Discover the cream of the crop from the Land of Maple Leaf as we round up the five greatest Canadian NBA players of all time.
Basketball has come a long way since its invention in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891. Over the years, the game has spread. We not only have American and Canadian NBA players, but talent from across the globe. It has captivated fans and produced some truly formidable athletes.
Canada is no exception, having been a hotbed of NBA talent for countless years. This article will look at the top five Canadian NBA players of all time.
5. Rick Fox
From Toronto, Ontario, Rick Fox may be better known as an actor to some, but he was a key member of the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty in the early 2000s.
Fox spent seven seasons in LA, winning three championships alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. The small forward played 930 games, averaging 9.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.
Fox’s basketball career began at Warsaw Secondary School in Warsaw, Indiana. He later attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He played four years of college basketball before entering the 1991 NBA draft.
4. Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson, born in Toronto, Ontario, has become one of the most reliable big men in the NBA. Drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011, he played a key role in the team’s championship run in 2016. Thompson’s rebounding and defensive abilities have consistently been one of the best in the league.
Aside from Cleveland, the power forward has played for the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics. He signed for the LA Lakers in April 2023.
Thompson’s basketball career began at St. Marguerite d’Youville Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. He later attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he played one year of college basketball before entering the NBA draft.
3. Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray, born in Kitchener, Ontario, has become one of the most dangerous shooters in the NBA. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 2016 and has since emerged as one of the team’s top players. Murray is known for his clutch shooting and his ability to take over games in the fourth quarter. He has already made a name for himself in the league. He earned All-Rookie Second Team honors in 2017 and helped Denver reach the Western Conference Finals in 2020.
Murray’s basketball journey began in his hometown of Kitchener. The point guard went to high school at Grand River Collegiate Institute. He later enrolled in Orangeville Prep before playing one year of college basketball at the University of Kentucky.
2. Andrew Wiggins
Andrew Wiggins, born in Toronto, Ontario, is one of the most exciting young players in the NBA today. The small forward was the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. He has since played for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors.
Wiggins has already had a successful career. The Canadian earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 2015 and has averaged over 20 points per game in multiple seasons. He became an All-Star and NBA champion in 2022.
Wiggins’ journey to the NBA began at a young age. He was born to a basketball family; his father Mitchell played professionally in Europe. His mother Marita represented Canada in track and field at the 1984 Olympics. Wiggins was heavily recruited out of high school and ultimately chose to attend the University of Kansas for one year before entering the NBA draft.
1. Steve Nash
Steve Nash, born in South Africa but raised in Victoria, British Columbia, is widely considered one of the best point guards to ever play the game. Nash played for the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Lakers over his 18-season career. He was an eight-time NBA All-Star, a two-time NBA MVP, and a five-time member of the All-NBA First Team.
Nash’s impact on the game goes beyond his individual accomplishments. He is widely credited with revolutionizing the way point guards play the game, thanks to his fast-paced, high-scoring style.
Nash’s success in the NBA is even more impressive when you consider his humble beginnings. He was not heavily recruited out of high school, and only received one scholarship offer, from Santa Clara University. Despite this, he became one of the most successful players in the history of the league.