The Italian Stars of the NBA 2013-14

Sun, 11/10/2013 - 05:00

Four Italian players are set to play in the 2013-14 NBA season, which started October 29: Andrea Bargnani, in his first season with the New York Knicks; Danilo Gallinari, with the Denver Nuggets; Marco Belinelli, in his first season with the San Antonio Spurs; Luigi Datome with the Detroit Pistons for his first season in the NBA.

Andrea Bargnani, nicknamed "Il Mago" (The Magician), holds the record for the most appearances in the NBA by an Italian player, having played 433 regular season games through the 2012-13 season. Bargnani is also the highest drafted Italian ever, as he was selected with the first overall pick by theToronto Raptors in the 2006 NBA Draft. In his first two seasons with the Raptors, he helped the team reach the NBA Playoffs. He is a power forward/center, standing at 213 cm (7 ft 0 in) and weighing 113 kg (250 lbs). Prior to his NBA career, Bargnani played for Benetton Treviso in the Italian Lega A and the Euroleague. In July 2013, Bargnani was traded to the Knicks.

Danilo Gallinari plays for the Denver Nuggets at the small forward position. He is 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) and weighs 102 kg (225 lbs). His nickname is “Gallo,” (rooster) and has his own sneakers, made by Reebok, called "The Rooster." He played with Olimpia Milano before signing with the Knicks in 2008. He’s been with the Denver Nuggets since 2011. In addition to basketball, Gallinari has worked as a model for Armani.

Marco Belinelli is 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) tall and plays as a shooting guard. He was selected 18th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. He then played with the Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Hornets, Chicago Bulls, before signing with the San Antonio Spurs in July. Prior to his NBA career, Belinelli played for Italy's Virtus Bologna and Fortituto Bologna in the Italian Lega A and the Euroleague.

New NBA entry Gigi Datome plays the small forward position with the Detroit Pistons. He is 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) tall. Datome was named the Italian League’s Best Player Under 22 in 2009, while a member of the Italian League club Virtus Roma. This will be his first season in the NBA, having signed a contract with the Pistons in July.