More than ever, the NBA is an international league and the Utah Jazz have been a huge part of that evolution. But who are the best int’l players in team history?
Counting Mississauga, Ontario, Canada’s Naz Mitrou-Long, who logged a whopping 31 seconds of court time in December, eight foreign-born players suited up for the Utah Jazz during the 2017-18 season, seven of which played important minutes for the team.
That said, the international flavor is nothing new in Jazzland. Nearly 30 international players have rocked with the Jazz band since 1987, when the franchise used the 15th overall pick in the NBA Draft to make Jose Ortiz the first-ever Puerto Rican draftee.
Although Ortiz’s exploits in Utah ultimately weren’t in the same universe as his efforts abroad, some great international players have plied their trade for the Jazz.
And the brunt of those have been in the last decade.
Why is all of this notable? Because, every year, basketball grows as a global sport and the NBA becomes more of an international league. It’s been an incredible evolution and the Jazz organization has been at the forefront of the movement.
So, in celebration of all the diversity of Jazzdom, here’s my list of the 10 best international ballers in team history, with a focus on their Jazz tenures.