Basketball: Foreign legion lines up for new NBA season; both Cavs and Warriors in action

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has his eye on another NBA title when he kicks off the new NBA season today.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has his eye on another NBA title when he kicks off the new NBA season today. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A diverse foreign legion of 100 players from 37 countries and territories will be represented when the new National Basketball Association season tips off, the league announced on Tuesday.

An NBA statement said it was the second year in a row where at least 100 or more international players featured in opening night rosters of the world's top basketball league.

A record 10 African players and a record nine Brazilian players were among the squads lining up for the start of the new season.

Canada was the biggest contributor of overseas players with 12 while France came in second for the second consecutive year with 10 players.

There were eight Australian players in the league while Croatia and Spain both contributed four players each.

The biggest foreign contingent are on the books of the Toronto Raptors, with seven, while the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz each featured six.

There were no players from China or Taiwan in the list released by the NBA.

The new season gets under way later Tuesday with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers facing the Chicago Bulls while the Golden State Warriors host the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Detroit Pistons also face the Atlanta Hawks.