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Famous Romanian Basketball Players in the NBA

It is not impossible for a country to have a representative in the NBA, specially if the country have really skilled players and very tall players.

Let us face it. Nowadays, even if a basketball player is really good, he can’t play professional basketball because of his height. A lot of basketball players today are not signed because they are small, even if they’re good basketball player. Height is really a huge factor, specially in basketball.

Why am I talking about height here? It is because the tallest basketball player who played in the NBA is a Romanian, but let’s discuss that in greater detail in a short while. Aside from the tallest player in the NBA, there is also one more Romanian basketball player that made the Romaninans proud.

Ernie Grunfeld

Ernest “Ernie” Grunfeld was born in April 24 of the year 1955 in Satu Mare, Romania. He was born in Romania however, he grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, New York City because his family immigrated from Romania to New York in the year 1964.

He played baketball in high school, and then in college, where he and his teammate Bernard King, which is also a former NBA player, made a verypromising tandem, they were even called the “Ernie and Bernie Show” and his height was already 6 ft. 6 in. then. Then his professional basketball career began. He was signed by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1977 NBA Drafts as the 11th pick in the first round of the NBA Drafts.

He played for the Milwaukee Bucks for just two seasons, 1977 to 1978 and 1978-1979, and then he was drafted to the Kansas City Kings. He played with the Kansas City Kings for three seasons, 1979-1982. After the season 1982, Grunfeld became a free agent, and he was then signed by the New York Knicks and played for them for four seasons and ended his NBA career in the year 1986. Ernie Grunfeld is now the general manager of the New York Knicks.

Gheorghe Muresan

Gheorghe Dumitru Muresan was born on the 14th day of February, year 1971 in Tritenii de Jos, Romania. He is 7 ft. 7 in. tall and is tied with Manute Bol as the tallest basketball player to be able to play in the NBA. Muresan played basketball ever since he was a kid, and he continued playing basketball and he played basketball at his school, Cluj University, and he also played professional basketball in French leagues.

Due to his height, the NBA took interest in him, so he was part of the 1993 NBA Drafts, where he was picked by the Washington Bullets as the 30th pick of the second round of the said drafts. He played for the Washington Bullets for two seasons, 1993-1994 and 1995-1996. Then he became a part of the New Jersey Nets team and played for the team for one season, 1998-2000, where his NBA career officially ended.


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