The NBA has become a league with a global reach, and plenty of foreign-born players have had lengthy careers which have made an impact that will be felt for generations to come.
Here's a ranking of the 20 best international players in NBA history, based on a combination of their longevity, uniqueness and personal accomplishments.
Before we begin, special shoutout to the late Drazen Petrovic, whose all-too-brief NBA career kept him off this list. He undoubtedly deserves recognition either way.
Al Horford, Dominican Republic (2007-present)
Horford's game isn't flashy, but he's a master of the fundamentals and has a unique set of abilities for someone who plays the center position. He's a four-time All-Star in his 10th NBA season, and has posted career averages of 14.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest.
Peja Stojakovic, Croatia (1998-2011)
Born in Croatia and of Serbian nationality, Peja was one of the league's best perimeter shooters during the height of his powers, and averaged a career-best 24.2 points during the 2004 season. The three-time All-Star played 13 NBA seasons, and is best known for his role on a Sacramento Kings team that battled the Shaq-Kobe Lakers teams in the early 2000s.
NBAE/Getty ImagesIssac Baldizon
Andrew Bogut, Australia (2005-present)
Bogut was selected by the Bucks with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, and it's fair to say that injuries have made it impossible for him to live up to that lofty position. But he's always been more than solid when healthy, and was the backbone of the Warriors defense in 2015 when they took home the title.
Bogut was named to the All-Rookie team in 2006, led the league in blocked shots in 2011, was third-team All NBA in 2010 and was second team All Defense in 2015.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsGary A. Vasquez
Rik Smits, Netherlands (1988-2000)
The Dunking Dutchman was the starting center for the Indiana Pacers for the majority of his NBA career, and averaged double-digit points in every single season. He always gave maximum effort on the defensive end of the floor, too, as evidenced by the fact that he once led the league in personal fouls.
Smits was named to the All-Rookie team in 1989, and made the All-Star team in 1998. More than anything, he was a familiar face for many years on a Pacers team that got plenty of national exposure by making the playoffs in 10 of his 11 NBA seasons.
Luol Deng, South Sudan (2004-present)
Deng played his first nine-plus seasons for the Bulls, and became a fan favorite in Chicago for his all-out effort on both ends of the floor. He's a two-time All-Star who led the league in minutes per game in both 2012 and 2013 under Tom Thibodeau's watch, and he holds career averages of 15 points and 6.1 rebounds over his 13 NBA seasons.
Vlade Divac, Serbia (1989-2005)
Vlade played his first seven seasons with the Lakers, but is more well-known for the tail end of his career with the Sacramento Kings. He made his lone All-Star appearance in his 12th NBA season, as part of a Kings team that battled the Shaq-Kobe Lakers closely, but could never get over the hump.
Speaking of Kobe, Divac was the primary piece the Lakers sent to Charlotte in the draft-day trade that brought one of the greatest players of all-time to Los Angeles for a career that spanned 20 NBA seasons.
Detlef Schrempf, Germany (1985-2001)
Schrempf was a tremendous all-around player who was capable of getting you points, rebounds and assists at a significant clip. The 6'9" forward could also light it up from deep, as he showed in 1995 with the Sonics when he played all 82 games and knocked down a ridiculous 51.4 percent of his looks from hthree-point distance. The three-time All-Star played 16 NBA seasons.
Toni Kukoc, Croatia (1993-2006)
Kukoc didn't come to the NBA until he was 25 years old, but once he arrived, he became a key role-player on Michael Jordan's second three-peat Chicago Bulls squad. He played 13 seasons for four different teams, and was named Sixth Man of the Year in 1996.
Kyrie Irving, Australia (2011-present)
Irving, who moved from Australia to the States when he was 2, is in just his sixth NBA season but has already compiled an impressive list of accomplishments. The 24-year-old is a four-time All-Star who won Rookie of the Year honors in 2012, and took home the All-Star Game MVP award in 2014. He also just happened to hit one of the most clutch shots in NBA history, a three-pointer over Stephen Curry late in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals that helped the Cavaliers seal their first championship in franchise history.
Manu Ginobili, Argentina (2002-present)
Ginobili was a key component on four Spurs championship teams, and remains one of the craftiest players in the game, even now in his 15th NBA season. The 39-year-old is a two-time All-Star who won Sixth Man of the Year in 2008, was a third team All-NBA selection in 2008 and 2011.
Getty ImagesJ Pat Carter
Dikembe Mutombo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (1991-2009)
Mutombo played 18 NBA seasons and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015. He's an eight-time All-Star who was named Defensive Player of the Year four times, led the league in blocked shots three times, and led the league in rebounding twice.
He'll be remembered more for the finger-wag after blocking an opponent's shot than for anything else, but the reality is that Mutombo is one of the more decorated defensive players the game has ever seen.
NBAE/Getty ImagesRocky Widner
Yao Ming, China (2002-11)
Yao's career was shortened by a series of injuries, but he showcased his ability as one of the game's best big men whenever he was healthy enough to stay on the floor. He played just eight NBA seasons, but made the All-Star team in every single one, and also was selected to an All-NBA team five different times.
The 7'6" center left the game with career averages of 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots. Yao was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.
Pau Gasol, Spain (2001-present)
Gasol is a six-time All-Star who won two championships playing alongside Kobe Bryant in seven seasons with the Lakers. The seven-footer took home Rookie of the Year honors when he came into the league with Memphis in 2002, and has been named to an All-NBA team four different times.
Now in his 16th NBA season, Gasol holds career averages of 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per contest.
Tony Parker, Belgium (2001-present)
Born in Belgium and raised in France, Parker is a six-time All-Star who ran the point for four of San Antonio's championship teams, and was named Finals MVP for his performance during the team's title run in 2007. The 34-year-old is currently in his 16th NBA season.
Dominique Wilkins, France (1982-99)
When you're known to fans around the world as The Human Highlight Film, you know you had a spectacular career. 'Nique is a nine-time All-Star who led the league in scoring in 1986, and was one of the most athletic players of his generation. He famously battled Michael Jordan in the 1988 Dunk Contest, and recently told FOX Sports that he probably should have won.
Born in France while his Air Force father was stationed there, Wilkins played 15 NBA seasons and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
Steve Nash, South Africa (1996-2014)
Born in South Africa and raised in Canada, Nash is an eight-time All-Star and two-time MVP who led the league in assists five different times over 18 NBA seasons. He also shot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point distance and 90 percent from the free throw line in four different seasons -- a milestone reached by just six others in NBA history.
Mark J. RebilasUSA TODAY Sports
Patrick Ewing, Jamaica (1985-2002)
In a golden age of NBA big men, Ewing more than held his own as one of the very best. The 11-time All-Star was dominant on both ends of the floor for at least 10 of his 17 NBA seasons, and despite his teams' postseason shortcomings, he remains one of the most beloved New York Knicks of all time.
Ewing has gaudy career averages of 21 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.
Dirk Nowitzki, Germany (1998-present)
Nowitzki is the one responsible for big men everywhere believing they should learn how to shoot from three-point distance. The seven-footer showed a smooth outside shooting stroke from the moment he came into the league, and introduced a one-legged fadeaway shot to the game that other big men (like Kevin Durant) adopted during their careers.
Nowitzki only has one MVP and one championship to his name in 19 NBA seasons, but the 13-time All-Star is one of only six players in history to score at least 30,000 career points, and currently ranks sixth on the all-time list of the league's leading scorers.
Hakeem Olajuwon, Nigeria (1985-2002)
Olajuwon was undoubtedly the best big man of his generation. He led the Rockets to two championships in 1994 and '95, and was named league MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP in that '94 season.
Olajuwon was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008 after playing 18 NBA seasons.
NBAE/Getty ImagesNathaniel S. Butler
Tim Duncan, U.S. Virgin Islands (1997-2016)
Tim Duncan is without question one of the two greatest players of his generation. His unique skill set allowed him to dominate at times on both ends of the floor, and his quiet leadership helped the Spurs win five titles during his incredible 19-year career.
Duncan never once led the league in any meaningful statistical category, and that by itself is part of what made him so great. He certainly could have, but was willing to play within the structure of the Spurs system for the greater good of the team, and it produced a winning consistency that is unmatched in all of professional sports.
He has two league MVP awards and three Finals MVPs as part of his résumé, and he'll be inducted into the Hall of Fame the moment he is eligible. Of all the great players on this list, Duncan was an easy choice as the greatest of them all.