Basketball News

The 7 most-successful Canadians to ever play in the NBA

The NBA is, by far, the most popular basketball league in the world and is considered to be home to the most elite of players. Of course, it’s not restricted to Americans and continues to be more inclusive, with stars thriving from countries like Slovenia, Spain, Germany, Argentina, and Canada getting to showcase their talents.

Canada, in particular, has been well represented in the NBA. The North American nation has a team in the league, the Toronto Raptors, who won the title for the first time in 2019 and likely lit up the Ontario sports betting scene during their run through the playoffs 

When it comes to players, Canada has had its fair share of top names. You can find seven of the most-successful Canadian players below.

1. Steve Nash Steve Nash is the most successful Canadian to play in the NBA, on a personal front, as he won back-to-back MVP awards during the span of his 18-year career. He may yet go on to find more success as a coach – he’s now the head coach of the Brooklyn nets. 

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nash moved to Canada when he was 18 months old. One of the best point guards to ever play the game, he was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 1996. The former star was traded to the Dallas Mavericks two years later before being traded back to the Suns after a six-year stint. He spent the next eight years with Phoenix and would close his career out with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Apart from being a two-time MVP, Nash was an eight-time All-Star who made it to three All-NBA First Teams and two All-NBA Second Teams. He was also named as part of one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history during the NBA’s 75th season (2021/22).

2. Rick Fox was one of the most important pieces of Phil Jackson’s threepeat Lakers. He started out as a rotation player but earned his first-team opportunities with the Boston Celtics before moving to L.A. Fox started all 82 games in his first year with the team but was relegated to the bench thereafter. He forced his way back into the starting lineup and would help the team win three straight championships in the early 2000s.

3. Tristan Thompson Tristan Thompson was a key member of the Cavaliers side that won the NBA title in 2016. The Ontario native now plays for the Chicago Bulls and is no longer considered to be a marquee name, but during the Cavs’ championship year, as well as the earlier Cleveland years, was one of the most formidable big men under the basket. 

4. Bill Wennington Don’t laugh. Bill Wennington is one of the old guys but he was a pretty successful player as he was on one of the Chicago Bulls’ threepeat teams alongside Michael Jordan. 

Wennington, who hails from Quebec, was drafted as the 16th overall pick by the Dallas Mavericks in 1985. He joined the Bulls as a free agent in 1993 and played as the backup center to Luc Longley. His ability to hit jumpers from the midrange allowed the Bulls to draw opposing centers out of the lane, making it easier for the likes of Jordan and Scottie Pippen to drive to the basket. 

After the team broke up, Wennington played a final season with the Sacramento Kings, where he’d spent a season before moving to Italy and then signing with Chicago. A three-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls, Wennington also won a championship with Virtus Bologna in Italy.

5. Jamaal Magloire Jamaal Magloire played in the NBA for 12 seasons, coming in via way of the No.19 selection by the Charlotte Hornets in 2000. He wasn’t an immediate success but put in the work to become an All-Star by the 2003/2004 season, during which he averaged a double-double

Magloire also played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and the Raptors.

6. Andrew Wiggins is currently in his eighth year as a pro in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors small forward is on the championship trail with the Dubs, who have a legitimate shot at glory this season with both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson firing on all cylinders, while Jordan Poole is having a breakout campaign. 

Wiggins was drafted as the first overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, becoming the second Canadian to go No.1 in the draft, behind Anthony Bennet. He was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves before the start of the 2014-15 season. In 2020, he was traded to the Warriors and has become an important part of their core and started in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.

7. Jamal Murray It’s still early for Jamal Murray, but certainly he’s shown a lot of promise when he was healthy. Murray is one of the most exciting point guards to watch but, unfortunately, has been sidelined with injury for over a year. Drafted as the seventh overall pick by the Denver Nuggets in 2016, Murray has become a star in the NBA and has shown he has what it takes to become a Hall of Famer someday.

Keep in mind that this list doesn’t even include Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dillon Brooks, and RJ Barrett – all great Canadians that we included in our list last year no doubt these three young stars will move up this list if they continue making the strides they have made in their careers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.