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Record 92 foreign players on NBA rosters to start season

Oct 29, 2013, 11:36 AM EST

SPO-BASKET-NBA-FINALS-SPURS-HEAT Getty Images

Just in case you had any doubt the NBA is a global league at the forefront of a global game…

There are a record 92 foreign players on NBA rosters to start the season hailing from 39 countries, the league announced. That is more than 20 percent of the league. The number is up from 84 players last season, and only three teams do not have a foreign player on the roster.

The numbers have grown as other countries have improved their basketball development programs, while at the same time NBA teams have invested more in scouting overseas looking for gems.

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As you might expect France, which just won the European Championships this summer behind Tony Parker, has the most NBA players with 10 (Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw and Evan Fournier are among the others). Canada now has an impressive eight players, from Steve Nash to the last No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett (and they could add next year’s No. 1 pick as well if that holds to form).

The team with the most foreign players… of course it’s the Spurs with seven. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili are all keys to that team and are foreign born.

Other big names include Kyrie Irving (he has dual United States and Australian citizenship), Serge Ibaka (Congo), Al Horford (Dominican Republic), Dirk Nowtizki (Germany), Luol Deng (Great Britain), and finally Spain gives us Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Ricky Rubio.

  1. RavenzGunnerz - Oct 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    And this is just the beginning. However, you have to wonder…

    with all the work the chinese govt put into developing talent, they still have 0 player in the NBA. Why in the world doesn’t the NBA at least try to “affirmative action” a Chinese player into the league?

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      It’s because Sun Yue, the Chinese Magic Johnson, didn’t get a fair chance.

    • bougin89 - Oct 29, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      Yao Ming?

  2. chiadam - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Don’t forget Metta World Artest, who is from outer space.

  3. wlouden77 - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    China has had players in the NBA.. just not currently

  4. savvybynature - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    If you are counting Duncan as foreign born (he is from a US province, so he isn’t really foreign), then the Spurs have more than 7 international players.
    Parker, Diaw & de Colo – France
    Manu – Argentina
    Duncan – Virgin Islands
    Belinelli – Italy
    Patty Mills & Aaron Baynes – New Zealand
    Cory Joseph – Canada
    Matt Bonner – Sandwichistan

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 29, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      Mills and Baynes are Australian.

  5. jimeejohnson - Oct 29, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    It’s the end of everything, just like when a Kenyan was elected President. This comment courtesy of white trash.

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