Updated: April 1, 2003, 12:16 PM ET
By By Tim Keown, ESPN The Magazine
It would be difficult to find a more unlikely international provocateur than Jiri Welsch. If you've heard of Welsch, you know he's a little-used Golden State rookie, an undistinguished member of one of the NBA's most undistinguished teams. He is shy and nonthreatening, a reserved reserve.

But his reticence, and the attendant lack of profile, makes Welsch an intriguing case study in the future of an increasingly multicultural NBA. The rise in foreign-born playersnow comprising roughly 17% of the leaguehas set up a collision of nationalism and globalism.