can comprehend Gobert hasn't added any moves to his offensive game over the years.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan once went from judging a dunk contest to destroying the winner in street clothes

MJ's future teammate Jo Jo English was one of the first people to learn an important lesson - never talk trash to Black Jesus.