Leo Rautins Rumors
The time is not now, but it will soon arrive, likely once this summer’s Olympics are put to bed, for Triano to lead what many believe is the golden age of Canadian hoops, when so much homegrown talent is either playing in the NBA or is knocking on its doors. The buzz among basketball’s circles, at least in Canada, is that Triano will succeed Leo Rautins as national team head coach. It should be clearly pointed out that nothing is official, but unofficially all signs are pointing to Triano leading a new wave of talent that features Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph with a pool of talent so deep that it would be foolish to start naming all the names playing in U.S. prep schools or at big- time NCAA programs.
“We have to, in our country, look at playing for the national team as an honour and something that is very special,” said Rautins. “As Jack Donohue (the iconic long-time national team coach) used to say: ‘There are two ways to represent your country, in war and in sports.’ “I would love to get to the point where we have all our guys and everybody available playing. I think it would be special for them and special for this country.”
Canada has found it impossible — for reasons ranging from prior commitments to NBA contractual issues to the inability to rush through citizenship issues for ex-Raptor Matt Bonner — to field its best team. It was an issue that cost the squad dearly going against some other national team programs chock full of the country’s best. “We play against the best in the world … we compete with what we have,” said Rautins.
In the wake of crashing out of the FIBA Americas, the Canadian men’s national basketball team is looking for a new head coach. In the post-game conference call that followed Canada’s 91-89 loss to Panama on Thursday, Leo Rautins announced he would be stepping down as head coach of the program. With the loss, Canada’s hopes for a spot in the 2012 London Olympics basketball tournament were extinguished. “I think personally at this point to continue the things that need to be done, I’ve made a decision that this team needs a new voice in the locker room,” Rautins said. “It’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to. “I’ve gotten a great deal of support within the organization. I think the players have given me everything I’ve asked.”