Here’s basketball great Arvydas Sabonis playing, impressively well, in a recent Legends game, featuring teams Zalgiris Kaunas and CSKA Moscow.
One of the biggest “What Ifs” in NBA history is how good or possibly dominant the Lithuanian big man would have been in the NBA if he came to the league during his prime. The Hawks drafted a 20-year old Sabonis in the 1985 draft but the league voided it because he was under 21. 11 years later, the Trailblazers drafted him with the 24th pick of the 1986 draft but wasn’t able to put a jersey on him until almost a decade later (1995).
In his first year in the league, as a 31-year old rookie with bad knees, Sabonis was runner-up for Rookie of the Year and 6th Man of the Year. He also became a fan-favorite in Portland but if he was playing there a decade earlier, many people, including Blazer great Clyde Drexler, believes the Blazers would have won multiple NBA championships.