119 to 62.
Are we dreaming? Is it ’92 all over again?
Last night Kevin Durant lead his new Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors teammates and Team USA to a 57 point blowout of the Chinese national team in their 2016 Rio Olympic Basketball opener that was worthy of a ceremony in itself. The biggest margin Team US have won by since Sir Charles Barkley and the Dream Team gave Angola trouble to the tune up of a 68 point nightmare.
No LeBron. No Steph. No problem!
Team USA’s route to gold looks more like it could be a rout.
But from Spain to even host nation Brazil, the United States are by no means guaranteed gold.
But they were the W last night as after being down a bucket they started a 9 to 2 run that no one would look back on.
The boys in away blue looked like the were in cruise control, but they hit the nitrus on the road to glory with help from Olympic veteran of the past two games starting in Beijing, Carmelo Anthony. His nicely wrote line of 9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and block each underlined this big, perfect score. His 24th game for country tied him with King James and the Admiral David Robinson (who celebrated his 51st birthday this weekend…we salute you sir! Many happy returns!) for most in history for these United States and if Durant is the deficit leader, than ‘Melo is the calming, elder statesman, veteran presence.
24 was a key number in this day like Kiefer Sutherland, as that’s how many times the U.S. forced the Chinese to give up the ball. The talented Far East side may have been a far cry from a victory on Saturday but save your tears. This team and country is talented and still could break down barriers. If you thought they’re dynasty ended with the retirement of Yao Ming’s legend then just look at the legacy he has left. Just look at former NBA player Yi Jianlian, who may have just sent his resume back to the league with references of 25 points and 5 blocks available on request.
Canada’s Toronto Raptor DeMar DeRozan put on an aerial assault of a dunking display, putting the 6 back on the map again. So much so that it may be time to dub this child of Carter the new Air Canada before he touches down back in the north for the new season.
In his last games coaching this American dream, Duke head Mike Krzyzewski looks to continue his unbeatable, clean 17 and nothing record against Venezuela on Monday.
Coach K and the nation he holds hope come the end of this weekend they’ll still be dreaming.
Raptors’ Nick Nurse to coach Canada at 2019 FIBA World Cup
Fresh off leading the Toronto Raptors’ to their first-ever NBA championship – Nick Nurse has been officially named head coach of Canada’s Senior Men’s National (SMNT).
Rocking a fresh suit alongside a red tie and a Canadian pin flag, Nurse expressed gratitude and humbleness “truly honored to be sitting here in this position, I’m really am. Obviously, the last couple of months have been very humbling and really amazing to see the country, the city and everybody get excited about basketball in this country.” opened up Canada’s newest head coach during the press conference.
Nurse’s contract obligations with Team Canada are expected to last through the 2020 summer Olympic games in Tokyo. No salary details were released.
Team Canada is expected to release its full training camp roster before the end of June
“I’m looking forward to working with this talented group of young players, and to seeing what we can do on the competitive global basketball stage. I love the international game. I also see this as a real chance for me to learn from the world’s best, and for us to represent Canada with pride and distinction.”– expressed Nick Nurse.
Canada Basketball has been searching for a replacement since veteran head coach Jay Triano decided to step aside from the job on March 25, 2019 – as he was asked to re-apply for the position by general manager Rowan Barrett.
“Nick fits our Gold Medal Profile as he is a proven leader with extensive experience coaching FIBA, NBA and other professional leagues around the world. His coaching pedigree shows his ability to win at some of the highest levels and he has a tremendous understanding of the FIBA game and our Canadian NBA players. We strongly believe that this unique combination gives our players the best opportunity for success at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.” added Rowan Barrett.
After a long a interview process that further extended due to the Toronto Raptors’ winning their first-ever NBA Championship — Peter Yannopoulos and confirmed on by various sources — that Nick Nurse who will be responsible for leading what is expected to be a star-studded Team Canada and the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Joining Nurse on the sideline will be Gordie Herbert as an associate head coach. Herbert recently left his Head Coach position with German BBL club Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt. Herbert helped guide Canada to two World Cup qualification wins and is a former Toronto Raptors assistant coach (2008-2009).
Herbert is also expected to take over the coaching duties at the 2021 FIBA AmeriCup Qualifiers formerly known as FIBA Americas Championship. The tournament pits together the top teams from the Western Hemisphere and currently scheduled for November.
The rest of the coaching staff will be announced in the coming days. Canada has loaded exhibition schedule and is expected to face tough opposition in the group of death at the 2019 FIBA World cup in China.
Canada earns silver at 2019 FIBA U16 Americas Championships
Canada’s U16 Men’s national team captured a third straight silver medal at the 2019 FIBA Americas championships falling 94-77 to the United States of America in the Gold medal game in Belem, Brazil.
The highly anticipated bout featuring the two top U16 FIBA-ranked teams in the world didn’t disappoint — showcasing upwards of a combined 10 potential NBA draftees.
Team Canada kept the game tight for the first 10 minutes and took their only lead of the game at 17-15 with 2:02 in to play, before a late triple gave the USA a 18-17 lead to close the quarter.
The USA took the game to the Canadians in the second-quarter, outscoring Canada 27-15 for a 45-32 half-time lead.
Caleb Houstan (Mississauga, Ont.) scored 25 points and three rebounds and finished as the championship’s second leading scorer with 22.8 points per game. Houstan, a silky smooth forward had a tournament high 29 points to become Canada’s top scorer in U16 FIBA Americas competition — breaking Kevin Pangos 28 point record from 2009.
Canada showed some bark in the third-quarter with solid defensive stretches and back-to-back dunks, cutting the lead to single digits on multiple occasions and closing in at 57-51 of the Americans with 4:34 to play.
The Americans rallied with a 13-6 run to end third-quarter for a comfortable 72-57 lead and put it in cruise control in the fourth-quarter — stretching the lead to a game-high 21 points.
Despite the loss, the final 17-point deficit ties the lowest spread between the two squads in five championship or semi-finals games at the FIBA Americas tournament.
Team Canada has now lost all five games against the USA at the FIBA U16 Americas championships — dropping three-straight gold medal games — 111-60 in 2017 and 77-60 in 2015 and two semi-finals encounters, 113-70 in 2011 and 126-78 in 2009.
Ryan Nembhard (Aurora, Ont) wrapped the tournament with another outstanding effort with 21 points, 9 assists and 2 rebounds. Nembhard led the tournament with a total of 54 assists, good for 9 per game, and was Canada’s second leading scorer at 14.3 points per game.
Enoch Boakye (Brampton, Ont) 12 points and 13 rebounds concluded the tournament with his third straight game in double-figures rebounding and was the third top rebounder in the competition at 10.8 per game. Boakye had of two of the tournaments top 10 rebounding performances with 17 against Mexico and 16 against Dominican Republic.
Both Houstan and Ryan Nembhard were named to the tournaments all-star team alongside Dominican Republic’s Jean Montero — including the USA’s Jalen Durne and tournament MVP Christopher Livingston.
Canada finished the tournament 5-1 with group B victories over Uruguay 101-63, Brazil 90-67, Puerto Rico 96-76 and wins over Mexico 95-78 and 97-81 over the Dominican Republic in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
The U16 Canadian squad has reached the podium five times since the inaugural, bi-annual American zone tournament kicked-off 10 years ago in 2009 — earning three silver and two bronze medals. Canada lost a heart-breaking 65-64 semi-finals loss to Argentina in 2013.
Canada has qualified for the 2020 U17 FIBA World Championships where they will look to improve from their 2018 4th-place finish.