When we look back on this 2013 NBA Draft, there are a couple highlights that will come to mind…
Anthony Bennett going No. 1 overall to Cleveland, that tiny Boston Celtics hat sitting aloft Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira’s stellar afro, and Hakeem Olajuwon’s gracing the draft stage and embracing the outgoing David Stern as the commish made his final selection call of his 30-year reign.
Through it all, an international flare truly dominated the 2013 NBA Draft leaving Stern’s impact on the global game of the NBA one of his lasting legacies. For what was projected to be a weak draft actually presented a chance for some young European and international players to steal the show.
And they did.
Heck, Bennett is from Canada. Maryland’s Alex Len (No. 5 to Phoenix) is a native of the Ukraine. Steven Adams (No. 12 to OKC) represents New Zealand (by way of Pittsburgh), Kelly Olynyk of Gonzaga was the second Canadian selected (No. 13 to Dallas, then traded to Boston) and Gorgui Dieng’s roots rest in Senegal, as the Louisville big man was taken in the mid-first round (No. 21 by Utah, traded to Minnesota).
And that is not even detailing the actual international selections of the first round and how the second round played out too.
#15 Milwaukee -- Giannis Adetokunbo (Greece)
#16 Boston, traded to Atlanta -- Lucas Nogueira (Brazil)
#17 Atlanta -- Dennis Schroeder (Germany)
#19 Cleveland -- Sergey Karasev (Russia)
#27 Denver -- Rudy Gobert (France)
#28 San Antonio -- Livio Jean-Charles (France)
#30 Phoenix, traded to Golden State -- Nemanja Nedovic (Serbia)
#32 OKC -- Alex Abrines (Spain)
#45 Portland -- Marko Todorovic (Montenegro)
#47 Atlanta -- Raul Neto (Brazil)
#55 Memphis -- Joffrey Lauvergne (France)
#59 Minnesota -- Bojan Dubljevic (Montenegro)
#60 Memphis -- Janis Timma (Latvia)
Six international players were selected in the second round -- seven with the Iranian born and University of Oregon alum, Arsalan Kazemi (No. 54 to Washington) -- leaving the overall internationally at 19.
These selections are also a testament to the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program, and international player showcases like the Nike Hoop Summit and the adidas Eurocamp.
Even down to Stern lastly announcing the Phoenix Suns had taken athletic Serbian guard, Nemanja Nedovic with the 30th overall pick and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver closing the draft show with Memphis selecting Janis Timma of Latvia, the 2013 NBA Draft will be forever internationally known.