Campeones De Europa!
Those who thought former Los Angeles Laker and one of the best European legends of all-time, Pau Gasol was done may want to check one of the 1,660 times this guy is getting mentioned on Twitter in a hashtag trend right now.
Because even without Marc Gasol, the Memphis Grizzlies brother who everyone thought had surpassed him, or even the NBA talented likes of fellow countrymen Serge Ibaka, Juan Carlos Navarro and Ricky Rubio in this tournament, Pau powered his nation to the EuroBasket finals and the very trophy itself.
A wealth of talent like Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Rodriguez and Chicago Bulls sophomore stud teammate Nikola Mirotic may be on the side of an international team that has the depth and dynamics to give the Dream of Team USA nightmares in Rio next year for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, but it was the older brother Gasol who has been the elder statesmen of this tourney.
From dunking like LeBron to MVP performances in the semis, check youtube or a box score because this guy is more than back…he’s really something. Those who thought the former Laker who gave the purple more championship gold had had his redemptive re-charge in Chicago as a Bull had no idea this Summer stampede was coming.
Now just like we can no longer doubt his All-Star and beyond a franchise winning legacy, can we no longer brush brilliant and inspired international tournaments of a sensational Summer like this aside for stuff like sneakers and signings or the things to come next year?
Because this like the game of Gasol is serious!
P.G.’s double, double led Spain past Lithuania 80-63 as he tallied an incredible line of 25 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocked shots for the tournament’s finale. “It was an incredible championship,” Pau told press postgame after Spain retained a title they lost in 2013 (San Antonio Spurs Tony Parker and Boris Diaw’s France where victorious in that one…they won the bronze medal this time around in the 81-68 third-place playoff win against Serbia) to make for three championships in the last four years of play.
Spain’s King Felipe VI and tennis great Rafael Nadal watched an aces Spain team crowned champions in this gold medal game which reduced Lithuania to a silver-medal lining. Led by the Most Valuable Player of this tournament number 16, a 16 point run surged a streaking Spain to be in cruise control for most of this championship clash. Yet, this whole tournament has been one of competitive court proceedings that show just how classic this game can be, even off the continent of the United States. This is more than just the international imports that have made the NBA great from Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac to the Gasol brothers, this is a wider look at what this sport of basketball really is about.
What this game really is…
Canada vs. USA focal point of loaded Pre-FIBA World Cup series
Canada’s senior’s men’s basketball team will take on the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand and Nigeria in a loaded preseason FIBA World Cup schedule.
For many years Canadian’s have been waiting for the day that Canada’s golden basketball generation faced off against the mighty USA Dream Team.
Well, wait no longer, and bookmark Monday, August 26, 2019 your calendar.
Part of a five-game per-world cup series in Australia — Team Canada will wrap it’s six-game FIBA World Cup exhibition schedule with a much anticipated match-up against American’s.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to compete and gain familiarity against some of the top teams in the world in preparation for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019,” said Rowan Barrett, Canada Basketball General Manager, Men’s High Performance. “The USA has been the gold standard in FIBA basketball for several years so this will be a great opportunity for our program. In addition, having the chance to play tough road games against Australia and New Zealand will be a valuable experience for our team on the road to the World Cup.”
Canada’s Senior Men’s National team (SMNT) will kick-off it’s pre-world cup festivities on home-soil, on Friday, August 9, 2019 against a rising Nigerian D’ Tigers (10-2, 1st place African Qualifiers) national side in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
From there it’s off to foreign territory as the Canadians get acquainted with the Australia Boomers — a 2019 FIBA World Cup Group of death foe and commonwealth member in a two-game series in Perth on August 16th and 17th.
Previously known for the their alternative nickname — “The Road Warriors” — for their lack of international FIBA home games — Team Canada will shift their attention to a familiar foe with a two-game series against the New Zealand Tall Blacks.
According to the FIBA World Cup draw and if everything works out as planed Canada vs. USA could also become a reality in a potential heavyweight quarter-finals match-up.
With World Cup medal aspirations on the line and a 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics bid up for grabs, Canada will look to field a studded 12-men roster not only capable of fulling the federations 2020 vision of becoming a global basketball powerhouse but eventually reminding our border neighbors and media pundits that “soft and basketball” will no longer be acceptable in the basketball sentence.
Not exactly considered the cream-of the crop international tournaments — Canada’s senior’s men’s basketball team last knocked-off the United States of America 111-108 at the 2015 Pan-Am games in Toronto.
A 2005 FIBA Americas Group A win — culminated by a dominated 28 point, 9-rebound performance from Denham Brown lifted Canada 92-76 past the USA on August, 25, in San Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Canada knocked off the Americans 85-77 in the semi-finals of 1983 Summer Universiade games in Edmonton — beating a star-studded USA (Karl Malone, Charles Barkley) team in the semi-finals.
Team Canada FIBA World Cup international exhibition series
- Canada Basketball vs. Nigeria D’ Tigers – August, 9th 2019 – MTS Place
- Canada Basketball vs. Australia Boomers – August 16, 2019 – RAC Arena, Perth
- Canada Basketball vs. Australia Boomers – August 17, 2019 – RAC Arena, Perth
- Canada Basketball vs. New Zealand Tall Blacks – August 20, 2019, Quaycentre, Sydney
- Canada Basketball vs. New Zealand Tall Blacks – August 21, 2019, Quaycentre, Sydney
- Canada Basketball vs. USA Basketball – August 26, 2019, Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Triano steps aside as Canadian national team coach
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.
“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.
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.