In honor of Ricky Rubio’s arrival this year (If the NBA Lockout doesn’t cancel the season), we celebrate the Minnesota Timberwolves long history of drafting and signing great international talent by ranking the top 10.
Good work Timberwolves International Scouting Department, you deserve a raise.
10. Nikola Pekovic – Center (2010 – Present) Montenegro – Has a really sweet tattoo.
9. Andres Guibert – Center (1994 – 1995) Cuba – The Timberwolves left him unprotected during the expansion draft, and he was selected by the Toronto Raptors.
8 . Gundars Vetra – Guard (1992 – 1993) Latvia – This was his only season in the NBA. He was “6”6”, the same height as Michael Jordan. The comparisons stop there. The Timberwolves signed him before it became cool to draft international players. You can say the Wolves are trendsetters.
7. Igor Rakovevic – Guard (2002 – 2003) Serbia – NBA players don’t like playing in Minnesota because its to cold during the winters, so the Wolves starting signing players from Serbia (Milicic and Jaric).
6. Darko Milicic – Center (2010 – Present) Serbia - Current GM, David Kahn referred to Darko as “Manna from Heaven” .
5. Luc Longley – Center (1991 – 1994) Austrailia – Was seven feet tall.
4. Marko Jaric – Guard (2005 – 2008) Serbia – Was dating Victoria Secret model Adriana Lima during his time with the Wolves, and could be found at local night clubs within minutes of the final buzzer.
3. Shane Heal – Guard (1996 – 1997) Austrailia – Only got playing time when the Timberwolves were being blown out. Heal would team with James Hollywood Robinson to chuck up three pointers. If they succeeded in bringing the Wolves back, the starters would be put back in.
2. Stojko Vrankovic – Center (1996 – 1997) Croatia –Known for smoking an entire pack of cigarettes before games. He also had a problem with endurance.
1. Rasho Nesterovic – Center (1999 – 2003) Slovenia – Got yelled at a lot by Kevin Garnett for being to soft during games. Had low confidence.
Honorable Mention: Nathan Jawai (Austrailia), Kosta Koufas (Greece), Sasha Pavlovic (Serbia), Oleksiy Pecherov (Montenegro), Nikoloz Tskitishvili (Georgia), Wally Szczerbiak (not foreign, but his name sounds like it)