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Is Leo Rautins preventing Steve Nash from playing on the Canadian National Team? Barbosa Thinks So.

What’s the deal?

I’m sure Canada Basketball officials were impressed to hear Leandro Barbosa, the Toronto Raptors new guard, pass this on from his friend and former Phoenix Suns teammate Steve Nash.

“He also said if (Jay Triano) was a coach he would have come back,” Barbosa said, referring to Canada’s national basketball team, which went 0-5 at the world championships in Turkey this summer.

Nash has said his days of playing for Canada are over, citing his wish to concentrate on his NBA career as he gets older.

But he has not said that it has anything to do with coaching. Does he have a problem with the team’s current coach, Leo Rautins?

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Nash, the hero from Canada’s 2000 Olympic team, does not owe anyone anything on the national team, but to hear that he might have played for Canada if they had a different coach, well, that makes one wonder.

If Triano, the Raptors head coach, was coaching Canada at next year’s Olympic qualifying tournament, would Nash play? Without Nash at that event, it’s unlikely Canada has the talent to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. Triano coached Canada at the 2000 Games and was let go as Canada’s national coach in 2004, a decision that did not sit well with Nash.

So what’s the deal with the national team, Steve? Is it about saving yourself for the NBA or is it about the head coach?

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