The global expansion of Basketball as a Sport and business-wise vision have evolved through the years. The National Basketball Association (NBA) have had a great impact on the former subject.
As a matter of fact, the first International player in the NBA was an Italian born Hank Biasatti ,raised in Canada. We are flashing back to 1946.
Fast-forward to 1992. The “Dream Team” in the Olympic Games rose the interest in the sport internationally. The following table will help observing the consequent rise of the NBA “Product”, numbers on the opening day rosters:
|NBA Season||International Players||Countries|
The 2017-2018 NBA Season started already breaking records.
There were registered 108 International players from 42 different countries. It is the fourth consecutive season that opening night rosters display at least 100 international players. Moreover, every team from all 30 had at least one international player.
Additionally, NBA teams can sign up to two two-way players to NBA contracts. This means that the former contracts allow two-way players to be with their NBA “parent” team for up to 45 days, spending most of the season in the NBA G League.
- European NBA Players: 64
12 African-born Players.
Leading International Countries with NBA Players:
|Country||Number of International Players|
NBA Teams with most international players:
|NBA Team||Number of International Players|
|San Antonio Spurs||6|
|New York Knicks||5|
Hence, the enriching game of Basketball has been reaching breaking television rights contratcs. People are into basketball, more than ever. Jerseys purchase, NBA Global Games and NBA Cares.
Therefore, the game involves people globally, with global talent as already displayed by the number above.
Lastly, one specific young international talent has been on the spotlight within the beginning of the 2017-2018 season:
“The Greek Freak”.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 115 points through the first three games (115 minutes on the court). Antetokounmpo is averaging one point per minute and leads all starters.
Its possible to analyze that at the beginning of the season, 3 out of the 5 leading points per minute are international athletes (at that point):
Giannis Antetokounmpo – 1.00 point per minute
Blake Griffin – 0.95
Stephen Curry – 0.91
Kristaps Porzingis – 0.88
Nikola Vučević – 0.87Nikola Vučević – 0.87
The international footprint is visible on the NBA. Reaching new horizons and heights. A few NBA teams are already fulfilling their roster with almost half of International players, in an American league.
It is good for business, for fans and, above all, for Basketball.