ETERNAL. Manu GInóbili played for 16 years with Spurs before his jersey was retired / @ manuginobili

In the world of the giants, Spanish is also spoken. The NBA, followed by millions of fans around the world and with an epicenter in North American territory, has opened its doors to international talent, with Hispanics as a solid group that year after year adds more pieces and is not going to stop doing so.

Dozens of Latinos have arrived at the quintessential show of world basketball to leave their mark, one that does not fade and that has paved the way for talented young people to follow in the wake of those who are considered heroes in their respective nations.

Manu Ginobili

On the roof of the AT&T Center, home of the San Antonio Spurs, hangs the number 20 jersey. The number shows a surname that could well pass for someone with Italian roots; however, it is about a man born in Bahía Blanca, Argentina: Emanuel Ginobili.

The versatile player earned a place in the Olympus of the organization that he defended throughout 16 seasons with sweat, charisma, talent and an enormous vision to appear in the moment of most need.

Ginobili understood that despite being a man who came to the court from the bench, he developed his role with discipline. His maturity allowed him to rise as the Best Sixth Man in the 2007-2008 harvest. “Manu” could have started most of the remaining franchises, but without him, the Spurs would not have had the success of once. He was and will always be part of the DNA of San Antonio, an exalted son who never wanted to see himself with other colors despite the opportunities that were left over.

Without a doubt, the most outstanding Latino in the history of the NBA.

Carl Herrera

In tough NBA basketball of the 1990s, the figure of a giant rose to every challenge. Carl Herrera, born in Trinidad and Tobago but nationalized Venezuelan, did not stop shining in a league characterized by friction.

The history of American basketball could well point to the aforementioned period as the most fierce, fought and suffered. Today, when triple shooters rule, it would be hard to think that such a feat would have been possible 30 years ago.

In this dynamic, the tall Venezuelan center served as a very helpful piece in the paint for the Houston Rockets, one of the four teams in which he toured the NBA throughout eight calendars.

It was precisely with the jeans with which he won a pair of champion rings. Although history is responsible for mentioning Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls as the great reference of the competition in the 90s, the Rockets can also boast of carrying some glory by lifting the champion trophy in 1994 and 1995.

VERSATILE. José Juan Barea was key in the only title owned by the Mavericks / EFE

JJ Barea

When the Dallas Mavericks celebrated the title of the 2011 NBA season, the spotlight was on the figure of German Dirk Nowitzki, master of the game at that time and considered one of the brightest Europeans in the league; However, among the role pieces that empowered the team to take home the trophy, one of the most prominent was undoubtedly José Juan Barea.

The Puerto Rican had the spark of someone who knew he was made for special things and in Dallas they managed to take advantage of each one of his pushes towards the rim.

The small point guard from Mayagüez pocketed fans of the discipline with acrobatic shots. His speed made him a key guy for the transition and with it he did not stop appearing every night in Dallas to accompany his team to the first and only title to date.

His contribution and incidence in the organization is such that, already retired from this year, he will begin his journey in the technical area.

Eduardo Najera

The first and only Mexican chosen by draft to reach the best basketball in the world. The Aztec was a pilgrim who surprised locals and strangers with his simple ability to adapt. Without making noise, Meoqui’s one managed to sneak into the report of several scouts and thus attract the attention of a large number of groups.

With a debut in Dallas, Nájera toured the NBA by defending up to five frames, leaving his mark on each one and serving in the debate of many as the best Mexican to walk in the tough North American league.

Although this group of fantastic four took a step forward in times when the NBA was starting a successful globalization process, their significance was shocking enough to never close that door. Today, even if it is American basketball, organizations do not stop looking to Latin America to add more and more potential stars.



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