Since Tariq Abdul-Wahad in 1997, a small contingent of French players have joined the NBA over the years. In total, a little over thirty tricolors walked the American floors of the most prestigious of the leagues. Enough to make a nice little review of the 10 most outstanding individual performances of our Frenchies.
10. Rudy Gobert (January 2017)
Stats : 27 points at 8/12, 25 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 1 steal in 41 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks (January 20, 2017)
During the 2016-2017 season, Rudy Gobert really explode. He becomes an All-Star caliber player and one of the top defenders in the championship… but he also knows how to score when necessary. As he did in that tight game against the Mavs, going his first career 20-20, and not least.
9. Tony Parker (April 2009)
Stats : 43 points at 18/29, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, 1 against in 41 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks (April 25, 2009 – Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs)
During the 2009 playoffs, the Spurs were deprived of Manu Ginobili and were surprised in the first round by Dallas (4-1). Without the Argentinian and with a Tim Duncan less dominant than usual, Parker carries the franchise with 28.6 points, 6.8 assists and 4.2 rebounds on average over the series. In game 4, despite the loss, he achieves his career-high in the playoffs with 43 units on the clock and equals the franchise record for points in one half. With Dirk Nowitzki, he then became the only European player in history to score at least two games with more than 40 points in the playoffs.
8. Rudy Gobert (March 2017)
Stats : 35 points at 13/15, 15 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 blocks, 1 steal in 38 minutes against the New York Knicks (March 22, 2017)
In the past 10 years, less than 10 players have scored 35 points in a game with a shooting percentage over 85%. This performance by Gobzilla therefore integrates this very closed circle. A very clean double-double that remains one of his most dominant career outings.
7. Boris Diaw (May 2006)
Stats : 25 points at 7/12, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 interception in 38 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers (May 2, 2006 – Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs)
So many performances from Babac could join this list. But this is probably the one that best sums up the player he was. Gifted, complete, almost wasteless, altruistic and always there for the big games. In this playoff game against the Kobe Lakers, while the Suns are back to the wall (led 3-1), he is the best player of the match and gives impetus to his franchise to get out of the trap, confirming his status as revelation of the season. He finished his team’s top scorer, rebounder and passer in a “win or go home” game and went to a small assist from his only triple-double in the playoffs.
6. Rodrigue Beaubois (March 2010)
Stats : 40 points at 15/22 (9/11 at 3p), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks in 29 minutes against the Golden State Warriors (March 27, 2010)
If you ask a Mavericks fan for his best memory of Rodrigue Beaubois, it will probably come down to his magical alley-oops with Jason Kidd or his 40 points against the Warriors. Undoubtedly the most improbable of this classification, this performance by Roddy obviously remains his greatest feat in the NBA. All as a rookie and coming off the bench!