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NBA NEWS - NBA rosters feature 107 international players from 41 countries

The Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons is from Australia - (Keith Allison photo)

 

The Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic hails from Slovenia - (NBA - photo)

 

The Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid is from Cameroon - (Keith Allison photo)

 

Former Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson and superstar player Michael Jordan teamed up to get the best out of each other

 

 

 

 

In addition to the 107 international players on 2020-21 opening-night rosters, there are 10 international players from a record-tying eight countries on “two-way” contracts, allowing them to play in up to 50 NBA games this season - For the seventh consecutive year, Canada (17 players) is the most-represented country outside of the U.S. - THIS DAY IN THE NBA

 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK USA

Wednesday December 23, 2020

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that 107 international players from 41 countries are on opening-night rosters for the 2020-21 season, including a record 17 Canadian players and a record-tying 14 African players. This marks the seventh consecutive season that opening-night rosters feature at least 100 international players. All 30 teams have at least one international player.

In addition to the 107 international players on 2020-21 opening-night rosters, there are 10 international players from a record-tying eight countries on "two-way" contracts, allowing them to play in up to 50 NBA games this season.

For the seventh consecutive year, Canada (17 players) is the most-represented country outside of the U.S., followed by France (nine players), Australia (eight players), Serbia and Germany (six players each).

The Washington Wizards have an NBA-high seven international players. The Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets each have six, while the New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors each have five.

The 2020-21 NBA season begins tonight with a doubleheader on TNT as part of NBA Tip-Off 2020. The first game features the Brooklyn Nets hosting the Golden State Warriors at 7 p.m. ET. In the second game, the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers take on the LA Clippers at 10 p.m. ET.

A record 34 players on opening-night rosters participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) prior to starting their NBA careers, surpassing the previous record of 30 set in 2019-20. Former BWB campers include Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011), Jamal Murray (Nuggets; Canada; BWB Global 2015) and Pascal Siakam (Raptors; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2012). BWB is the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and community outreach program that has seen 76 former campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents since 2001.

In addition to the 107 international players on 2020-21 opening-night rosters, there are 10 international players from a record-tying eight countries on "two-way" contracts, allowing them to play in up to 50 NBA games this season. There are also a number of American players with ties to other countries, including more than 30 players with at least one parent from Africa. Among the American players with ties to other countries are Jordan Clarkson (Utah Jazz; ties to the Philippines), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers; ties to Nigeria), Matisse Thybulle (76ers; ties to Australia and Haiti) and Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves; ties to the Dominican Republic).

The records for international players (113) and countries and territories represented (42) were set at the start of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, respectively.

o A record six international players were named to the 2019-20 All-NBA Team: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece; ties to Nigeria; All-NBA First Team); Luka Don?i? (Mavericks; Slovenia; All-NBA First Team); Nikola Joki? (Nuggets; Serbia; All-NBA Second Team); Siakam (All-NBA Second Team); Rudy Gobert (Jazz; France; All-NBA Third Team); and Ben Simmons (76ers; Australia; All-NBA Third Team).

o There are 14 international players on opening-night rosters who have been NBA All-Stars: Antetokounmpo, Don?i?, Goran Dragi? (Miami Heat; Slovenia), Embiid, Marc Gasol (Lakers; Spain), Gobert, Al Horford (Oklahoma City Thunder; Dominican Republic), Kyrie Irving (Nets; Australia), Joki?, Kristaps Porzingis (Mavericks; Latvia), Domantas Sabonis (Pacers; Lithuania), Siakam, Simmons and Nikola Vu?evi? (Orlando Magic; Montenegro).

o As part of the NBA.com 2020-2021 GM Survey, Antetokounmpo and Don?i? were voted the No. 1 and No. 2 players most likely to win 2020-21 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player (32% and 21% of votes, respectively), and tied for the No. 1 player with whom general managers would most want to start a franchise (43% of votes each). For the second straight season, Joki? was voted the best center in the NBA (50% of votes).

o Deni Avdija, who became the highest-drafted Israeli player ever when he was selected ninth overall by the Washington Wizards in the NBA Draft 2020 is scheduled to make his regular-season debut when the Wizards visit the 76ers on Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. ET on NBA League Pass.

o Killian Hayes, who became the highest-drafted French player ever when he was selected seventh overall by the Detroit Pistons, is scheduled to make his regular-season debut when the Pistons visit the Timberwolves on Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. ET on NBA League Pass.

o Nine players from or with at least one parent from Nigeria were selected in NBA Draft 2020, including Precious Achiuwa (Heat; Nigeria) and Udoka Azubuike (Jazz; Nigeria).


THIS DAY IN THE NBA

December 23, 1990 In a game that took 26 days to decide, the Boston Celtics downed the Atlanta Hawks 132-104 at the Garden. The game was originally scheduled to be played on November 28, but a wet playing surface, caused by condensation from the ice underneath the parquet floor, forced postponement of the game 90 seconds into the second quarter and the Celtics ahead 37-22.

December 23, 1992 Michael Jordan scored 57 points to lead Chicago over Washington 107-98, giving Bulls Coach Phil Jackson his 200th career victory, in an NBA record 270 games. December 23, 1994 Dana Barros of Philadelphia began a streak of 58 games in which he sank at least one three-point field goal, breaking the NBA record for a single season previously held by Michael Adams at 43.

December 23, 1997 Hall of Famer Les Harrison, who led the Rochester Royals to the NBA Championship in 1951 as owner, general manager and coach, died at the age of 93.

December 23, 1997 Chicago's Phil Jackson recorded his 500th victory as an NBA coach, reaching the mark in his 682nd game, faster than any other coach in NBA history.

December 23, 1999 The Philadelphia 76ers are selected to host NBA All-Star 2002, the NBA announced. NBA All-Star 2002 will include the 51st NBA All-Star Game, the events of NBA All-Star Saturday, the NBA TeamUp Celebration and the NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by Fleer. NBA All-Star 2002 will be held February 8-10, 2002. The First Union Center, which opened during the 1996-97 season, will host the NBA All-Star Game and the events of NBA All-Star Saturday, while the Pennsylvania Convention Center will play host to the NBA All-Star Jam Session. The city of Philadelphia and the 76ers were originally scheduled to host the 1999 NBA All-Star Weekend, which was cancelled due to a league work stoppage. This will mark the fourth time the NBA All-Star Game will be held in the city of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Warriors hosted the game in 1960 at Convention Hall, where 10,421 turned out to see the East top the West, 125-115, behind 25 points from Wilt Chamberlain.

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