Bostjan Nachbar is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the world. As any fan of the Houston Rockets and New Jersey Nets will tell you, that’s potential that Nachbar should have tapped in the NBA.
But that’s neither here nor there.
Prior to arriving in the NBA, Nachbar played for KK Union Olimpija of his home country Slovenia. He also spent time with Benetton Treviso of Italy. As a member of the latter, Nachbar had a breakout season in 2002 and helped lead Benetton Treviso to Lega Serie A and Italian Supercup titles. As one might expect, his draft stock skyrocketed.
That summer, Nachbar was selected 15th overall by the Houston Rockets. As a 6’9″ forward with a dynamic skill set and what was believed to be a style of wild control.
The Slovenian entered the NBA with the hype of being the next great international product, but Nachbar never seemed to find his niche in a star-happy league. That is, until his fifth year in the league, when Nachbar was a member of the New Jersey Nets.
Working as the sixth man to Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson, Nachbar had the best individual season of his career. At season’s end, Nachbar finished with averages of 9.2 points in 20.2 minutes. He posted a slash line of .457/.423/.805 and made an impact come the postseason.
Upon discovering similar success in 2008, however, Nachbar left the NBA. After bouncing around Russia and Turkey, Nachbar found his ideal situation by signing with Brose Baskets of the German League and Euroleague—a decision that has paid dividends.
In Euroleague play, Nachbar is averaging 16.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest. In Bundesliga action, Nachbar’s numbers rest at 12.7 points and 4.1 boards. Since returning to Europe, Nachbar has realized what we knew all along—he can make a powerful impact when given the chance.
From 2004 to 2012, Andres Nocioni was one of the most respected international products in the NBA. Prior to 2004, however, Nocioni was one of the most decorated athletes in the world.
A tale of two worlds.
Prior to arriving in the NBA, Nocioni was the 2004 Liga ACB MVP and a two-time second team Euroleague selection. Nocioni also won an Olympic gold medal as a member of the Argentinian national basketball team.
And that’s all before we touch upon the NBA.
Nocioni was never an NBA star, per say, but he was nothing short of an impact player. He made four trips to the postseason, including a 2005-06 appearance in which he defined his career as one of the NBA’s most competitive performers.
After spending five successful seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Nocioni was traded to the Sacramento Kings. With playing time becoming inconsistent, Nocioni asked out and ended up with the Philadelphia 76ers—another temporary fix.
With his playing time continuing to dwindle, Nocioni realized that his talents weren’t being properly appreciated. As a result, he returned to Liga ACB, where he’d dominated for so long.
Thus far in 2013, Nocioni is picking up where he left off. He’s averaging 13.9 points on 52.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc and has salvaged his reputation as your prototypical “do-it-all” player. Nocioni can dominate with his jump shot, take control with his defense or be found diving for loose balls.
Back where his glory first started, Nocioni is playing as well as ever.