This year's 2013 National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals had the unique distinction of featuring the most international players (10) in the history of the league, a glimpse as to how far the globalization of the game has grown.
Between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, there were players from Canada (Heat center Joel Anthony and Spurs guard Corey Joseph), France (Spurs guard Tony Parker, center Boris Diaw, and guard Nando de Colo), Australia (guard Patrick Mills), Brazil (center Thiago Splitter), and Argentina (Manu Ginóbili) well represented in the championship series.
"The Spurs are the poster child for the new face of the NBA," says Terry Lyons, former NBA vice president, International Communications, who served as one of the league's key liaison to the United States Olympic Committee, Fédération Internationale deBasket-ball (FIBA), and EuroLeague Basketball - the top basketball pro league in Europe. "You have league MVPs and Finals MVPs that are coming out of our pool of 80 international players that can flat out play. You have coaches that would sell their souls to get players of that caliber on their team."