Record 101 international players on NBA rosters to open season

4:08 | NBA
Chris Mannix's NBA Mailbag
Tuesday October 28th, 2014

The NBA announced Monday that a record 101 international players from 37 countries are on team's opening rosters ahead of the 2014-15 season.

The number surpasses the old record of 92 international players, set last year.

For the third straight season, the San Antonio Spurs lead the league in international players. This year, the team has nine, including France's Tony Parker and Boris Diaw and Argentina's Manu Ginobli.

Canada has the most players on NBA roster with 12, including last two No. 1 picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett of the Minnesota Timberwolves, followed by France (10) and Australia (eight). Brazil is leads the South American countries with seven players, while 2014 FIBA World Cup finalist Serbia has one.

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The news of the record came the same day it was reported that the NBA has formed an unprecedented partnership with the top domestic league in Brazil in an attempt to continue to try and expand its international presence.

International teams played NBA teams in a record nine preseason games on North American soil this year, and five preseason games were played across Berlin, Istanbul, Beijing, Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro.

The league has also played regular season games in other countries. Two are planned for this season, with the Houston Rockets playing the Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City on Nov. 12 and the Milwaukee Bucks playing the New York Knicks in London on Jan. 15.

The NBA's announcement of the record number of international players did lead to some controversy, however. In an email responding to the news, Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber reportedly used the word "hoodish" in an apparent joke about learning new languages for the team's five international players.

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In a later email, Guber expressed regret and said his phone must have autocorrected to "hoodish" from "Yiddish."

The 2014-15 NBA season begins Tuesday with three games, including the defending champion San Antonio Spurs hosting the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Houston Rockets.

Ben Estes

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