Australia has gradually risen to prominence as a basketball hotbed since the 1970s. Australians have won an Olympic medal, and as a result, they have paralleled the United States and some other European countries in terms of athletic achievements. Including sending a number of prominent players to the NBA. There have been enough Australian NBA players to warrant a discussion on how great Australians represented their country in The NBA.
These Australian NBA players have showcased their skills and abilities in basketball. They have been looked up to by many people and their co-players in the league. They’ve established and made a name for themselves in NBA history.
#1 Dante Exum
Unfortunately Exum’s professional career was been put on hold due to injuries. The Utah Jazz player Dante Exum is a 6’5″ point guard with excellent quickness. He was picked as the fifth overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Exum’s first season he appeared in all 82 games as a rookie — averaging 22 minutes per game and 4.8 points and 2.4 assists. His second season was cut short due to an ACL injury, The healthy Exum improved to 6.2 points per game in his third season although his assist totals were 1.7 points per game.
Unfortunately his injury history robbed him of the lightning-quick reflexes that earned him such great praise when he first came out of college. Exum has been plagued with various injuries. I believe he has the potential to make a significant contribution to an NBA club if he can get and remain healthy. The Utah Jazz is his favorite team in the National Basketball Association.
Exum has yet to live up to the high expectations placed on him. But many NBA observers believe he has the potential to become one of the league’s top point guards in the future. His athleticism and speed have already established him as one of the greatest in the NBA. There’s no telling how excellent Exum could become in the future.
#2 Luc Longley
Luc Longley was one of the first Australian players to achieve success in the National Basketball Association. Longley, a 7’0 center, was picked by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the 1991 NBA Draft. Over the course of his 12-year NBA career, he would play for six different organizations.
Longley was a quality center who could score, rebound, and defend, despite never being named to the All-Star team. Over the course of his career, he averaged 8.4 points and 6 rebounds per game and won three NBA championships (2 with the Chicago Bulls and one with the Los Angeles Lakers).
Longley is one of just four Australians to have ever won a championship in the National Basketball Association (the others being Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, and Matthew Dellavedova).
Longley was a crucial player on some of the most successful teams in the league during his career. Averaging more than 20 minutes per game on average. He may not have been the most flashy player on the field, but he was an important contributor. He undisputeably contributed to his team’s victory in many games.
#3 Shane Battier
Battier is another Australian player to achieve success in the NBA, having done so in 2012. He was selected by the Vancouver Grizzlies with the 6th overall choice in the 2001 NBA Draft and went on to play for 8 different clubs during his 13-year professional career. Battier was one of the best Australian NBA players in the league history.
Battier was never considered a superstar, but he was a very solid role player in the NBA for a long time. He was a three-point shooting expert who was also a solid defender. He was selected to the All-Star Game twice (in 2006 and 2011). And he has won two championships during his career (1 with the Miami Heat and 1 with the Golden State Warriors).
Battier was a key member of both of those winning teams, and his contributions were significant. Along with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, he was a member of the “Big Three” team during his time in Miami. As a mentor to young Steph Curry while with the Golden State Warriors, he assisted him in his development into the superstar that Curry is today.
In general, Battier was a fantastic player who always gave his all to his team, no matter what. He may not have been the most talented individual on the planet, but he was a consummate professional who understood and performed admirably.
These are three great Australian basketball players in the history of The NBA. Despite the fact that they are not as well-known as some American players, they have all had excellent NBA careers. They should be pleased for their achievements.
With so many Australian NBA players achieving success in the NBA over the years, it’s been a pleasure to watch. It speaks volumes about the high caliber of basketball being played and taught in Australia currently. What the future holds for Australian basketball is something I’m looking forward to seeing. I’m confident that we’ll continue to see more and more Australians break into the NBA. Thank you for taking the time to read this!