International players in NBA All-Star weekend highlight global reach | Inquirer Sports
NBA

International players in NBA All-Star weekend highlight global reach

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 07:28 PM February 17, 2022

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 28: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts to a three point shot against the New York Knicks during the fourth quarter at Fiserv Forum on January 28, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

FILE– Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Stacy Revere / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

MANILA, Philippines—NBA’s global influence continues as four of the starters in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game are international players including reigning MVP Nikola Jokic of Serbia and two-time winner Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece.

Jokic (Denver Nuggets) and Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) will start for Team LeBron while Cameroon’s Joel Embiid and Canada’s Andrew Wiggins will suit up for Team Durant.

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Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) of Slovenia is included in LeBron James’ reserves while Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz) of France is part Kevin Durant’s bench.

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Fil-American coach Eric Spoelstra of the Miami Heat, meanwhile, will coach Team Durant in the All-Star Game.

The All-Star Game, however, isn’t the only mid-season exhibition that would feature an international flare as six players born outside the United States are included in the Clorox Rising Stars challenge.

Josh Giddey OKC Thunder

Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on December 23, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

Josh Giddey (Oklahoma City Thunder) of Australia, Precious Achiuwa (Toronto Raptors) of Nigeria, Chris Duarte (Indiana Pacers) of the Dominican Republic, Alperen Şengün (Houston Rockets) of Turkey, Franz Wagner (Orlando Magic) of Germany, and Dyson Daniels (NBA G League Ignite) of Australia are part of the young players’ showcase.

In tune with the All-Star Game’s international flavor, NBA Philippines will also have programs in celebration of the mid-season spectacle.

Republika Huddle, the league’s social media talk show in the Philippines, will revisit previous editions of NBA All-Star Weekend with Meralco head coach Norman Black giving his predictions for this year’s marquee event.

Filipino-Australian singer Ylona Garcia will also cover the festivities in Cleveland.

The 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend will start on February 19 (February 20, Manila time).

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