A Return to Prominence?
Driving home today, the sunshine beaming through my window, rush hour flowing smooth and a can of Coke in the cupholder, Barry “BMac” Macdonald (Team 1040) brought a smile to my face, and undoubtedly many others as he announced that Jay Triano and Steve Nash would be returning to head up the next edition of the Canadian Men’s Basketball Team.
While Nash will not be lacing up the lowcut Nike’s on centre stage (though chances are good that he will take to the hardwood during a practice or two), he will have a huge hand in bringing in the next wave of Canadian basketball talent, with hopes of returning Team Canada to the Olympics in 2016.
Following talks with Canada Basketball’s head honcho, Wayne Parrish, Nash has been presented with the opportunity to do for the basketball program what Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman have done for the puck team.
“[Nash’s involvement] would be a tremendous thing for the sport in Canada, a tremendous thing for our success internationally as we count down to Rio in 2016 and 2020,” said Parrish.
“I feel pretty good thinking Steve will in some way be part of the mix as we move forward.”
Parrish said Nash, who played for the national team for a few years in his 20s, including at the 2000 Olympics, “very much has Canada tattooed across his chest” and is interested in returning to the program.
“I can’t say when it will be … [but] I believe that will happen.”
As for filling the role of the vacant bench boss after former head coach Leo Rautins resigned last summer following an unsuccessful attempt at leading the team back to the Olympics, it has been mentioned that with the addition of Nash to the roster, a spot for Jay Triano could be made available.
Although the former Simon Fraser University Clan guard, not to mention Toronto Raptors head coach, is currently under contract with Team USA until after the 2012 London Olympics, there is thought that the tight bond between Triano and Nash is tight enough to make Parrish consider bringing the former Team Canada coach back for a second stint.
With talented youngsters such as Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Kris Joseph (no relation to Cory), Kevin Pangos and Rob Sacre ushering in the new generation of players that can suit up for the maple leaf, the addition of two key former members of Team Canada are the ones that can lead the way to a place on the podium.