Basketball & Race, NBA

What percentage of NBA players are Black and how many players are white?

The NBA is predominantly comprised of Black players — that’s a fact, but even though it’s very apparent, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information breaking down the exact numbers from year to year. Race can obviously be a very sensitive topic — especially in today’s climate.

With the NBA recently announcing that they planned on restarting the season, their well-laid out plans were announced as civil unrest and protests around the world exploded. It comes as no surprise that a few NBA players have spoken out publicly against starting the league up that would distract from the powerful Black Lives Matter movement. Their point is that the non-Black world is finally laser-focused on racial inequality and the social injustice that the Black community has faced over generations.

With that in mind, we’re going to try to approximate the percentage of Black players in the NBA.

Methodology: What percentage of the NBA is Black?

The curious question of the NBA’s racial break down isn’t uncommon.

Most often it’s centering around Black players as they’re the obvious majority. Much less often are people searching for the approximate percentage of white players in NBA. Sometimes those questions are asked for more problematic reasons that enforces stereotypes — other times they’re just curious.

To figure out the answer to that question, we first had to find out how many NBA players are in the league at any given time. From that, we would have to research each individual’s background to determine not just their race, but their nationality and where they were born.

We’d obviously like to be as accurate as possible, but because of the complexities of race sometimes it wasn’t always easy to check off one of the boxes. In those couple dozen of cases and for the purpose of this exercise, we used the eye test. This might seem like oversimplification, but as unfortunate as this reality is, the fact of the matter is if you look even remotely Black in the United States, you are considered (and treated as) so.

That’s obviously to say that this wasn’t scientific even if our intent was to be as accurate as possible. That said, the percentages we came out to should be viewed as approximations — give or take a couple percentage points.

How Many Black Players Are in the NBA?

Scraping’s player page on June 15, 2020, there was a total of 497 players that were on an NBA roster at some point in the 2019-20 season. We took that list and analyzed each NBA player’s birthplace, race and nationality. From there, we simply added up the different categories and divided it by 497 and this is what our numbers looked like.

The answer to the number of Black players in the NBA is, including mixed race and biracial players with a Black parent, were 403. Those 403 Black players accounted for 81.1% of all players in the 2019-20 season. The NBA had 89 white players (including players from Europe, etc.) during this season; making up 17.9% of all NBA players.

Percentage of Black Players in NBA
Race Count %
Black 403 81.1%
White 89 17.9%

This percentage of Black players has increased by 6.7% since 2015 when the Racial and Gender Report Card was released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

In that report, the league was just under 3/4th Black at 74.4% of the league. This was followed by white players at 23.3% and the final 2% was made up of Latino/Hispanic players of any race and Asian players.

In our research, we also identified 62 players that were biracial or multiracial – that comprised 12.5% of the league. We think our numbers on multiracial players in the NBA is the first of it’s kind. In fact, we’d put money on it at as we’ve researched in attempting to identify any data on biracial players. Not even the Racial and Gender Report Card says anything about multiracial or biracial players, coaches, staff or personnel.

Every NBA Player from 2019-20

As of June 15th, 2020, here’s the full list of all the players, their race and birth country. As we mentioned above, our research was strictly identifying players from online research as best as we could, so please let us know if we incorrectly identified a player as Black, mixed race, or otherwise.

List of All NBA Players' Races (2019-20)
First Name Last Name Race Born Notes
Steven Adams Mixed/Polynesian New Zealand
Bam Adebayo Black USA
LaMarcus Aldridge Black USA
Nickeil Alexander-Walker Black/Mixed Canada
Kyle Alexander Black Canada
Grayson Allen White USA
Jarrett Allen Black USA
Kadeem Allen Black USA
Al-Farouq Aminu Black Nigeria
Kyle Anderson Black/Mixed USA
Giannis Antetokounmpo Black Greece
Kostas Antetokounmpo Black Greece
Thanasis Antetokounmpo Black Greece
Carmelo Anthony Black USA
OG Anunoby Black England
Ryan Arcidiacono White USA
Trevor Ariza Black USA Hispanic/Venezuelan
D.J. Augustin Black USA
Deandre Ayton Black Bahamas
Dwayne Bacon Black USA
Marvin Bagley III Black USA
Lonzo Ball Black/Mixed USA
Mo Bamba Black USA
J.J. Barea White/Puerto Rican Puerto Rico Hispanic
Harrison Barnes Black USA
RJ Barrett Black USA
Will Barton Black USA
Keita Bates-Diop Black USA
Nicolas Batum Black France
Aron Baynes White Australia
Kent Bazemore Black USA
Darius Bazley Black USA
Bradley Beal Black USA
Malik Beasley Black USA
Marco Belinelli White Italy
DeAndre' Bembry Black USA
Dragan Bender White Croatia
Davis Bertans White Latvia
Patrick Beverley Black USA
Khem Birch Black Canada
Goga Bitadze White Georgia
Bismack Biyombo Black Congo
Nemanja Bjelica White Serbia
Eric Bledsoe Black USA
Bogdan Bogdanovic White Serbia
Bojan Bogdanovic White Serbia
Bol Bol Black Sudan
Jordan Bone Black USA
Isaac Bonga Black Germany
Devin Booker Black/Mixed USA
Chris Boucher Black St. Lucia
Brian Bowen II Black/Mixed USA
Ky Bowman Black USA
Avery Bradley Black USA
Tony Bradley Black USA
Jarrell Brantley Black USA
Ignas Brazdeikis White Lithuania Canadian
Mikal Bridges Black USA
Miles Bridges Black USA
Oshae Brissett Black Canada
Malcolm Brogdon Black/Mixed USA
Dillon Brooks Black/Mixed USA
Charles Brown Jr. Black USA
Troy Brown Jr. Black USA
Bruce Brown Black USA
Jaylen Brown Black USA
Moses Brown Black USA
Sterling Brown Black USA
Jalen Brunson Black USA
Thomas Bryant Black USA
Reggie Bullock Black USA
Alec Burks Black USA
Deonte Burton Black USA
Jimmy Butler Black USA
Bruno Caboclo Black Brazil Hispanic
Devontae Cacok Black USA
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Black USA
Vlatko Cancar White Slovenia
Clint Capela Black Switzerland
DeMarre Carroll Black USA
Wendell Carter Jr. Black USA
Michael Carter-Williams Black/Mixed USA
Jevon Carter Black USA
Vince Carter Black USA
Alex Caruso White USA
Willie Cauley-Stein Black USA
Tyson Chandler Black USA
Wilson Chandler Black USA
Joe Chealey Black USA
Zylan Cheatham Black USA
Chris Chiozza Black/Mixed USA
Marquese Chriss Black USA
Brandon Clarke Black USA
Gary Clark Black USA
Jordan Clarkson Black/Mixed Philippines
Nicolas Claxton Black USA
Chris Clemons Black USA
Antonius Cleveland Black USA
Amir Coffey Black USA
John Collins Black USA
Zach Collins White USA
Mike Conley Black USA
Pat Connaughton White USA
Quinn Cook Black USA
Robert Covington Black USA
Torrey Craig Black USA
Jae Crowder Black USA
Jarrett Culver Black USA
Seth Curry Black USA
Stephen Curry Black USA
Troy Daniels Black USA
Anthony Davis Black USA
Ed Davis Black USA
Terence Davis Black USA
Dewayne Dedmon Black USA
Matthew Dellavedova White Australia
DeMar DeRozan Black USA
Cheick Diallo Black Mali
Hamidou Diallo Black USA
Gorgui Dieng Black Senegal
Spencer Dinwiddie Black USA
Donte DiVincenzo White USA
Luka Doncic White Slovenia
Luguentz Dort Black Canada
Damyean Dotson Black USA
Sekou Doumbouya Black France
PJ Dozier Black USA
Goran Dragic White Slovenia
Andre Drummond Black USA
Jared Dudley Black/Mixed USA
Kris Dunn Black USA
Kevin Durant Black USA
Carsen Edwards Black USA
Wayne Ellington Black USA
Joel Embiid Black Cameroon
James Ennis III Black USA
Drew Eubanks White USA
Jacob Evans Black USA
Dante Exum Black/Mixed Australia
Tacko Fall Black Senegal
Derrick Favors Black USA
Cristiano Felicio Black Brazil Hispanic
Terrance Ferguson Black USA
Bruno Fernando Black Angola
Yogi Ferrell Black USA
Dorian Finney-Smith Black USA
Bryn Forbes Black/Mixed USA
Evan Fournier White France
De'Aaron Fox Black USA
Melvin Frazier Jr. Black USA
Michael Frazier Black USA
Markelle Fultz Black USA
Wenyen Gabriel Black Sudan
Daniel Gafford Black USA
Danilo Gallinari White Italy
Langston Galloway Black USA
Darius Garland Black USA
Marc Gasol White Spain Hispanic
Rudy Gay Black USA
Paul George Black USA
Taj Gibson Black USA
Harry Giles III Black USA
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Black/Mixed USA
Rudy Gobert Black France
Brandon Goodwin Black USA
Aaron Gordon Black/Mixed USA
Eric Gordon Black USA
Devonte' Graham Black USA
Treveon Graham Black USA
Jerami Grant Black USA
Josh Gray Black USA
Danny Green Black/Mixed USA
Draymond Green Black USA
JaMychal Green Black USA
Javonte Green Black USA
Jeff Green Black USA
Blake Griffin Black/Mixed USA
Marko Guduric White Serbia
Kyle Guy White USA
Rui Hachimura Black/Asian Japan
Donta Hall Black USA
Tim Hardaway Jr. Black USA
James Harden Black USA
Maurice Harkless Black USA
Jared Harper Black USA
Montrezl Harrell Black USA
Gary Harris Black USA
Joe Harris White USA
Shaquille Harrison Black USA
Tobias Harris Black USA
Isaiah Hartenstein Mixed USA
Josh Hart Black USA
Udonis Haslem Black USA
Jaxson Hayes Black/Mixed USA
Gordon Hayward White USA
John Henson Black USA
Dewan Hernandez Black USA Trinidad/honduran
Juancho Hernangomez White Spain Hispanic
Willy Hernangomez White Spain Hispanic
Tyler Herro White USA
Kevin Hervey Black USA
Mario Hezonja White Serbia
Buddy Hield Black Bahamas
George Hill Black USA
Solomon Hill Black USA
Jaylen Hoard Black France
Aaron Holiday Black USA
Jrue Holiday Black USA
Justin Holiday Black USA
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Black USA
Richaun Holmes Black USA
Rodney Hood Black USA
Al Horford Black Dominican Republic Hispanic
Talen Horton-Tucker Black USA
Danuel House Jr. Black USA
Dwight Howard Black USA
William Howard Black France
Kevin Huerter White USA
De'Andre Hunter Black USA
Chandler Hutchison Black USA
Serge Ibaka Black Spain Hispanic
Andre Iguodala Black USA
Ersan Ilyasova White Turkey
Joe Ingles White Australia
Brandon Ingram Black USA
Kyrie Irving Black USA
Jonathan Isaac Black USA
Wes Iwundu Black USA
Jaren Jackson Jr. Black USA
Frank Jackson Black/Mixed USA
Josh Jackson Black USA
Justin Jackson Black/Mixed USA
Reggie Jackson Black USA
Justin James Black/Mixed USA
LeBron James Black USA
DaQuan Jeffries Black USA
Ty Jerome Mixed USA
Alize Johnson Black USA
BJ Johnson Black USA
Cameron Johnson Black/Mixed USA
James Johnson Black USA
Keldon Johnson Black USA
Stanley Johnson Black USA
Nikola Jokic White Serbia
Derrick Jones Jr. Black USA
Damian Jones Black USA
Tyus Jones Black/Mixed USA
DeAndre Jordan Black USA
Cory Joseph Black Canada
Mfiondu Kabengele Black Canada
Frank Kaminsky White USA
Enes Kanter White Turkey
Luke Kennard White USA
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Black USA
Louis King Black USA
Maxi Kleber White Germany
Brandon Knight Black USA
Kevin Knox II Black USA
John Konchar White USA
Furkan Korkmaz White Turkey
Luke Kornet White USA
Kyle Korver White USA
Rodions Kurucs White Latvia
Kyle Kuzma Black/Mixed USA
Skal Labissiere Black Haiti
Jeremy Lamb Black USA
Romeo Langford Black USA
Zach LaVine Black/Mixed USA
Vic Law Black USA
Jake Layman White USA
TJ Leaf White USA
Jalen Lecque Black USA
Courtney Lee Black USA
Damion Lee Black USA
Alex Len White Ukraine
Kawhi Leonard Black USA
Meyers Leonard White USA
Caris LeVert Black USA
Damian Lillard Black USA
Nassir Little Black USA
Kevon Looney Black USA
Brook Lopez Black/Mixed USA Hispanic/Cuban
Robin Lopez Black/Mixed USA Hispanic/Cuban
Kevin Love White USA
Kyle Lowry Black USA
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot Black/Mixed France
Trey Lyles Black/Mixed USA
Sheldon Mac Black USA
Ian Mahinmi Black France
Thon Maker Black Sudan
Terance Mann Black USA
Boban Marjanovic White Serbia
Lauri Markkanen White Finland
Caleb Martin Black/Mixed USA
Cody Martin Black/Mixed USA
Jeremiah Martin Black USA
Kelan Martin Black USA
Frank Mason Black USA
Garrison Mathews White USA
Wesley Matthews Black USA
Patrick McCaw Black USA
CJ McCollum Black USA
T.J. McConnell White USA
Jalen McDaniels Black USA
Doug McDermott White USA
JaVale McGee Black USA
Rodney McGruder Black USA
Alfonzo McKinnie Black USA
Jordan McLaughlin Black USA
Ben McLemore Black USA
Jordan McRae Black USA
Nicolo Melli White Italy
De'Anthony Melton Black USA
Chimezie Metu Black Nigeria
Khris Middleton Black USA
Darius Miller Black USA
Malcolm Miller Black USA
Paul Millsap Black USA
Patty Mills Black/Mixed Australia Aboriginal
Shake Milton Black USA
Donovan Mitchell Black USA
Naz Mitrou-Long Black/Mixed Canada
Adam Mokoka Black France
Malik Monk Black USA
Matt Mooney White USA
E'Twaun Moore Black USA
Ja Morant Black USA
Juwan Morgan Black USA
Marcus Morris Sr. Black USA
Markieff Morris Black USA
Monte Morris Black USA
Johnathan Motley Black USA
Emmanuel Mudiay Black Congo
Mychal Mulder Adopted Canada
Dejounte Murray Black USA
Jamal Murray Black/Mixed Canada
Dzanan Musa White Bosnia
Mike Muscala White USA
Svi Mykhailiuk White Ukraine
Abdel Nader White Egypt Middle Eastern
Larry Nance Jr. Black/Mixed USA
Shabazz Napier Black USA
Raul Neto White Spain Hispanic
Georges Niang Black/Mixed Senegal
Joakim Noah Black/Mixed USA Swedish/French
Nerlens Noel Black USA
Jaylen Nowell Black USA
Frank Ntilikina Black France
Kendrick Nunn Black USA
Jusuf Nurkic White Bosnia
Royce O'Neale Black USA
Kyle O'Quinn Black USA
Semi Ojeleye Black Nigeria
Jahlil Okafor Black USA
Elie Okobo Black France
Josh Okogie Black Nigeria
KZ Okpala Black USA
Victor Oladipo Black USA
Kelly Olynyk White Canada
Miye Oni Black USA
Cedi Osman White Turkey
Kelly Oubre Jr. Black USA
Tariq Owens Black USA
Jabari Parker Black USA
Eric Paschall Black USA
Anzejs Pasecniks White Latvia
Patrick Patterson Black USA
Chris Paul Black USA
Gary Payton II Black USA
Elfrid Payton Black USA
Norvel Pelle Black Saint John's — Antigua and Barbuda
Theo Pinson Black USA
Mason Plumlee White USA
Jakob Poeltl White Austria
Sir'Dominic Pointer Black USA
Vincent Poirier White France
Jordan Poole Black/Mixed USA
Kevin Porter Jr. Black USA
Michael Porter Jr. Black/Mixed USA
Otto Porter Jr. Black USA
Jontay Porter Black/Mixed USA
Bobby Portis Black USA
Kristaps Porzingis White Latvia
Dwight Powell Black/Mixed USA
Norman Powell Black USA
Taurean Prince Black USA
Chasson Randle Black USA
Julius Randle Black USA
Josh Reaves Black USA
Cam Reddish Black USA
JJ Redick White USA
Naz Reid Black USA
Cameron Reynolds Black USA
Josh Richardson Black USA
Austin Rivers Black/Mixed USA
Andre Roberson Black USA
Glenn Robinson III Black USA
Duncan Robinson White USA
Jerome Robinson Black USA
Mitchell Robinson Black USA
Isaiah Roby Black/Mixed USA
Rajon Rondo Black USA
Derrick Rose Black USA
Terrence Ross Black USA
Terry Rozier Black USA
Ricky Rubio White Spain Hispanic
D'Angelo Russell Black USA
Domantas Sabonis White Lithuania
Luka Samanic White Croatia
JaKarr Sampson Black USA
Dario Saric White Croatia
Tomas Satoransky White Czech Republic
Admiral Schofield Black England
Dennis Schroder Black Germany
Mike Scott Black USA
Thabo Sefolosha Black Switzerland
Collin Sexton Black USA
Landry Shamet Black/Mixed USA
Marial Shayok Black Canada
Pascal Siakam Black Cameroon
Chris Silva Black Gabon
Ben Simmons Black/Mixed Australia
Kobi Simmons Black USA
Anfernee Simons Black USA
Alen Smailagic White Serbia
Marcus Smart Black USA
Dennis Smith Jr. Black USA
Ish Smith Black USA
Zhaire Smith Black USA
Tony Snell Black USA
Ray Spalding Black USA
Omari Spellman Black USA
Max Strus White USA
Edmond Sumner Black USA
Caleb Swanigan Black USA
Jayson Tatum Black USA
Jeff Teague Black USA
Garrett Temple Black USA
Daniel Theis White Germany
Khyri Thomas Black USA
Matt Thomas White USA
Klay Thompson Black/Mixed USA
Tristan Thompson Black USA
Matisse Thybulle Black/Mixed France
Juan Toscano-Anderson Black/Mixed USA Hispanic/Mexican
Karl-Anthony Towns Black/Mixed Dominican Republic Hispanic
Gary Trent Jr. Black USA
Allonzo Trier Black USA
P.J. Tucker Black USA
Rayjon Tucker Black USA
Evan Turner Black USA
Myles Turner Black USA
Jonas Valanciunas White Lithuania
Denzel Valentine Black/Mixed USA
Jarred Vanderbilt Black USA
Fred VanVleet Black/Mixed USA
Gabe Vincent Black Nigeria
Noah Vonleh Black USA
Nikola Vucevic White Montenegro
Dean Wade White USA
Moritz Wagner White Germany
Dion Waiters Black USA
Lonnie Walker IV Black USA
Kemba Walker Black USA
John Wall Black USA
Brad Wanamaker Black USA
T.J. Warren Black USA
P.J. Washington Black USA
Yuta Watanabe Asian/Mixed Japan
Tremont Waters Black/Mixed USA Puerto Rican
Paul Watson Black USA
Quinndary Weatherspoon Black USA
Russell Westbrook Black USA
Coby White Black USA
Derrick White Black/Mixed USA
Hassan Whiteside Black USA
Andrew Wiggins Black Canada
Robert Williams III Black USA
Nigel Williams-Goss Black/Mixed USA
Grant Williams Black USA
Johnathan Williams Black USA
Kenrich Williams Black USA
Lou Williams Black USA
Marvin Williams Black USA
Zion Williamson Black USA
D.J. Wilson Black/Mixed USA
Dylan Windler White USA
Justise Winslow Black USA
Christian Wood Black USA
Kenny Wooten Black USA
Justin Wright-Foreman Black USA
Delon Wright Black USA
Thaddeus Young Black USA
Trae Young Black/Mixed USA
Cody Zeller White USA
Ante Zizic White Croatia
Ivica Zubac White Croatia

The countries that had the most players represented in the NBA could have put together their own NBA teams. Canada’s profile has been growing as a basketball hotbed. In the 2019-20 season, there were 14 Canadians on NBA rosters while France boasted 12 NBA players. Rounding out the top six countries in this respect were Serbia (8), Australia and Spain (6), then Croatia and Nigeria were tied with five players each.

If you’ve come across any problems in our list or have questions about the methodology, please put them in the comments. We’ll do our best to update this list on an ongoing basis.


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