Koufos one of four Euronuggets

BallinEurope will be celebrating NBA Opening Day with lots of stuff centered on the big league; firstly, BiE takes stock of Continental ballers in the ‘States.

Taking a look at this year’s roundup, we note that 53 Europeans have been named to NBA clubs’ 15-man roster, just beating the pace of the 52 listed in 2010-11. (BiE didn’t take the tally for last season because, you know, things were kinda confusing during the lockout and all…)

And quite a few teams have seriously European-tinted rosters: Five teams go into the 2012-13 NBA season with four Continental players – and of these 20 players, perhaps only Sasha Pavlovic and Evan Fournier are marginalized at the lower end of the 15-man rosters. If one includes Ty Lawson as an honorary Lithuanian (for at least one more season), the Denver Nuggets could put an all-Euro squad on the floor with Lawson heading up an admittedly odd lineup of Fournier, Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov.

The team-by-team breakdown goes as follows.

NBA teams with four Europeans listed on the extended roster: Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors.

Three: San Antonio Spurs, with a “Trio Grande” of Tony Parker, Nando de Colo and Boris Diaw.

Two: Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards.

One: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz.

Zero: Miami Heat, New Orleans Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings.

Returning soon — we can only hope

In terms of national representation, some 21 countries may now boast players in the NBA. Naturally, France and Spain still lead the way with 11 and six players among the league’s 450; Turkey chases them with four and things rapidly even out thereafter as a five nations have produced three players each.

Most interesting may be the case of Serbia: That country’s NBA representatives are a trio of hangers-on, with Pavlovic clinging to the no. 15 spot in Portland, Vladimir Radmanovic somehow getting with Chicago and the inimitable Darko. Could we soon see the first NBA season with a Serbian since the days of Vlade Divac…?

Country-by-country breakdowns follow.

Bosnia & Herzegovina (1) – Mirza Teletovic (Brooklyn Nets)

Britain (3) – Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls), Ben Gordon (Charlotte Bobcats), Joel Freeland (Portland Trail Blazers)

Czech Republic (1) – Jan Vesely (Washington Wizards)

France (11) – Nicolas Batum (Portland Trail Blazers), Rodrigue Beaubois (Dallas Mavericks), Nando de Colo (San Antonio Spurs), Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Fournier (Denver Nuggets), Ian Mahinmi (Indiana Pacers), Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), Johan Petro (Atlanta Hawks), Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards) Ronny Turiaf (Los Angeles Clippers)

Georgia (2) – Zaza Pachulia (Atlanta Hawks), Tornike Shengelia (Brooklyn Nets)

Germany (1) – Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)

Greece (1) – Kosta Koufos (Denver Nuggets)

Israel (1) – Omri Casspi (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Italy (3) – Andrea Bargnani (Toronto Raptors), Marco Belinelli (Chicago Bulls), Danilo Gallinari (Denver Nuggets)

Latvia (1) – Andris Biedrins (Golden State Warriors)

Darko!

Lithuania (3) – Linas Kleiza (Toronto Raptors), Donatas Motiejunas (Houston Rockets), Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto Raptors)

Montenegro (1) – Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic)

Poland (1) – Marcin Gortat (Phoenix Suns)

Russia (3) – Andrei Kirilenko (Minnesota Timberwolves), Timofey Mozgov (Denver Nuggets), Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Serbia (3) – Darko Milicic (Boston Celtics), Sasha Pavlovic (Portland Trail Blazers), Vladimir Radmanovic (Chicago Bulls)

Slovenia (2) – Goran Dragic (Phoenix Suns), Beno Udrih (Milwaukee Bucks)

Spain (6) – Jose Calderon (Toronto Raptors), Victor Claver (Portland Trail Blazers), Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies), Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Sweden (2) – Jonas Jerebko (Detroit Pistons), Jeffery Taylor (Charlotte Bobcats)

Switzerland (1) – Thabo Sefolosha (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Turkey (4) – Omer Asik (Houston Rockets), Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee Bucks), Enes Kanter (Utah Jazz), Hedo Turkoglu (Orlando Magic)

Ukraine (1) – Viacheslav Kravtsov (Detroit Pistons)

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