When it comes to basketball, nobody quite dominates like the U.S.A. Despite its worldwide reach, most of the best NBA players are based in the U.S. and when the world competes for the ultimate prize, it has been America who notoriously earns the Gold year after year.
Still, just because the U.S. is the best doesn't mean other nations haven't been catching up. And, in fact, many of history's A,l-Time great players were foreign-born prospects.
ESPN recently did a ranking of these stars and while most of the list is pretty fair, one name, in particular, was called out for being too low: Hakeen "The Dream" Olajuwon. He was ranked second behind Dirk Nowitzki and Lakers guard J.R. Smith went on social media to blast it:
In case you're wondering how the rest of the list went:
All-in-all, every single person on the list deserves to be there and the case can be made for each of them to be higher.
But for Hakeem, it seems especially wrong to not have him number one. Over his 18 seasons, he averaged 21.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game on 51% shooting. He's also a 12x All-Star, 12x All-NBA Player, and 2x NBA Champion.
Then again, Dirk is no scrub, either and the case can easily be made for him being number one. Despite not being nearly as dominant defensively, Nowitzki had more in his bag of tricks on the offensive end, specifically on the perimeter. He's a career 20.7 point per game scorer who averaged 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He's a 14x All-Star, a former NBA MVP, and a one-time Champion.
So, who deserves to be number one? That's for you to decide because as much as we'd like to debate, it will always be a matter of perspective.