Over the past decade there has been a big increase in the number of foreign-born players in the NBA.
The three stars on the NBA's reigning champion, the San Antonio Spurs, are Tim Duncan (Virgin Islands), Tony Parker (France) and Manu Ginóbili (Argentina). Their rivals in this years Western playoffs are the LA Lakers who have six players who were raised overseas including the NBA's MVP, Kobe Bryant.
The New York Times', Billy Witz, writes that this is no accident. All of these athletes and others like Steve Nash (Canada) and Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), are former soccer players who benefited from international football's emphasis on footwork, angles, spacing, and movement without the ball.
The article is linked here.