Michel Cruz Mexico City / 13.11.2021 09:57:34 The NBA's 109 international players from 39 countries are on
Mexico City / 13.11.2021 09:57:34
The NBA’s 109 international players from 39 countries are on the rosters for the 75th anniversary season, including a new record for players from Canada (18), Germany (seven) and the Bahamas (three), plus the Nigerian players brand (five). The Toronto Raptors lead the league with 10 international players from nine countries on their opening night roster.
This is the eighth year in a row that the opening night rosters have featured more than 100 international players. The number of international players in the NBA has grown from five in the league’s first season in 1946-47 to a record 113 at the start of the 2016-17 season.
For the eighth year in a row, Canada is the most represented country outside the United States, followed by Australia, France and Germany (seven players each). Nigeria, Serbia, Spain and Turkey have five players each.
The Raptors boast the highest mark of 10 international players on their opening night roster, followed by the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder with seven international players each. The Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans have five each.
A record 35 of the players on the opening night rosters have participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) prior to their NBA careers, including Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011), Deandre Ayton (Suns from Phoenix; Bahamas; BWB Global 2016), Rui Hachimura (Wizards from Washington; Japan; BWB Global 2016) and Pascal Siakam (Raptors; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2012). BWB is the NBA and FIBA’s global community outreach and development program that has seen 90 former participants be drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents since 2001.
In addition to the 109 international players, there is a record 12 players from seven countries signed to two-way contracts, including six who have participated in BWB. There are also several players with ties to other countries including more than 30 players with at least one parent from an African country.
Among the American players with ties to other countries are Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat; ties to Nigeria), Jordan Clarkson (Utah Jazz; ties to the Philippines), Matisse Thybulle (76ers; ties to Australia and Haiti), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Golden State Warriors; Mexico) and Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves; ties to the Dominican Republic) and Kemba Walker (New York Knicks; Antigua).