The Best Canadian NBA Players

In Europe and the rest of the world, when basketball, football and baseball are discussed America is the first and last country that springs to mind. Particularly in terms of basketball where most people outside of North America are shocked to find that the NBA is made up of a whole host of different nationalities.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

One country that definitely gets forgotten when it comes to basketball is Canada, but that’s a big mistake. Not only is the country home to an NBA team that won the Championship as recently as 2019, it’s also a big producer of basketball talent.
To honour that we’ve decided to pay homage to 5 of the best Canadians to have ever taken to the court in the NBA. Read on to find out who they are…

Andrew Wiggins

There are things in life that just sound wrong like ‘Virtual Reality’, ‘Jumbo shrimp’ and ‘Modern history’ but one of the biggest has to be describing 6 foot 7 Andrew Wiggins as a small forward – that man is huge!

We jest of course, we know that we could have referred to him as a power forward, but then what would we have done with our oxymoron joke? Anyway, we’re getting distracted and we really shouldn’t be because Andrew Wiggins is one hell of a player.

Wiggins started his professional NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2014 which is where he won his Rookie of the Year award. In 2020 he made the move to the Golden State Warriors and won his first NBA Championship 2 years later being named in the All-Star team along the way.

Whilst the latest NBA lines tell us that Wiggins and the Warriors are some way off the pace in terms of the betting for this season’s playoffs, time is still on the Canadians side. At only 29 he has plenty more seasons in him to add to his NBA ring collection.

(‘Small’ Forward Andrew Wiggins.)

Jamal Murray

Two years younger than Wiggins we have 27-year-old Jamal Murray from Kitchener, Ontario who currently plies his trade with reigning NBA Champions the Denver Nuggets. Point guard Murray started out his career with the Nuggets back in 2016 when he was the seventh overall pick in the Draft.

The following year he was named on the All-Rookie second team after which his career began to take off like a rocket. In 2019 he signed a five year contract extension with the Nuggets worth an estimated $170 million.

The best endorsement of his performances since then is that the hierarchy at the Nuggets have never once doubted their investment in Murray. He was a key part of the team that won the playoffs last season and has been in great form this season as he looks to help his team repeat last season’s feat.

Rick Fox

In life you sometimes come across someone who is sickeningly talented. The type of person that is good at whatever they put their hand to and Rick Fox is one of those people. Not only is he one of the best Canadian basketball players of all-time, he’s also an accomplished Film & TV actor, a businessman and a pretty handy gamer too.

During his basketball career he represented the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers winning 3 NBA Championships along the way. He was also included in the NBA All-Rookie Second team in 1992 and is, without a doubt, one of the best ballers to come from this country.

(Rick Fox’s best career – basketball – highlights.)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

There really is nothing like an NBA player’s name. They are either completely normal like the last entry or just as likely to be the name of a Medieval King as a basketball player. Introducing his most noble, his most honourable King Shai Gilgeous-Alexander IV.

Okay so we added in the ‘IV’ bit for fun, but there is an argument to be made that Gilgeous-Alexander deserves that type of introduction. The 25-year-old has twice been named in the NBA All-Star team in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

That was after being named on the NBA All-Rookie Second team in 2019 after his performances with Oklahoma City Thunder caught the eye. This season he has averaged 31.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game so it’s no stretch to imagine he’ll find himself on the All-Star team again.

Steve Nash

The best Canadian basketball player of all-time was born in Johannesburg, South Africa but don’t worry he’s definitely Canadian. His family move from the African Cape to Regina, Saskatchewan when he was only 18 months old.

In basketball his career encompassed spells at the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers before a brief coaching stint at the Brooklyn Nets from 2020 to 2022. During his time on the court he won 2 NBA MVP awards, made 8 NBA All-Star teams and was the leading assister in the league 5 times.

Unfortunately his international career was one of oh so nears as he won a silver and bronze medal at the 1999 and 2001 FIBA AmeriCup’s respectively. Despite this lack of an international title and a NBA Championship, Nash is undoubtedly the best Canadian to have ever played the game.

(Steve Nash was an unsung hero of the NBA.)