The San Antonio Spurs may be one of, if not the most successful franchise in all of the NBA. They also boast the largest collection of foreign based talent in the NBA.
Tim Duncan (U.S. Islands),Tony Parker (France), Manu Ginobili (Argentina),Tiago Splitter (Brazil), Boris Diaw (France), Cory Joseph (Canada), Nando De Colo (France), Patty Mills (Australia) and Aron Baynes (Australia) make up that core of foreign-born talent.
The Spurs enjoy scouting overseas talent, and most important, they enjoy having that talent on their roster.
Seth Wickersham of ESPN is reporting that Spurs prefer international players to Americans, because according reports, Gregg Popovich thinks “American players don’t work as hard as foreign players.”
Consider Pop’s brutal assessment that foreign players are “fundamentally harder working than most American kids,” and it’s no wonder the Spurs want to avoid the fate of so many NBA teams
A few months ago, Pop was scouting an opponent. He won’t say which one. On video, Pop saw an international player wide open for a shot, with a confused look on his face. That’s because his point guard, an American, was dribbling in circles. “It has to be a really different experience for him,” Pop says, laughing. “ ’Where am I? Is this is a different game? Is it a different sport?’ ”
The Spurs have been critical of the AAU circuit and the summer and post season all-star game circuit that promotes one on one play and more me than team play.