International Players in NBA
Opening-night team rosters for the 2010-11 NBA season feature a record 84 international players from 38 countries and territories. Twenty-eight of the 30 teams feature at least one international player. The league set its previous opening-night record in 2006-07, with 83 players from 37 countries and territories.
The Toronto Raptors have the most international players, with six, followed by the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz, with five each. Eight teams have four international players.
The Raptors are also the most internationally diverse team, with six countries represented: Australia, Brazil, Italy, Lithuania, Nigeria, and Spain. The Jazz roster features representation from five countries and territories: Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This year, Jamaica and Nigeria – countries that produced NBA legends Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon, respectively – return to the list.
France is the most represented country, boasting 11 players, followed by Turkey, with five. Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Serbia, and Spain each have four players on NBA rosters.
At the end of the 2009-10 regular season, the NBA featured 79 international players from 35 countries and territories on team rosters (both active and inactive). In comparison, ten years ago NBA rosters featured 45 international players from 28 countries and territories on opening night of the 2000-01 season.