As opening night of the 2017-18 NBA season arrives, more eyes than ever before are set to be tuning in from down under, with a record nine Australians featuring on team rosters.
Ben Simmons, the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, will make his debut when the 76ers visit the Wizards on Wednesday night (US ET).
Veteran Andrew Bogut enters his thirteenth season, now appearing in a Lakers jersey – his fifth NBA team. Fellow veteran Patty Mills enters season number seven with the Spurs and his ninth overall in the NBA.
The Celtics will have a strong Australian flavor with both Kyrie Irving (formerly Cavs) and Aron Bynes (formerly Pistons) arriving in Boston during the summer. The focus on Irving, now a four-time All Star, has been significant as the Celtics look to atone for last season’s playoff loss to the Cavs.
As they did last last season, the Jazz also has a strong Australian connection with both Dante Exum and Joe Ingles securing roster spots, while the much-loved Matthew Dellavedova returns for his second season in a Bucks jersey and his fifth overall. Sudanese-born Australian Thon Maker joins Delly on the Bucks ahead of his second season in the NBA.
In total there are 108 international players from a record 42 countries and territories on opening-night rosters.