Top 10 Best Asian Basketball Players in The NBA (2022-2023)

Discover the top 10 best Asian basketball players in the NBA, showcasing their skills, achievements, and contributions to the game. This blog post celebrates these talented athletes and their journey to success in the competitive world of professional basketball.

Basketball has evolved into a global sport, and the NBA stands as a testament to its international appeal. In recent years, Asian players have risen to prominence, showcasing their exceptional talent and skills on the grand stage of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In this blog post, we will explore the top 10 Asian basketball players who have made a significant impact in the NBA. From their awe-inspiring performances to their unwavering determination, these athletes have earned the respect and admiration of fans worldwide. So, let’s dive into the exciting world of Asian basketball excellence in the NBA!

Best Asian Basketball Players

The Rising Stars

Jeremy Lin – Breaking Barriers and Inspiring Millions

Jeremy Lin, often referred to as “Linsanity,” is a Taiwanese-American point guard who captured the world’s attention during his incredible stint with the New York Knicks. Lin’s breakthrough performance in 2012 showcased his exceptional skills, inspiring millions of young basketball enthusiasts across Asia and beyond. His ability to lead his team and make crucial plays on the court earned him a devoted fan following and opened doors for many Asian talents in the NBA.

Rui Hachimura – Representing Japan with Grace and Power

A versatile forward hailing from Japan, Rui Hachimura, has quickly become one of the most promising young players in the NBA. With his imposing presence in the paint and an ever-improving offensive game, Hachimura has become a crucial part of the Washington Wizards. He carries the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, proudly representing Japan and paving the way for future Japanese basketball stars.

The Legends

Yao Ming – Dominating the Court with Unparalleled Skill

A towering figure both on and off the court, Yao Ming is an iconic basketball player from China. Standing at an impressive 7 feet 6 inches, Yao’s dominant presence in the paint made him a force to be reckoned with during his time with the Houston Rockets. His contributions to the game extended beyond his playing career, as he became a global ambassador for basketball, helping to promote the sport’s popularity in China and worldwide.

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Yi Jianlian – A Versatile Forward with Finesse

Yi Jianlian’s journey from China to the NBA showcased his exceptional talent as a versatile forward. Known for his smooth shooting touch and excellent footwork, Yi played for multiple NBA teams, leaving a mark with his skill and finesse on the court. His success inspired young Asian players to dream big and pursue their basketball dreams relentlessly.

The Impactful Guards

Jordan Clarkson – A Scoring Machine with Filipino Roots

Born to an American father and a Filipino mother, Jordan Clarkson has been a vital asset for the Utah Jazz with his explosive scoring abilities. The Filipino-American guard has earned numerous accolades during his NBA career and has become a role model for aspiring basketball players in the Philippines. His electrifying performances on the court have solidified his position as one of the best Asian guards in the league.

Patty Mills – A Steadfast Leader from Down Under

While Patty Mills hails from Australia, his impact on the NBA and the Asian basketball community cannot be overlooked. As a seasoned point guard for the San Antonio Spurs, Mills exemplifies leadership and tenacity on the court. Off the court, he has been actively involved in various charitable initiatives, using his platform to make a positive impact on society.

The Defensive Prowess

Zhou Qi – Protecting the Rim with Tenacity

Zhou Qi from China is known for his defensive prowess and shot-blocking abilities. His incredible wingspan and shot-blocking instincts make him a formidable presence in the paint. Although injuries have tested his resilience, Zhou Qi’s dedication to the game and passion for improvement continues to inspire young Asian players aspiring to make their mark in the NBA.

Also Read: How To Jump Higher In Basketball

Yuta Watanabe – The Japanese “Swiss Army Knife”

Yuta Watanabe, also known as the “Chosen One,” is a versatile forward from Japan. His ability to contribute across various facets of the game, from scoring to defending, has earned him recognition as a “Swiss Army Knife” on the court. Yuta’s journey from an undrafted player to a valuable asset for the Toronto Raptors is a testament to his hard work and perseverance.

The Rising Centers

Wang Zhelin – A Chinese Center with Great Potential

Wang Zhelin is a young and talented Chinese center who has the potential to make a significant impact in the NBA. Standing tall at 7 feet, Wang possesses an array of post moves and soft shooting touch. His growth and development in the NBA will undoubtedly be followed closely by fans across Asia and beyond.

Hamed Haddadi – A Pioneering Force from Iran

Hamed Haddadi, a legendary Iranian center, blazed a trail for players from the Middle East to make their presence felt in the NBA. With his towering height and shot-blocking prowess, Haddadi showcased the immense talent that exists beyond traditional basketball powerhouses. His journey inspires players from all corners of the world to dream big and work hard to achieve their goals.


Who is the first Asian player to play in the NBA?

Answer: The first Asian player to play in the NBA was Wataru Misaka, a Japanese-American, who made his debut in the league in 1947.

Are there any Asian players in the NBA Hall of Fame?

Answer: Yes, Yao Ming, the legendary Chinese center, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, recognizing his extraordinary contributions to the game.

Which Asian player holds the record for the most points scored in a single NBA game?

Answer: Jeremy Lin holds the record for the most points scored by an Asian player in a single NBA game, with 38 points in a game during the 2012 “Linsanity” period.

How has the presence of Asian players influenced the popularity of the NBA in Asia?

Answer: The presence of Asian players in the NBA has significantly boosted the popularity of the league in Asia. It has created a massive fan following across the continent, leading to increased viewership and engagement with the sport.

Who is the youngest Asian player to be drafted into the NBA?

Answer: The youngest Asian player to be drafted into the NBA is Rui Hachimura from Japan, who was selected in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft.

How do Asian players cope with the challenges of cultural adaptation while playing in the NBA?

Answer: Cultural adaptation is undoubtedly a challenge for Asian players in the NBA. They often face language barriers and cultural differences, but their passion for the game and determination to succeed helps them overcome these obstacles.


The journey of Asian basketball players in the NBA is a testament to the unifying power of sports and the potential it holds to break barriers and inspire generations. From the rising stars to the legendary figures, each player’s unique journey showcases the diversity and talent present in the global basketball community. As the NBA continues to grow as a global brand, the contributions of Asian players remain instrumental in bridging cultures and celebrating the beautiful game of basketball.

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