Milwaukee Bucks point guard Patrick Beverley recently reflected on his early career in Europe, particularly his time with Greek giants Olympiacos and competing in the EuroLeague.

Beverley shared his thoughts on the similarity between NBA and EuroLeague role players, arguing that the difference is negligible outside of the superstars.

He stated, “Take away the superstars, take away, I don’t know, half of the All-Stars… If you gave some guys that same opportunity you give guys in the NBA, you wouldn’t really know the difference.”

Beverley emphasized that beyond the elite players like Steph Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown, the skill level is comparable.

“I’m talking about role players and the players right above the role players,” he explained. “If you took those guys and just swapped them out and no one knew who their name was on the back of the jersey, you couldn’t tell the difference.”

According to Beverley, the primary difference lies in opportunity rather than talent, highlighting the high level of play and basketball IQ in Europe.

“Guys know how to play the right way, they play extremely hard. It’s built on a team game, they understand the game,” Beverley said, praising the strategic and intelligent play of EuroLeague athletes.

He recalled playing with Theodoros Papaloukas and Milos Teodosic, who were both renowned for their on-court intelligence and skill.

“From being over there, I’m talking about some of the greatest minds I done seen people have,” Beverley continued. “Theodoros Papaloukas, a guy who was a magician with the ball. Milos Teodosic, EuroLeague MVP, a guy who was a magician with the ball. But not just like smart on the court, actually just smart, like intelligent in life and just can show you things on the court that you be ‘Damn, I didn’t even see that.'”

Beverley noted that European players have been honing their skills since a young age, contributing to their high basketball IQ and adaptability.

He also pointed out the evolving physicality in European basketball, mentioning how size, speed, and skill are merging, producing players like Victor Wembanyama, Luka Doncic, and Nikola Jokic.

“You got to think these guys been doing this since they was 13, 14 years old… The skill set between the EuroLeague and NBA, the skill set it’s always been there. I think the size, speed, physicality is starting to combine in Europe with skill set. That’s why you see guys like [Victor Wembanyma] and guys like Luka [Doncic], and guys like [Nikola] Jokic,” Beverley said.