Over the past 15 years, we've witnessed an unprecedented influx of foreign players to the NBA. A league once dominated almost exclusively by homegrown talent has expanded its reach immensely, as highlighted by the recent rise to stardom of players like Ricky Rubio, Serge Ibaka and Pau and Marc Gasol.
The NBA's global influence has perhaps grown most noticeable in Olympic competition. After a decade of American dominance following the introduction of the Dream Team, the rest of the world caught up – big time. Team USA struggled to a bronze medal finish in 2004, prompting a revamp of the US' international program that had grown accustomed to winning without the country's elite players. Even after convincing an A-list group of stars to participate, Team USA was thoroughly tested in Beijing in 2008 and in London last summer.
While soccer will always reign supreme in much of Europe and South America, both Argentina and Spain – along with a number of other nations – hav You've reached the end of our free article preview.
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