As the NBA season gets ready to kick-off today, a record 113 international players will take the court this season. 41 countries and territories will be represented in opening night rosters for this basketball season.
2016-17 will be the third consecutive season that features at least 100 international players and all 30 teams in the league will feature at least one international player.
One such player will be British citizen and national basketball team member Luol Deng. He became nationalized in 2006 and will be spending this season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
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The 31-year-old will be looking to provide veteran leadership with one of the league’s historic franchises.
The former Blue Devil is just one of many international players suiting up for this season. Australia, who faced the U.S. team in Olympic play this year, has a number of players spread across the league.
The list includes: Andrew Bogut in Dallas, Matthew Dellavedova in Milwaukee and first-overall pick Ben Simmons in Philadelphia.
Other notable debuts include the Sixers rookie tandem of Dario Saric of Croatia and Joel Embiid from Cameroon. Philly’s squad has been proactive in scouting and securing promising international talent. The results in the preseason look to deliver dividends for their organization.
Canada’s burgeoning talent pool will also have an increased spotlight on opening night as Tristan Thompson claims his championship ring from last season’s finals. Other standouts including Andrew Wiggins and Cory Joseph will also look to make the playoffs with their teams.
The NBA has become a more global game and from the looks of things doesn’t look like it is slowing down anytime soon.