- Record 10 African and Nine Brazilian Players Highlight 2015-16 Opening Night Rosters -
NEW YORK, Oct. 27, 2015 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that 100 international players from 37 countries and territories are on opening night rosters for the 2015-16 season, marking the second consecutive year that opening night rosters feature at least 100 international players.
There are a record 10 African and a record nine Brazilian players on opening night rosters. Canada has the most of any country for the second straight year with a record-tying 12 NBA players. France comes in second for the second consecutive year with 10 NBA players. Australia features a record-tying eight players, while Croatia and Spain round out the top five with four NBA players each.
For the second consecutive year, all 30 NBA teams feature at least one international player. The Toronto Raptors lead the league with seven international players, while the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz each feature six. The Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets field five each, while the rosters of the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Orlando Magic each include four.
The NBA’s 70th season begins tonight with a doubleheader on TNT as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2015. In the first game, the Cavaliers visit the Bulls at 8 p.m. ET (Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 2 a.m. CAT). The NBA Champion Golden State Warriors (three international players) then host the New Orleans Pelicans (two international players) at 10:30 p.m. ET (Wednesday, Oct. 4.30 a.m. CAT). The Detroit Pistons (three international players) visit the Hawks at 8 p.m. ET (Wednesday, Oct. 2.00 a.m. CAT) on NBA LEAGUE PASS.
A number of high-profile international players will make their NBA debut during opening week, including: • Mario Hezonja (Croatia) and the Magic hosting the Washington Wizards, Thursday, Oct. 29 at 1a.m. CAT on NBA LEAGUE PASS. • Emmanuel Mudiay (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and the Nuggets visiting the Houston Rockets, Thursday, Oct. 29 at 2 a.m. CAT on NBA LEAGUE PASS. • Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia) and the Knicks taking on the Bucks in Milwaukee, Thursday, Oct. 29 at 2 a.m. CAT on NBA LEAGUE PASS.
NBA rosters at the start of the 2014-15 season featured a record 101 international players from 37 countries and territories. The league has established a major international presence, with games and programming available in 215 countries and territories and 47 languages and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents.
Below please find the list of African players on 2015-16 opening night rosters (active and inactive):
Cameroon Luc Mbah a Moute- Los Angeles Clippers Cameroon Joel Embiid- Philadelphia 76ers Cape Verde Walter Tavares-Atlanta Hawks Congo Serge Ibaka-Oklahoma City Thunder Democratic Republic of the Congo -Emmanuel Mudiay-Denver Nuggets Democratic Republic of the Congo -Bismack Biyombo-Toronto Raptors Greece/Nigeria Giannis Antetokounmpo-Milwaukee Bucks Nigeria Festus Ezeli-Golden State Warriors Senegal Gorgui Dieng- Minnesota Timberwolves South Sudan Luol Deng- Miami Heat Tunisia Salah Mejri- Dallas Mavericks