Basketball enthusiasts from Argentina received more great news. The 2020/21 NBA season was already special for them with Facundo Campazzo performing for the Denver Nuggets, before Gabriel Deck signed for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Luca Vildoza joined the New York Knicks. Ahead of the 2021-22 season, Leandro Bolmaro has agreed to a four-year deal with Minnesota Timberwolves.
From watching a couple of seasons without any compatriots in the league, the Argentinians will now have the opportunity of supporting four of them simultaneously. Campazzo's arrival to Denver in 2020 brought many expectations, and Deck's addition meant a huge boost to their excitement. A few weeks later, Vildoza joined the party to feature for the Big Apple side.
With Bolmaro making his way into the tournament, he'll become the 16th Argentine player to appear in the NBA. Here, take a look at the complete list of these basketballers, which Manu Ginobili headlines.
16 - Leandro Bolmaro
15 - Luca Vildoza
14 - Gabriel Deck
The landing of Gabriel Deck was a long-awaited one for fans who followed him from his first steps at the Argentine's top division. He made his pro debut at Quimsa in 2010 with only 15 years of age. From then on, he had an amazing rise in the national league, which he won for the first time in the 2014/15 campaign.
Later, he moved to San Lorenzo for the 2016/17 season in a huge step forward in his career. He won two back-to-back championships there, being named the Finals MVP twice and the league's MVP in the second one. Moreover, he was also crowned with San Lorenzo in the 2018 FIBA Americas League, in which he was selected as the tournament's MVP.
After such outstanding performances, 'Tortu' signed with Real Madrid. There, he won three Spanish Supercups, one Liga ACB, and another Copa del Rey. Deck has also featured for the Argentina national team, winning the gold medal in the 2019 Pan American Games and finishing as runner-up at the FIBA World Cup held in China that same year.
13 - Facundo Campazzo
A much more experienced player, Facundo Campazzo is currently living his first season in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets. After a long career that began in his country and continued in Spain, 'Facu' is taking advantage of every minute of action he gets, even though they aren't too much.
After an extremely successful stint at Argentine team Peñarol, the point guard spent many years with Real Madrid, even though that span was halted when he moved on loan to Murcia. Having performed incredibly in that team, he won a place back in the Spanish giants, where he went on to have a better spell with ten trophies. Campazzo has been a figure in the national team and deservedly earned a place in the NBA.
12 - Patricio Garino
Garino's time at the NBA didn't last long, but he fulfilled the dream that any basketball player would have of making it to such a big stage. He started from scratch with George Washington University in college basketball, and then took part in the 2016 preseason with San Antonio Spurs. Later, he joined Austin in the G-League and finally accomplished his main goal of reaching the NBA with Orlando Magic, where he played five games at the end of the 2016/17 season.
11 - Nicolás Laprovittola
The point guard earned a spot with the San Antonio Spurs for the 2016/17 season and featured alongside the likes of Manu Ginobili in his short span in the NBA. He played 18 games, averaging 3.3 points per game, 1.6 assists per game, and 0.6 rebounds per game.
10 - Juan Ignacio Sánchez
The point guard was one of the first Argentinian players to land at the NBA, making an important step for that country's basketball and leading the way for the ones who arrived later. Sánchez got into the league after playing college basketball with Temple University. However, he couldn't perform at his best at the elite competition in the US.
9 - Rubén Wolkowyski
The other Argentine who made it into the NBA for the first time simultaneously with Sánchez. Wolkowyski played his rookie season with the Seattle SuperSonics, then moved to Boston Celtics, but he didn't last long there.
8 - Nicolás Brussino
The small forward jumped from the Argentine Liga Nacional directly to the NBA, where he amassed 54 games with the Dallas Mavericks in the 2016/17 season, although having few minutes of playing time. His following season in the US with Atlanta Hawks didn't work out well and he was released after four matches.
7 - Walter Herrmann
The 'Conde' played a huge part in Argentina's gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and had a good first season with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006/07 NBA season, averaging almost 10 PPG. He was named as Rookie of the Month once, and his one-year contract was extended for another campaign, although he moved to Detroit Pistons then, and played there until 2009.
6 - Pablo Prigioni
Despite he landed at the NBA as the oldest rookie ever, making his debut at 35 years of age, Prigioni played a part for the New York Knicks for a bit more than two seasons. The veteran point guard proved to be a useful asset for them, and then he showed it again with Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers.
5 - Fabricio Oberto
After playing seven years abroad in Greece and Spain, Oberto signed with San Antonio Spurs in 2005 to join his compatriot Manu Ginóbili. Both of them went on to win the 2007 NBA championship, becoming the only two Argentinian players that won at least a ring so far - Manu then claimed more.
Even though he didn't play the role he had at Spain before, Oberto earned an important place in Spurs' roster, which included many other superstars. He then played for Washington Wizards in the 2009/10 season and the following year moved to Portland, but heart conditions forced him to step out soon.
4 - Carlos Delfino
Another historic member of the national team, Delfino became the first Argentine to be selected on the first round of the NBA Draft with the 25th pick by the Detroit Pistons. Four seasons later, he moved to Milwaukee Bucks with a remarkable improvement in his game, and then spent one campaign featuring for the Houston Rockets, where he arguably reached his highest level.
3 - Andrés Nocioni
Nocioni landed in the NBA in 2004 to begin a four-and-a-half-year spell with the Chicago Bulls, where he earned respect and fans grown fond of him. His second team in the league were the Sacramento Kings, and he later signed with the Philadelphia 76ers to wrap up eight great seasons at basketball's greatest competition.
2 - Luis Scola
Luifa had to wait to make his NBA debut for a while, as he was selected at the 56th pick of the 2002 Draft and finally took the court five years later, and even with another team. San Antonio Spurs drafted him at first, but his first minutes in the league were with the Houston Rockets, which became Scola's home for five seasons, and the place where he played at his best.
In each of those campaigns, the power forward averaged at least 10 PPG. He kept on shining at the top level despite his age, and the Argentina idol then featured for Phoenix Suns, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, and Brooklyn Nets. With 743 games played, Luis Scola is the second Argentine with the most NBA appearances.
1 - Emanuel Ginóbili
The first name that comes up to mind when thinking about Argentines at basketball's top competition. The greatest Argentinian to ever play in the NBA, Manu became a legend not only in his country but in San Antonio Spurs as well. His résumé speaks by itself: Four NBA rings, a two-time NBA All-Star, member of the iconic 'Big Three' alongside the likes of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, and 16 consecutive seasons playing only with the Spurs.
He inspired countless compatriots during his successful stint at the basketball elite competition and has been constantly praised not only for his talent but for his sportsmanship too. A role model for athletes, Manu Ginóbili's name will live forever in San Antonio's history, who retired his iconic No. 20 jersey, being the only Argentinian to date to be honored with such recognition.