Today, we’ll honor those guys, ranking the top 10 greatest Latin NBA players in history. [12] Prior to the 2015–16 season, Texas replaced him with his assistant coach, Nick Van Exel.[13].

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Five NBA players have met with Pope Francis at the Vatican to discuss social justice.

Not a highlight-reel but I guess most of you didn't know who the first Mexican player in the NBA was. #NBATogether. Horford has actually flourished into one of the most productive two-way centers in the league, even expanding his range all the way to three-point territory, and averaging 14.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.2 blocks per game on 52.8% from the floor and over 34% from beyond the arc. Known for his true grit and determination, Nájera epitomizes the hard work that his fellow countrymen are known for. “Why this guy is not on a Modelo commercial is beyond me.”, Copyright © 2020 NBA Media Ventures, LLC. While there are no Mexicans playing in the NBA today, players from Mexico like Gustavo Ayon, Jorge Guierrez, and Eduardo Najera all got their chance to show off their skills on the biggest stage in the sport. And it was as an analyst, Nájera said, where he met his match. With Mexico national team, Rafael has played 13 straight years and has won the 1999 Confederations Cup and the 2003 and 2011 Gold Cup and has … But more than giving the fans something to talk about around the water cooler at work, Nájera wanted to leave a legacy. “Also, my college career as a player was incredible, so was my college career as a student. Today we’re going to countdown our Top 10 Latino NBA players, including many players who are currently in the 2019 NBA playoffs! Nájera was the second Mexican-born person to play in the NBA behind Horacio Llamas, and was the first Mexican-born player ever drafted in the NBA.

All rights reserved. “People appreciate the Hispanic race. He won rookie of the year in 2002, which has only been done by 3 international players, EVER! We hope Marc Gasol and his new teammates in Toronto can make it far this year, and maybe even win an NBA title! Do you think there will be more Latino NBA players in the future?

In 2017 the NBA hosted four regular-season games in Mexico in an effort to expand its reach in the region.

Eduardo Najera I believe is the only one currently playing, though he's the 3rd Mexican born player to join the NBA.

He played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins, where he was a four-year starter and named all-conference as a senior in the Pac-10 (now known as the Pac-12). Everybody expected way more out of Nene when he first came into the league due to his amazing physique and dominant presence in the paint, and even if he never achieved the greatness everybody hoped for, he has had a very productive 15-year NBA career. On July 11, 2008, he signed a contract with the New Jersey Nets for 4 years $12 million. And Nájera was wise enough to know that using his skills as a basketball player wasn’t the only way to open that pot of gold. Just 2% of NBA players are Latino and that has the league looking for …

But he is without a doubt one of the best players the game of basketball has ever seen. Marco Belinelli, Sterling Brown, Jonathan Isaac, Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver were joined in the audience Monday by NBA players’ union union executive director Michele Roberts.

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You can click on the names of these legendary basketball …

He is also a pregame and postgame analyst on Mavericks Live on Fox Sports Southwest, where he is identified as Eddie.

The Worst Players Turned Coaches In Basketball History. [2], In 2001, Nájera served as the United Nations Drug Control Programme Goodwill Ambassador for Sports Against Drugs. On March 17, 2014, he signed a second 10-day contract with the Nets. and "Which basketball players are from Mexico?".

Major League Baseball Players Born in Mexico Since the 19th Century, Major League Baseball has enjoyed a rich, diverse, world-wide set of talent not seen in any other major league sport. Chapu, “The Wild Bull of the Pampas” was a very productive player given the playing time, leaving career averages of 10.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists at both forward spots, and he was also a member of that golden Argentina generation.

He is most well-known for his dynamic partnership with the all-time-great Kobe Bryant, and for the 2 NBA championships, they won together at the Los Angeles Lakers. “I never wanted to go anywhere. 35 2.03/ 6'8'' SF. So I asked him if there was something else where it wouldn’t be as time consuming, and they were kind enough to give me a different opportunity.”. Mexico has produced some very talented basketball players over the years, including centers, guards and forwards. The national celebration runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to coincide with the anniversary of independence days in five Latin American countries.

Although Pau Gasol is not technically Latino, we had to include the legendary center in this line-up just like we did for his brother, simply because Pau is one of the most influential Spanish speaking players in NBA history. “When I spoke to (Mavs and Legends owner) Mark (Cuban), he was very helpful.

But Nájera was so focused on his long-term goals that he also earned a degree in sociology from OU in 2000. In 2016, he joined the Boston Celtics, where he now plays a crucial role in the team’s success. If you play basketball or just love the sport then use this list of talented Mexican basketball players to find some athletes you haven't heard of before. He became a mainstay of the Mexico national team. Among his 619 NBA games, Najera played 243 of them for the Nuggets and 241 of them for the Mavs. 2020-21 NBA Season: What Fans Can Expect. He is also the twin brother of Brook Lopez, who will be mentioned later on in this list! “Eddie is a true Maverick who made history as the first Mexican-born player drafted in the NBA,” Nelson said. Although the game marked the seventh time that the Dallas Mavericks have played in Mexico it will be remembered as the first time an NBA player scored more than 40 points in a contest held in Mexico. And a community that has had even a rougher time to settle down in the Association is the Latino community, although some initiatives like Noches Ene Be A have made quite a big impact for one of the biggest fanbases of the NBA. or news@wbng.com, All content © 2000 - 2020, WBNG Television, Inc. All rights reserved. While not involved in the actual fighting, he did try to separate the players. We wish Brook good luck! It lasted a short time, because then the real work began shortly after the draft. “Eddie’s work ethic and humility is second to none,” said Donnie Nelson, the Mavs’ general manager and president of basketball operations.

These are the best Mexican basketball players to ever live, so if you're a native of Mexico and are aspiring to play ball professionally then these people should be your idols. That “bridge,” along with the $36.8 million he made during his NBA career, has made Nájera one of the most popular athletes to come out of Mexico. Varejao stood there with the Cavs when they were flat out trash, but he was so unlucky that they actually won the ring the very same year he suited up for their rivals in the finals, the Golden State Warriors. He is an important role-player this year with the Rockets, and we wish Nene good luck in the rest of this year’s playoffs! That’s also what we thought, until we dug a little bit deeper, and found out there are more Latin NBA players than we thought! The union says the players spoke about their “individual and collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice and inequality occurring in their communities.”  The audience comes days before a book is released in which Pope Francis supports demands for racial justice. “When I was in Chihuahua his coaches told me stories of what he would have to do just to get to practice every day as a youth that would make you cry. He helped the team to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances during his college career, as well as finishing in the school's all-time top ten in nine statistical categories. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish.

“He’s the epitome of success at every level — player, coach, management and ownership,” Nelson said. [14], National Association of Basketball Coaches, Player Profiles by Interbasket, Eduardo Najera, "Warriors And Dallas Consummate Eight-Player Trade", "Nuggets Acquire Nájera, Flores, First-Round Pick From Warriors", "Nets Reach Agreements With Eduardo Nájera and Jarvis Hayes", "Nets reach agreements with Nájera, Hayes", "MAVERICKS ACQUIRE FORWARD EDUARDO NAJERA", "Bobcats Acquire Carroll, Dampier and Nájera from Mavericks", D-League Texas Legends name Eduardo Nájera head coach, "Change at the top: Legends name ex-Mavericks guard Van Exel head coach", "Eduardo Najera Career Bests and Rankings, Charlotte Hornets, News, Rumors, NBA Stats, NCAA Stats, Game Logs, Awards - RealGM", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eduardo_Nájera&oldid=986996920, All-American college men's basketball players, National Basketball Association players from México, Mexican expatriate basketball people in the United States, Oklahoma Sooners men's basketball players, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Career statistics and player information from, This page was last edited on 4 November 2020, at 06:17. [8][9] He stated that he would make it a point to turn the Nets' young forwards Yi Jianlian and Ryan Anderson and center Brook Lopez into stronger, tougher players. When you think of the basketball or the NBA, you may not think there are many Latino players. And a community that has had even a rougher time to settle down in the Association is the Latino community, although some initiatives like Noches Ene Be A have made quite a big impact for one of the biggest fanbases of the NBA. 560 Columbia Dr. After his playing days were over, Najera became the head coach of the Texas Legends – the Mavs’ G League franchise – for three years. In the same year, he received the Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award from the Basketball Hall of Fame, an award given to a player who has demonstrated personal character both on and off the court. He later legally got his name changed to Nenê, but he is far from a “baby” on the basketball court. Standing 6 ft. 10 inches, he can play both the Center position and the power forward position, and can shoot the long range 3-pointer as well! And of course, the ultimate Latino spot has to go to the greatest player in Argentina basketball history, Emanuel “Manu” David Ginobili, a 4-time NBA champion, 2-time All-Star and 2007-08 Sixth Man of the Year out of Bahia Blanca. Barbosa was completely unstoppable during his prime as the fastest player in the entire Association, even winning the 2006-07 6th Man of the Year as a member of the Phoenix Suns playing over 32 minutes per game. Eduardo Alonso Nájera Pérez is a Mexican retired professional basketball player and currently a scout with the Dallas Mavericks.

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