Gabe Vincent is now playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and hopes to one day realize his dream of capturing an NBA title.
Lifting the prestigious Larry O’Brien Trophy would be an incredible achievement.
Yet so would something else, and it’s an aim that is even more important for Vincent.
He wants to take Nigeria, the national team he’s played for since the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China, to the top in international basketball. He might have to wait for a bit as Nigeria did not qualify for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, but the future is still bright for D’Tigers.
Vincent was asked by host JJ Reddick on The Old Man & Three podcast if he’d rather win an NBA Championship or a World Cup title/Olympic Gold Medal with Nigeria.
Vincent, who just signed a three-year deal for 33-million dollar deal with the Lakers after helping Miami reach the NBA Finals, answered: “This is a tough one because for me. Personally, I’ve been really looking forward to raising that Larry O’Brien Trophy.
“But knowing how much it would mean to the 400-plus million people in Nigeria, let along the 1-point something billion in the continent of Africa, that’s a hard one to pass up, you know, especially in this sport where African teams really haven’t had much of a footing.”
No African nation has reached the World Cup or the Olympic podium.
“I think that’d be, not only would it be fulfilling, and great, in its own way, but I think legacy wise, I think it would stand taller, stand a little longer,” Vincent said.
“So, I’m gonna reluctantly have to say [winning] with Nigeria. I think that would just be epic.”
Nigeria’s chances of winning a world title or the Olympic gold medal would be greater with Vincent, judging not only by his current form in the NBA but by how he played for D’Tigers.
At the World Cup 2019, the 1.90m (6’3″) guard averaged 11.4 points per game while his Olympic performance wasn’t as impressive in the Group Phase of the Olympics, yet the competition was fierce. Nigeria took on Australia, who won the bronze medal, as well as red-hot Germany and Italy, two teams that had just won FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.