The state of European basketball players in the NBA is probably the best it has ever been. The last three MVP trophies have been won by two European players in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic. The last four Defensive Player of the Year trophies have been won by two European players, with Rudy Gobert winning three and Giannis winning one more.
Giannis went head-to-head with another European phenom in Luka Doncic, where Doncic's Dallas Mavericks overcame the full-strength Milwaukee Bucks, with Doncic having an excellent 32-point 15-assist performance. Right after that, Nikola Jokic scored 38 points with 18 rebounds to beat the Lakers with Anthony Davis to keep their push to be out of the play-in alive.
With Doncic and Jokic having their big nights, Twitter user @GuruLakers shared images of both players when they were younger and said that they own the NBA.
However, this generated a trend in the replies where people started responding with young pictures of other stars around the league. While there were some obvious shouts to LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid, there were some hilarious pictures used for rising stars like Ja Morant, Trae Young, and Anthony Edwards.
All the responses are hilarious, and seeing young NBA players is always going to be hilarious. But the initial point of the tweet was to highlight the significance of Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic to the NBA. They are two of the best players in the league and are both top-five in MVP voting.
Everyone knows what Jokic's MVP case is, as he looks to repeat as league MVP. However, Doncic has been out of the running after a slow start to the season. But he has arguably been the best player in the NBA in the last three months, leading the Mavericks from a below .500 record to have a better record (49-30) than the reigning champions Milwaukee Bucks (48-30).
The race to be the best in the NBA is dominated by a number of elite players in the league, but Doncic and Jokic, alongside Giannis and Joel Embiid look to be some of the best international players we have ever seen.