With the NBA regular season tipping off this week, now is a great time to look back at the players and states that have shaped the league over its eight-decade existence.
It’s not hard to argue California has shaped the NBA more than any other, producing more all-stars than any other state outside of New York.
It’s safe to say when the NBA All-Star Game comes to Salt Lake City in February at least one Californian will be in the lineup, joining the 45 others that have played in the yearly exhibition, dating back to the first contest in 1951.
Whether it’s an NBA legend like Bill Walton, Reggie Miller and Jason Kidd, or a contemporary star like Klay Thompson, California has long been front and center come All-Star weekend.
The list of notable California all-stars has placed it, alongside New York, atop the list of states that have produced the most players in the annual showcase.
BetCalifornia.com broke down the numbers to see how California stacks up against its peers when it comes to producing prodigal basketball talent. Here’s a look at where the state stands.
There is currently no legal California sports betting, and two initiatives on the November ballot that would legalize some form of sports wagering are lagging at the polls.
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Some noteworthy Californians to take part in the All-Star Game over the years include Gary Payton, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Dennis Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Baron Davis and Richard Jefferson.
The list of current NBA all-stars that hail from California include Kevin Love, Thompson, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and DeMar DeRozan.
The list of possible first-time NBA All-Stars from California in 2023 is headlined by players like Jalen Green, who made the NBA All-Rookie team in 2022 after averaging 17.3 points per game for the Houston Rockets.
Evan Mobley is another name to watch after a rookie campaign where the former USC Trojan compiled 15 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game, and a field goal percentage north of 50% for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Keep an eye on Lonzo Ball as a potential first-time All-Star in 2023 as well, coming off a fifth NBA season in which he averaged 13 points, 5.1 assists, and shot a career best 42.3% from behind the arc.
When sports betting does become legal in the state, BetCalifornia will be the place to be for California sportsbook promos.