NBA opening-night rosters broke new ground this season, boasting a remarkable 125 players born outside the United States, according to an announcement from the league on Tuesday. This impressive figure represents an astounding 40 countries and territories, spanning across six continents
The new NBA season tips off Tuesday, marking the 10th straight year that opening-night rosters have had 100 or more international players. All 30 teams have at least one foreign-born player.
The previous record for international players was 121, set at the start of the 2017-2018 season and repeated at the beginning of the 2021-2022 season.
Apparently, Canada is once again the most-represented country outside of the United States, with 26 players.
The past five MVP awards have gone to international players: Joel Embiid (Cameroon, 2022-23), Jokic (Serbia, 2021-22 and 2020-21), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece, 2019-20 and 2018-19).
France is second with 14 players, including San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft and the most highly anticipated NBA prospect to take the court in recent memory. Wembanyama will make his regular-season debut Wednesday when the Spurs play the Dallas Mavericks.
Overall, 64 European players were included, with Serbian star and two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic hoping to lead his Denver Nuggets to a title repeat.
In conclusion, the Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder each have eight international players, followed by the Toronto Raptors and the Spurs with seven each. The Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns each have six.
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