If David Stern watches the Wolves and Spurs play Wednesday night, Feb. 6, the NBA's outgoing commissioner will see the realization of a longtime vision.
Stern, scheduled to attend the game at Target Center, has long tried to make the NBA an international league, and when the Wolves and Spurs tip off, would see teams with rosters featuring a combined 13 international players from nine countries.
Seven of those players will be playing for the Spurs, a franchise many NBA teams, including the Wolves, are trying to emulate in the ever-expanding search for talent.
"The Spurs have made the rest of the league feel OK about looking at international players," said Pete Philo, the Wolves' director of international scouting. "Everybody is saying now, 'Why can't anyone else be successful?' "
With the recent addition of free agent Mickael Gelabale of France, the Wolves have six international players including J.J. Barea, who is from Puerto Rico but is listed as an international player by the NBA.
The Spurs, however, have had the most success, building around a nucleus of guards Tony Parker (France) and Manu Ginobili (Argentina).
Since 2003, Parker and Ginobili have helped the Spurs win three NBA championships.
Are the Wolves on a similar path?
Minnesota Timberwolves, other NBA teams chasing Spurs' international model
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Feb 6