NBA : A record 120 international players including 9 French for the 2022-23 season

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The NBA reports that a record 120 international players from 40 countries were on the roster at the opening of the 2022-23 season ! France is represented by 9 players including “two-way contracts”.

The NBA regular season kicked off this Tuesday! And for the ninth consecutive season, the American league has at least 100 international players in the 30 franchises. Each of them has at least one international player (who is not from the United States).

Canada (23 players) is the most represented country outside the United States, followed by Australia and France tied with nine players. Germany is behind with six players. Nigeria, Serbia and Spain have five players each. A total of 58 European players are then on the roster at the season opener.

One franchise stands out for its presence of international players in its workforce: the Toronto Raptors who have eight! The Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings have seven international players each. Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz have six each.

Worth noting :

  • Two international players have won the last four MVP trophies, Nikola Jokić (Nuggets; Serbia; 2021-22 and 2020-21) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks; Greece; ties with Nigeria; 2019-20 and 2018-19).
  • For the first time in NBA history, in the TOP 3 for the 2021-22 MVP title were only international players – Jokić, Joel Embiid and Antetokounmpo.
  • At least five international players have made the All-NBA team every season since 2018-19.
  • In the General Managers’ Poll, Luka Dončić (Mavericks; Slovenia), Antetokounmpo and Embiid were voted the No. 1, 2 and 3 players most likely to win the 2022-23 trophy (48 percent, 34 percent and 13 percent of the vote).
  • There are 14 international players present at the season opener who were NBA All-Stars: Antetokounmpo, Dončić, Goran Dragić (Bulls; Slovenia), Embiid, Rudy Gobert (Timberwolves; France), Al Horford (Celtics; Dominican Republic), Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets; Australia), Jokić, Kristaps Porzingis(Wizards; Latvia), Domantas Sabonis (Kings; Lithuania), Siakam, Ben Simmons (Nets; Australia), Nikola Vučević (Bulls; Montenegro) and Andrew Wiggins (Warriors; Canada).

Photo : Rudy Gobert

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