NBA Opens with Over 100 Foreign Players

NBAThe 2014/2015 NBA season is about to tip off and anyone who said Basketball is an American sport is sorely mistaken. There are now over 100 foreign players on rosters in the NBA, and they are not only part of the franchises they are an integral part of the league. The NBA, like Basketball as a sport, is now truly a global phenomenon and while we know of the likes of Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili, there are plenty of new foreign players ready to make a mark on the biggest stage.

The NBA season tips off with three games on Tuesday evening, the Orlando Magic entertain the New Orleans Pelican and the Dallas Mavericks play host to league champions the San Antonio Spurs in an all-Texas clash. Later in the evening, the Houston Rockets get underway at home to the LA Lakers.

While the US-based players will be looking for show-stopping hoops, the foreign players will also be in the mix and bringing some big plays to the hardwood. There will be 101 registered international players on rosters throughout the league at the start of the season; those players represent 37 countries around the globe. A large number of Europeans now ply their trade in the NBA, while some other are making their league debut.

Some are making their long-awaited step up to the NBA, such as Bojan Bogdanovic, Nikola Mirotic, and Zoran Dragic, all of whom have bided their time and come to the league arguably at the peak of their powers. Mirotic is heading to the Chicago Bulls, who have long courted the former Real Madrid man since picking him up from the Rockets three years ago. Mirotic will now hook up with fellow Spanish international Pau Gasol with the Bulls and he could serve as a key factor in Mirotic settling into the franchise.

Bogdanovic is another who will feel he served his dues in Europe and deserves a serious shot at the NBA. The Croatian has had chances to head to the US before, but various factors prevented a final switch. Now playing some of the best hoops of his life, Bogdanovic could become a key player for the Brooklyn Nets. As for Zoran Dragic, the younger brother of Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic will be joining his sibling at the Arizona franchise. Dragic will unlikely figure as a starter during his first few months, but if he can find his touch at the perimeter he will become a big player as the season progresses.

There are some youngsters joining the Basketball Association too, with Jusuf Nurkic, Clint Capela, and Damien Inglis all coming to the US with an age of 20 years or younger. Nurkic has been on the radar of NBA teams for some time and has found his way to the Denver Nuggets. The 20-year-old is unlikely to find many minutes on the court, but he is a talented 213 cm player, so Denver will be looking to nurture him in the coming season.

Another 20-year old making his NBA debut is Clint Capela, who will be linking up with the Houston Rockets. Collecting the awards for Best Young Player and Most Improved Player in the French ProA, he is extremely talented and given the opportunity could prove to be a surprise package this season. Damien Inglis is the youngest NBA rookie from Europe this season, arriving to the Milwaukee Bucks with plenty of potential at 18 years of age. He is probably too young to fulfill that potential this term, but he will be looking to impress and have a long-term future in the league.

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