The 34 Best NBA Players in History Who Weren’t Born in America


The NBA is the greatest basketball league in the world. The Association boasts the top talent, best salaries and biggest franchises. But over the years, more and more foreign players began putting their names in for the draft, and are joining the best American players. In fact, this season the NBA has a record 113 international athletes playing in the league, and I’m willing to bet some of you thought at least one of two of these players were American.

Steve Nash – Canada

The Canadian is probably one of the best foreign players, and overall players, to never win a ring. Nash made a name for himself during his 19-year career, including two MVP titles. He was drafted 15th overall by the Suns in 1996 but was traded two seasons later to the Mavericks. He played in Dallas for six seasons before returning to Phoenix. Eventually he retired at the end of the 2013-14 season, after playing for the Lakers for two seasons.


Yao Ming – China

The Chinese big man was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. Ming was number one overall draft pick in 2002, going to the Houston Rockets. During his career he was an 8-time NBA All-Star and was named twice to the All-NBA Second Team. Ming averaged 19 points per game and 9.2 rebounds. But like several others on this list, Ming also retired from the NBA without a ring.