One day to go!
No King for the throne. No Chef for the kitchen. James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul not joining the carnival. Russell Westbrook definitly staying put in his Oklahoma home. Damian Lillard, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis and John Wall not wanting to risk adding a Zika virus to their respective medical list of injuries. Even Spaniard Spurs star Pau Gasol is freezing his sperm due to the risk of infection.
There will be a lot of torch bearers not carrying the flag for their country in tomorrows ceremony to open the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, but this is more out of a sense of protection than a lack of patrioism. And don’t worry Team USA is still loaded with some Dream Team talent. And we’re not just talking about the WNBA pedigree of legends and new superstars from Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Tamika Catchings to Elena Della Donne, Maya Moore and Brittany Griner leading the female front. Here’s a deeper look at the 12 man roster that has started by blowing out five tune up games getting ready for the same number of rings.
Toronto’s very own DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry will take their Rap Pack from the North to South America as the Canadian court couple now represent these Unites States for the Summer. But taking the Kings throne it will be Cavalier Prince Kyrie Irving-originally of Australia-who will be leading the charge from Basketball’s Q.B. position at P.G. Serving the dance floor as he breaks it down to the human torch likes of Klay Thompson set to splash on the other side of the Pacific.
Joining his brother Draymond Green in a loaded frontcourt with new family member Kevin Durant who made the biggest decision of his life this Summer as he became a free man. And distant relative Harrison Barnes who now with Dallas wants to prove to the Golden State Warriors and the league that he is even more of a Maverick than they thought. Now hows that for a big three without Steph Curry? Well if that isn’t enough for you than there is always most improved superstar and Chicago Bulls charge leader Jimmy Butler at your service. Not to mention injury redeemed Paul George more than keeping pace like the Indiana piece of basketball jones does with first name Hancocks. And then of course there’s the most experienced player in this future of the league team, the alpha, scoring superstar Carmelo Anthony who has been more of a consecutive, consistent Olympian than anyone in his generation and will serve as the unoffical leader and elder statesman of this basketball dozen.
Now in the middle of it all, although Dray will also have his Green day upfront when this Suicide Squad runs a death line-up on the rest of the world it’s all about the two De’s, Marcus and Andre. Who needs Draymond in the middle when DeMarcus Cousins can trash talk himself all the way to the podium, still running his motor as they raise the flag. Whereas in the absence of the flying Griffin, Lob City runway, running mate DeAndre Jordan will catch air and put down everything thrown his way…hopefully free throws too.
That’s a lot for Dukie Mike Krzyzewski to dry-erase before Coach K hands the clipboard to Pop for the 2020 games in Tokyo, Japan. But with Christ the Redeemer watching this former redeem team redefine what it means to dream you know this squad will have a devil of a time in Rio de Janeiro…as long as they pay attention to the details. This is a place built on skill and passion and if you don’t build on yours than you won’t make it to the summit of the podium where gold gleams like that eternal flame.
One day to Rio…
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.