NBA features 108 non-US players, record 16 from Canada
NEW YORK, USA – The 2019-20 NBA season opens with 108 international players from 38 nations, including 16 Canadians – a record for the most players from any non-US nation – the league announced.
It is the sixth consecutive season the NBA has opened with more than 100 players from beyond US borders.
The league set records with 113 global players from 42 non-US nations to begin the 2016-17 and 2017-18 campaigns.
Nine Australians, 8 Frenchman, 7 Croatians and 6 Serbians are the biggest groups from other nations on NBA opening night rosters.
Six Canadians were taken in June's NBA Draft, breaking the record of 5 French players in 2016.
Among NBA clubs, the Dallas Mavericks have an NBA-high 7 international players. The Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns each have 6. The Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Wizards all have 5.
The NBA's 74th campaign begins with a record 30 players who took part in the league's Basketball Without Borders development program.
Among them are Canadian RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks, Spaniard Marc Gasol of reigning NBA champions Raptors, and Cameroonian Joel Embiid of the 76ers.
Last year's NBA award winners included Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, the Most Valuable Player, Slovenian Luka Doncic of the Mavericks, the NBA Rookie of the Year, Cameroonian Pascal Siakam of the Raptors, the Most Improved Player, and Frenchman Rudy Gobert of the Jazz, the Defensive Player of the Year.
Atlanta Hawks' Bruno Fernando could become the first Angolan to play in an NBA game.
Wizards' Rui Hachimura and Grizzlies' Yuta Watanabe could make history as the first two Japanese players to play in the NBA during the same season. – Rappler.com