Published By: Admin

Top 3 greatest Canadian Players ever in the NBA

These are the best examples of NBA greatness from Canada!

Throughout the history of the NBA, 54 basketball players hailing from Canada have pursued careers in the professional league. Among them, 30 are either presently active in the NBA or have participated in at least one game during the 2023–24 season. Notably, standout player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander stands out as the premier talent among this cohort. Recently, former NBA point guard Stephon Marbury hailed Gilgeous-Alexander as the greatest player ever to emerge from Canada. However, there were others whose example SGA followed. 

Steve Nash

Career Stats: Averaging 14.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.1 blocks per game, 

Career Achievements and Awards:  two MVP titles, eight All-Star selections, seven All-NBA Team nods, and five Assists Champ awards. 

Regarded as the pinnacle of Canadian talent in the NBA, Steve Nash is revered for his illustrious career as one of the league's finest point guards. He spearheaded an innovative and potent offence for the Phoenix Suns during the 2000s, operating under the guidance of coach Mike D’Antoni. Nash's journey to NBA stardom began in 2002, when he earned his first All-Star nod with the Dallas Mavericks, marking his sixth season in the league. In his Mavericks tenure spanning from 1999 to 2004, Nash demonstrated his skills, maintaining an average of 14.6 points and 7.2 assists per game. This performance earned him two All-Star selections and two All-NBA Team Third Team honours. Transitioning to the Phoenix Suns, Nash enjoyed a successful reunion with the team that initially drafted him. Over the subsequent eight seasons, he played a pivotal role in leading the Suns to notable achievements, averaging 14.4 points and 9.4 assists per game while maintaining impressive shooting percentages of 50/40/90. Nash's contributions were instrumental in the Suns' success, particularly in 2005 and 2006, when he secured consecutive MVP honours, averaging 17.2 points and 11.0 assists per game. In recognition of his stellar career, Steve Nash was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018, becoming only the second Canadian player to receive such an honour, following Bob Houbregs in 1987.

Andrew Wiggins

Career Stats: With career averages of 18.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game, 

Career Achievements and Awards: NBA Championship, the 2014-15 Rookie of the Year award, one All-Star selection, and inclusion in the 2014-15 All-Rookie Team.

Andrew Wiggins holds the second spot among the NBA's greatest Canadians. As the former No. 1 overall draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wiggins faced the harsh realities of the NBA business early in his career when he was traded to the Timberwolves in exchange for Kevin Love before making his NBA debut. Despite initial challenges, Wiggins highlighted his potential by securing the Rookie of the Year award with the Timberwolves. He averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game, emphasising his scoring prowess and defensive abilities. Over the next five seasons with the Timberwolves, Wiggins continued to excel, averaging 19.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. His journey took a new direction when he joined the Golden State Warriors, where he experienced both highs and lows. In 2022, Wiggins had a standout season with the Warriors, playing a pivotal role in their NBA Championship victory. He showed his flexibility by dominating on both ends of the court, particularly slowing down key opponents defensively while contributing offensively with 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game during the postseason. With nearly 10,000 career points and 3,000 rebounds, Wiggins is one of the best Canadian players in NBA history, leaving a lasting legacy on the league.

Jamal Murray

Career Stats: With career averages of 17.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game, 

Career Achievements and Awards: Murray's accomplishments include an NBA Championship and selection to the 2016-17 All-Rookie Team. 

Despite a lack of individual accolades, Jamal Murray has established himself as one of the premier Canadian players in NBA history. After an encouraging rookie season that earned him fifth place in Rookie of the Year voting, Murray seamlessly transitioned into a full-time starting role for the Denver Nuggets in his second season. Since then, Murray has consistently performed at an All-Star level for the Nuggets, contributing significantly to the team's success. Even without formal acknowledgment for his outstanding performance, Murray's impact on the court has been undeniable. After encountering a setback with a torn ACL in 2021, Murray endured a year and a half on the sidelines. However, his triumphant return during the 2022–23 NBA playoffs saw him exhibit his talent, averaging 26.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game with a shooting accuracy of 47.3%. Murray's stellar performance played a crucial role in leading the Denver Nuggets to their first-ever NBA Championship.

This list goes to show that Shai has great players to look up to. From MVPs to NBA championships, Canadians have made an impact in the league.