The NBA is the greatest basketball league in the world. With a lot of the biggest stars being American born, most of the sport is American based. With that being said, the NBA also has a diversity and worldwide audience like no other. China, India, Africa, the NBA is popular all around the world.
And Australia is no different. An awesome culture and an amazing group of people, Australia has also given us some amazing basketball players. Those players have been a part of the league’s biggest moments, whether it’s been now, or in the past. In 2017, we are seeing some of the best we’ve had out of the country.
Here is the 2017 All-NBA Australian team, 5 of the best or most promising Aussie’s out there:
Coming into the league, Exum was one of the NBA’s most promising young prospects. Although he hasn’t shown true star power yet, he’s still got time to show the world what he can do. Born in Melbourne from American parents, Exum is sort of a mix of two cultures.
He gave up on Australian football early and decided to focus on his basketball career. If not for a knee injury he sustained while representing the Australian National team, Exum could have been one of the Jazz’s premier guards. Averaging just 6.2 points per game in the 2016/2017 season, Exum has a lot to prove if he wants to keep his career alive.
We all know the energy Patty Mills constantly displays for the San Antonio Spurs. An awesome shooter and a true fighter, Mills is a guy anyone would want on their team. Being just the second Indigenous Australian player to ever play in the NBA, Mills was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers in 2009 after playing for Saint Mary’s College of California.
After playing overseas during the NBA’s lockout season, he joined the San Antonio Spurs to become one of their best bench players. Being just 28 years old, Patty has plenty of time to build up his legacy before it’s over. He has a real chance to go down as one of the most accomplished Australian players in the game.
This guy hasn’t had the easiest start to his NBA career. An early foot injury sidelined his rookie season, and we have yet to see his play on the court. But from what we saw from him in college, this kid could be something really special. Born in Melbourne, Simmons grew up with basketball at an early age. His father played for the Melbourne Tigers in the Australian Basketball League, which helped Simmons from an early connection to the game.
He began playing at just seven years old and has now worked this way up to the NBA, where he has become one the Philadelphia 76ers’ most promising players. The future is bright for Ben and his family, and this Australian kid from Melbourne has all the potential in the world.
Admittedly, Aron Baynes is not a name that stands out for anyone. He’s not a starter, but he plays his role with consistency and poise. Starting his career with the Lithuanian Basketball league, Baynes eventually got to the NBA through a contract with the Spurs in 2013. Probably the highlight of his career was those years in San Antonio, where he played a big role off the bench for the team. Having just signed a fresh contract with the Boston Celtics, Baynes has been given another chance to prove his worth.
Before Bogut’s fall from fame, he was actually a pretty nice player. In 2005, he was selected first overall by the Bucks, making him the first Australian player to be drafted #1 overall. Having been selected to the All-Rookie NBA First team, Bogut quickly became one of Australia’s beloved stars.
Andrew Bogut always knew how to play the game well, but he had trouble staying on the court since the very beginning. Had his body stayed healthy, he could have been so much more. Even with all that, however, Bogut still had a decent career. His tenure with the Bucks and Warriors was more accomplished than most NBA players even dream.