c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a NBA Rosters Now Include 125 International Players from 40 Nations
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NBA Rosters Now Include 125 International Players from 40 Nations

The NBA is breaking records once again with its international player representation. The 2023-24 season sees a record-breaking 125 international players from 40 countries and territories on opening-night rosters. Canada and France lead the way with 26 and 14 players respectively. This marks the third consecutive season that at least 120 international players have been featured on opening-night rosters and the 10th straight season with at least 100 international players. Every NBA team has at least one international player on their roster.

Canada continues to be the most-represented country outside of the U.S., followed by France, Australia, Serbia, and Germany. Nigeria and Turkey also have a strong presence with five players each. Europe boasts the highest number of players with 64, including notable stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Dončić, and Nikola Jokić. Africa is also well-represented with 15 players, including reigning MVP Joel Embiid.

The Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder lead the league with eight international players each. The Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs closely follow with seven international players each, while the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns have six. This international presence adds excitement and diversity to the league, showcasing the global reach and popularity of basketball.

In addition to the record-breaking numbers, there are several notable storylines for the upcoming season. Three international players have won the last five Kia NBA MVP Awards, with Embiid, Jokić, and Antetokounmpo dominating the competition. The NBA General Managers Survey also predicts that these three players have a strong chance of winning the MVP award for the 2023-24 season. Furthermore, there are 15 international players on opening-night rosters who have been NBA All-Stars.

The NBA's commitment to global basketball development is evident with the inclusion of players who have participated in the Basketball Without Borders program. Many of these players, such as Deandre Ayton, Joel Embiid, and Pascal Siakam, have benefitted from the program and gone on to have successful NBA careers. Additionally, a record four NBA Academy graduates are featured on opening-night rosters, highlighting the effectiveness of the league's elite basketball development program.

It's not just international players who are adding diversity to the league. Many American players also have ties to other countries, showcasing the melting pot of cultures within the NBA. The league's global appeal is further highlighted by the fact that the NBA regular season will be broadcast in 214 countries and territories in over 50 languages.

Overall, the NBA's international player representation continues to grow, breaking records year after year. This global presence not only adds excitement and talent to the league but also promotes the sport of basketball on a global scale. The NBA's commitment to fostering international talent through programs like Basketball Without Borders and NBA Academy is paying off, as seen by the increasing number of international players making an impact in the league.

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