Best 7 NBA Players from Serbia 2024: You Must Know

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I’ve handpicked a selection of Serbian NBA players who have not only conquered the courts but have also become integral to the global basketball narrative.

The success story of NBA players from Serbia dates back to the era of Vlade Divac and Peja Stojaković. This proud tradition continues with Nikola Jokić, Bogdan Bogdanović, and Boban Marjanović. These players showcase their incredible skills and inspire the next generation of Serbian basketball players to reach for the stars.

Prominent NBA Players from Serbia

Nikola Jokić

 Nikola Jokic playing
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Nikola Jokić, currently playing for the Denver Nuggets, is an absolute standout among the best Serbian basketball players. An incredible playmaker and scorer, Jokić’s versatility has earned him numerous accolades, including the 2021 NBA MVP award. With his exceptional skills and basketball IQ, Jokić continues to raise the bar for young players entering the league.

Vlade Divac

Vlade Divac, a former NBA player, had an illustrious career with the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings. A versatile center known for his ability to score inside and outside the paint, Divac was not only a fan favorite but also a respected team leader. After his retirement, Divac continued impacting the basketball world as an executive, serving as the general manager for the Sacramento Kings. Also one of the best Serbian NBA players:

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Vlade Divac

Peja Stojakovic

Peja Stojakovic, another Serbian legend, is best known for his tenure with the Sacramento Kings. As one of the premier shooters in NBA history, Stojakovic was a vital part of the Kings’ success during the early 2000s. His sharp shooting and offensive prowess earned him three All-Star selections and an NBA Championship with the Dallas Mavericks.

Nemanja Bjelica

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Nemanja Bjelica, a versatile forward, has played for several NBA teams, including the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings. With his ability to space the floor and contribute from beyond the arc, Bjelica added a new dimension to any team’s offense. Known for his exceptional basketball IQ, Bjelica’s playmaking ability and court vision made him a valuable asset.

Bogdan Bogdanović

Bogdan Bogdanović, a talented guard, has made strides in the NBA since joining the league. Spending time with both the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks, Bogdanović proves to be an efficient scorer with accurate shooting and impressive playmaking skills. His offensive versatility makes him a valuable asset to any team he plays for.

Darko Miličić

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Darko Miličić was once a highly touted prospect who unfortunately didn’t meet the expectations. He was drafted second overall in the 2003 NBA Draft, ahead of stars like Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade. Despite not having the anticipated impact during his NBA career, Miličić remains an essential part of basketball history as an example of the unpredictable nature of talent development.

Boban Marjanovic

Boban Marjanovic, an imposing 7-foot-4 center, has garnered attention for both his size and skill. Throughout his NBA career, Marjanovic has played for various teams, including the San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Dallas Mavericks. With his unique combination of size and touch, Marjanovic can impact both ends of the court and remains a fan favorite.

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03/28/2024 11:58 pm GMT

Serbian Players in NBA Teams

Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings have benefited from the talent of Serbian guard, Bogdan Bogdanović. He has proven to be an influential team playmaker and scorer, demonstrating his shooter and passer skills.

Denver Nuggets

The most well-known Serbian player in the NBA, Nikola Jokić, plays for the Denver Nuggets. Jokić has become a dominant force in the league, earning the title of NBA MVP in the 2020-2021 season. His exceptional skills as a center and playmaker have contributed significantly to the success of the Nuggets in recent years.

Golden State Warriors

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Playing for the Golden State Warriors, Serbian guard Nemanja Bjelica has showcased his versatility. With his ability to shoot from deep and make solid contributions in the rebounding department, Bjelica has been a valuable asset to the Warriors.

Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have young Serbian talent in the form of Bogdan Bogdanović. His skills as a shooter and ball-handler have provided the Hawks with much-needed offensive firepower.

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Miami Heat

Boban Marjanović, the 7’4″ center from Serbia, currently plays for the Miami Heat. His towering presence and scoring ability have made him a valuable addition to the team.

Houston Rockets

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Though the Houston Rockets currently do not have Serbian players on their roster, they have had notable Serbian talent like Goran Dragić in the past, who made significant contributions to the team before moving on.

Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers’ roster does not currently feature any Serbian players. However, they have had Serbian talent, such as Vlade Divac in the past, who played an essential role in the team’s success during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks roster features Serbian center Boban Marjanović. Known for his massive frame and soft touch around the basket, Marjanović has given the team depth and size in the frontcourt.

Utah Jazz

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Serbian forward Bojan Bogdanović plays for the Utah Jazz. He has consistently provided scoring and shooting for the team, becoming vital to their offensive arsenal.

Phoenix Suns

Though there aren’t any Serbian players on the Phoenix Suns roster currently, the team has a history of showcasing Serbian talent, like Goran Dragić, who played a significant role in the Suns’ lineup during his time with the team.

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03/29/2024 03:16 am GMT

Notable Achievements of Serbian NBA Players

I think, you might have noticed the significant impact that NBA players from Serbia have made in the league. Their hard work and dedication have led to many accolades and achievements. Let’s look at some of the most notable accomplishments by these talented athletes.

One of the greatest milestones in Serbian basketball history is Nikola Jokic winning the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 2021. Not only is he the first Serb to receive this honor, but he is also the third European to do so.

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Nikola Jokic

Serbian players have also showcased their skills on the global stage. For instance, they’ve participated in prestigious tournaments like the FIBA World Cup and EuroBasket. These competitions have allowed Serbian athletes to garner attention and eventually be picked in the NBA Draft.

Vlade Divac, a 7 ft. 1 in. center, is another prominent Serbian NBA player. He had a successful career in the league throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. In recognition of his impressive achievements, Divac was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019. Such recognition for Serbian players further cements their legacy in basketball.

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Impact on Serbian Basketball

When you think about the NBA, you might not immediately consider the impact of NBA players from Serbia. However, Serbian basketball has a long and storied history that stretches back to the days of Yugoslavia. The talent and success of Serbian players have not only influenced the NBA but also their own Serbian national team and leagues, such as the Adriatic League and the Crvena Zvezda club.

During the Yugoslav era, the national team was a powerhouse in European basketball, with talented players coming from all regions, including Croatia and Serbia. With the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Serbia inherited a strong basketball tradition. Many young players learned the game in their local clubs, resulting in Serbia maintaining its reputation as a basketball powerhouse.

The NBA has seen an increase in talented players from Serbia, such as Nikola Jokić and Nemanja Bjelica. These players not only showcase their skills but bring a different style of play to the league, highlighting their background in Serbia’s basketball culture. Their success in the NBA has greatly affected the Serbian basketball scene, boosting its popularity and respect worldwide.

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In Serbia, the Adriatic League is a key component of the basketball landscape, featuring teams from across the region, including the prestigious Serbian club, Crvena Zvezda. The presence of NBA players from Serbia has strengthened the league, as many of these players gained their early experience in this competitive environment. Furthermore, their success in the NBA shines a spotlight on the Adriatic League, drawing more international attention to Serbian basketball.

The national team has also experienced a resurgence, with NBA players from Serbia playing a pivotal role. These players represent their country with pride and skill, contributing to the ongoing successes of the Serbian national team on the international stage. Their achievements in the NBA further reinforce the notion that Serbia is a basketball powerhouse, inspiring the next generation of Serbian athletes to reach for the stars.

Upcoming Serbian NBA Players

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One name you should keep an eye on is Nikola Jović. This young player has already gained attention in the Serbian basketball scene, and many experts believe he has a promising future in the NBA. He’s already been linked to a potential spot in an upcoming NBA Draft, continuing the Serbian tradition of contributing highly skilled players to the league.

Another notable player is Vasilije Micić, who was drafted back in 2014. Although Micić hasn’t jumped to the NBA yet, he’s steadily increased his skills and experience playing in Europe. With his talent and potential, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Micić making his way to the NBA shortly.

The NBA has been home to incredible Serbian players such as Nikola Jokić and Bogdan Bogdanović. By keeping up with the local talent, we can only expect more great things from Serbian basketball players shortly.

My Personal Opinion

In my opinion, the influence of Serbian basketball players in the NBA is a true testament to the country’s rich basketball heritage and the unwavering dedication of these athletes. These players bring a unique blend of skill, tenacity, and a deep understanding of the game that sets them apart.

When I watch players like Vlade Divac, who paved the way for Serbian players in the NBA, I can’t help but admire their impact on the global basketball stage. Divac’s ability to play both ends of the court, his passing skills, and his basketball IQ were ahead of his time. He laid the foundation for future Serbian players, showcasing their versatility and adaptability.

And then there’s the remarkable Nikola Jokic, whose rise to stardom is a testament to his unparalleled skills as a big man. His court vision, passing ability, and basketball IQ are unprecedented for a player of his position. Jokic’s presence on the court changes the game’s dynamics, and it’s exciting to witness how he’s redefining the role of a center in the modern NBA.


How many Balkan players are in NBA?

In all, 14 of the league’s 450 current players are from the former Yugoslavia. And the two most famous are Jokic and Luka Doncic—the Slovenian who seems all but certain to someday follow in Jokic’s footsteps as the next Balkaner to win NBA MVP. These are small countries.

Is NBA big in Europe?

Europe has more League Pass subscribers than any other region outside North America, including 38% growth in subscriptions year-over-year. And we’ve seen a 47% and 17% year-over-year increase in League Pass subscriptions in Slovenia and Greece, respectively.

Is Serbia good at basketball?

The Serbia men’s national basketball team represents Serbia in international basketball competitions and is controlled by the Basketball Federation of Serbia. Serbia is currently ranked sixth in the FIBA World Ranking.

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