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The Rings No Longer The Thing For Some Olympians Going For Gold

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The Rings No Longer The Thing For Some Olympians Going For Gold

Jordan. The greatest name in NBA Basketball didn’t even win as many rings (6 to 11), as the greatest defender and Boston Celtic to ever take to the parquet, Bill Russell. Mike got an Olympic Gold though. As the undisputed leader of the 1992 Dream Team in Barcelona. So that balances the scales of hoop justice somewhat.

Now as the 2016 Rio Olympics Team USA look to take on Spain in Brazil tonight for the semi-finals of these games, another Jordan seems more keen to measure the weight of his court career in gold. Rather than engaging himself in talk about how many rings he will have on his fingers come the end.

Falling out of matrimony with Larry O’Brien. It now seems like DeAndre Jordan is more concerned about his place on the podium than the part of the NBA elite that winning a championship brings.

But then again he does play for the Los Angeles Clippers.

“I think they’re above NBA rings,” De told the ESPN press before man-handling Argentina in the quarter finals, hoping the rest of the United States will view medals in the same gold gleam. “I may get in trouble for saying that, but I believe that. I feel like this is more special. You’re not just playing teams in the U.S. You’re playing teams from all over the world. And this is even more special because there’s an NBA champion crowned every year, but this is every four years”.

No trouble from our end (and we’re Canadian), ‘Dre has a point. This is a global sport and these games are the great equalizer when it comes to that. And being crowned only once every four years is a special part of sports history and the legendary lore for your legacy. Just ask that guy that likes to jog, Usain Bolt. Or just look at how the NBA media turned it’s back on MVP Steph Curry and his reigning champion, 73 game, Jordan Bulls record beating Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals when LeBron James and the Cavaliers reversed a never before beaten 3-1 deficit and brought a championship home to Cleveland…until the Dubs added Free Agent Kevin Durant formerly of the Oklahoma City Thunder this Summer offseason.

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Fickle minds change quickly over the calendars, but what’s done over decades is set in stone.

“You’ve got to really think about that, man, because it’s extremely special,” added D.J.

This came not long after Team U.S.A.’s all-time leading scorer and leader of the last three Olympics-beginning in the bronze Olympic birthplace of Athens-Carmelo Anthony issued the same kind of statement. As arguably the greatest international basketball player the U.S.A. has seen in it’s history stated that he wouldn’t mind if he never put a ring on it as important to many men as wedding ones are to some of Beyonce’s women after all this gold he’s mined from Beijing to London.

But then again, he does play for the New York Knicks.

But Jordan is still young. He has plenty of time to fill the trophy cabinet. That’s why he stuck it out with the Clips and didn’t leave for the Dallas Mavericks last minute when he was a big Free Agent last year. And ‘Melo on the calm side of his career may be well into his thirties, but judging from right now he can still play. And judging from the Summer of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah Chicago Bull signings joining top rookie, now sophomore star Kristaps Porzingis, these new New York Knicks no longer stink. The superteam may finally give the superstar a taste of the champagne he hasn’t sipped with the orange of N.Y. since his Syracuse days.

“Most athletes don’t have an opportunity to say that they won a gold medal, better yet three gold medals,” Anthony told press. “I can look back on it when my career is over — if I don’t have an NBA championship ring — and say I had a great career.”

The ringless couple and more Team USA members may be in no hurry to get a golden circle, but judging from the above picture their barging their way through this five for five as they jostle for a place on the podium.

Still, however when the Summer falls to a new NBA season their minds may change with the cooling weather.

As come November, it’s a whole new ball game.

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FIBA

Triano steps aside as Canadian national team coach

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Jay Triano Olympic Dot Ca

Jay Triano has officially stepped down as the head coach of Canada’s senior men’s national team.

Canada Basketball made the announcement this morning, confirming media reports that circulated on Sunday.

“I can’t thank Jay enough for all he has done for basketball in Canada,” said Glen Grunwald, president and CEO of Canada Basketball, in a statement.  

“As both a coach and player, Jay is a Canadian icon and has played a major role in the development of basketball within our country and we will forever be grateful for his contributions. 

Jay Triano 2 Olympic Dot CA
Jay Triano is among the most accomplished coaches in Canadian history. Photo: Canadian Olympic Committee

“After speaking with Jay, I’m hopeful we can find a role where he can continue to contribute to Canada Basketball in the future.”

Triano is the first Canadian-born and Canadian-trained coach to work in the NBA, starting as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors in 2002 and later promoted to head coach.

He is currently the lead assistant coach with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

As head coach of Canada’s national team from 1998 to 2004, Triano led the team to a seventh-place finish at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia.

Canada has not returned to the Olympics since then, but it figures to be a contender to play at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Triano returned as head coach in 2012, guiding the club to a pair of victories during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.

As a player, Triano served with Canada’s national team from 1977 to 1988 and was team captain for the final seven years of his tenure.

He was elected to the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

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Roy Rana Canada's National Basketball Team Coach Sitting FIBA Qualifiers Pointing
Roy Rana 2019 FIBA Americas Qualifiers – Photo: FIBA

Ryerson University head coach Roy Rana is among three other candidates being granted interviews to replace Triano, according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange.

The other candidates are Gord Herbert, who played for Canada at the 1984 Olympics; and Ettore Messina, an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs.

A final decision is expected by March 31.

Multiple reports say Triano cited “personal reasons” for taking his name out of the running, but he did not elaborate.

Team Canada’s next major test will be the 2019 FIBA World Cup, starting Aug. 31 in China.

Triano steps aside at a high point in Canadian basketball, with dozens of players in the NBA and at elite NCAA schools, including Barrett’s son R.J. Barrett, a Duke University standout who is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

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FIBA

Canada draws Group of Death 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup

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Cory Joseph Canada Basketball Draws Group Of Death 2019 Fiba World Cup

Canada’s path to a 2019 FIBA basketball World Cup medal and hopes of a 2020 Olympic berth took a serious blow prior to the start of the games as No. 23 Team Canada was drawn into the group of death — alongside global powerhouses No. 6 Lithuania, No. 11 Australia, and No. 37 Senegal.

2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Groups

2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Groups

For Canada to have a shot at getting to the podium they will have to finish in the top two spots of Group H to advance to second round of the tournament — where the top 16 teams will be split into four new groups (Groups I, J, K, L). If it reaches that stage Team Canada will once again have to finish in the top two to advance to the quarter-finals.

Canada’s road to the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics is a complex and tough process — given FIBA’s decision to make the World Cup apart of the qualification process. Seven spots are currently up for grabs at FIBA’s flagship event and with hosts Japan earning an automatic entry the room for error is minuscule.

To reach the Olympics, Canada will have to finish as one of the top two teams from the seven team America’s region that features the world’s number one squad in the United States of America alongside traditional mainstays Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Venezula and Puerto Rico.

If Canada is unable to secure a spot as one of the two top America’s region teams, they will hope to be amongst the top 16 teams at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup where they will be granted automatic qualification to a last chance tournament taking place next summer at a yet to be determined locations. If unable to finish in the top 16, Canada’s last hope would be one of the last eight countries that FIBA would invite for one of the last-chance qualifier tournaments.

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Therefore, if Canada has any hopes of qualifying for the 12-team 2020 Summer Olympics via the World Cup they will need to advance from Group H one as top two teams, failure to advance in the premilinary round will automatically put Canada’s hopes at the mercy FIBA via the invitation tournament only.

Should Canada reach the second-round they will be placed in the newly formed Group L, alongside Group G winner and runner-up — potentially setting up another group of death with No. 3 France, No. 11 Germany, No. 11 Australia or No. 6 Lithuania.

To make matters worse for the Canadians, they have been pooled on the same half of the draw as the United States — which would mean a potential quarter-finals match-up between the two neighbouring nations, if Canada can somehow get there.

If the Canadians can reach the quarter-finals there is a good chance they alongside the USA would be last two standing Americas teams — thus earning automatic berth to Tokyo 2020.

As evident, by the World Cup draw and given FIBA’s recent changes it’s clearly going to be a tough road for the Canadians to fullfill their 2020 vision of becoming a global basketball powerhouse.

Canada opens up the World Cup against Australia on Saturday August 31st and will take on Lithuania on two days rest on Monday September 2nd beforing concluding Group H action against Senegal on Wednesday September 4th, 2019. All of Canada’s preliminary round games will be played in Dongguan, China

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