It's hard to explain how much Arvydas Sabonis is loved in Lithuania. Imagine if you take Michael Jordan... but everyone in the country is a Chicago Bulls fan. And sports other than basketball don't matter. And he is not a miserable mean-spirited prick. Wait, this is not about Michael Jordan. It's not even really about Arvydas Sabonis.
But we have to start with Arvydas Sabonis, who is not only Lithuania's unquestionable greatest athlete of all time, but also a symbol of it breaking away from the Soviet Union. For without Arvydas, there would not be Domantas, following his father's footsteps in the NBA.
Domantas is currently on the Sacramento Kings, helping turn a laughable franchise into an up-and-comer. He led the whole league in rebounds and was third team All-NBA this year. He is damn good... maybe not as good as his father at the peak of his powers, but really, really good.
And he just might become the greatest Jewish basketball player ever. Yes, the bar is low, and yes, he still has to go a bit to top Dolph Schayes, and yes, we say "might" with a caveat here — at the time of this writing, Domantas has not completed his conversion for his Jewish wife, Shashana Rosen. But hell, he is studying Judaism and keeping Kosher. Pretty tough when you spend your offseasons in very Catholic, pork-loving Lithuania.
That being said, becoming the greatest Jewish basketball player is not such a hard task. Becoming the greatest Lithuanian basketball player?
He'd have to pass dad.