Horacio Llamas – First Mexican player in the NBA
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On March 2nd of 1997, undrafted Horacio Llamas became the first Mexican to play in the NBA. He scored two points and grabbed one board in four minutes of action.
A month later, the 6’11” center became the first Mexican to play Shaq in the NBA. He ended up with four points and five fouls in nine minutes as Shaq put up 24 and 11 in 24 minutes. Still, Llamas could say he’s in the NBA.
During that same month, he had his first start and it just happened to be against the most skilled center of all-time: Hakeem Olajuwon. He put up six points and five boards during a career-high 24 minutes, while The Dream scored a game-high 33. Still, Llamas could say he was a NBA starter.
Llamas would go on to play a total of 28 games in two seasons with the Suns. He averaged just two points and one rebound during his time in the league but he can say he was not only the first Mexican to play in the NBA, he started and battled two of the greatest centers of all-time.
And if that wasn’t enough, he also had a Steve Kerr moment with the greatest player of all-time. While trying to make a comeback in 2002 with the the Washington Wizards, Llamas hit a game-winning three-pointer off a Michael Jordan assist during a practice scrimmage. He didn’t make the team but how many people can say they have a GOAT story like that one?