Canada Rumors

Toronto coach Nick Nurse is scheduled to coach Canada in that qualifying tournament and, he hopes, the Olympics. But he expects that international travel is one of the last things that will return to normal, or whatever the new normal will be in a world dealing with COVID-19. So, he’s like Kerr and left wondering what’ll happen. “It’s complicated, is my best thought,” Nurse said. “I just don’t know enough to tell you what next season is going to look like. I don’t know. When’s it going to start? I think they’re talking about pushing it back, but I don’t know if they’re going to play games closer together. I don’t think so, that’s kind of a thing that everybody’s been happy that they continue to spread them out and lessen the back-to-backs and all those things.
Storyline: Coronavirus
The Games have been postponed until 2021, forcing Canada to wait a little longer for its chance to qualify. “We were anxious to play together to try and make it to the Olympics,” Joseph said. “We felt like we had a good shot with everybody playing but it doesn’t change the course, we’re all going to stick together and hopefully we’ll all be there next year.”
Storyline: Olympics
Sacramento Kings guard Cory Joseph and his family are funding thousands of food donations to help feed school children in need as a result of the COVID-19 crisis across his home country of Canada. Joseph is facilitating the donations through Isthmus, one of the only programs in Canada to provide students with reliable access to food that bridges the food security gap they experience over the weekends. “With the platform I have, I feel it is my responsibility to help those in need, especially the children back home that are most vulnerable to the conditions of poverty,” said Joseph. “Growing up in the Toronto area I saw those realities, so I hold a special place in my heart for this next generation. I am very humbled to support these kids with greater food security through Isthmus during this pandemic so they can live healthy lives and go on to achieve their dreams.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Khem Birch was one of the key pieces of Canada’s squad during the 2019 FIBA World Cup, and felt playing under Nurse did wonders for his professional development. After spending some time learning from him, Birch now understands why Nurse is viewed as one of the NBA’s top coaches. “Team Canada has a lot of potential, especially with coach Nurse. With the roster we had, I think he did a really good job, and I imagine if we had all our guys I think we would have won the whole thing,” Birch said during an interview on Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Good Show Monday.
Glen Grunwald, the CEO of Canada Basketball, began to wonder then about the fate of a season that had held so much promise. “It’s been like a cascade, right? You heard about the virus in China and you start thinking about the pandemic movies that you’ve seen in the past, and you think. ‘That’s not going to happen,’ and then it just keeps rolling downhill and keeps getting bigger and bigger,” Grunwald said Tuesday.
Storyline: Olympics
Among Canada Basketball’s highlights for 2020 was the opportunity to play host to a men’s last-chance qualifying tournament in June in Victoria. Coached by Nurse, the Canadian team was expected to feature a who’s who of NBA players. “FIBA is fully intent on running it here in Canada in Victoria [next summer],” Grunwald said, adding Victoria’s organizing committee is also on board for the postponed event. “I think it’s a good outcome of a bad situation,” he said. “There’s obviously a lot of details to be worked out, but I think it’s very positive for our men’s program.”

Canada refusing to send athletes to the Olympics if not postponed


Do you still plan to participate with Team Canada in the Olympics? Dillon Brooks: Yeah, absolutely. We are going to make a run. Hopefully, we can beat that virus so we can get over there and play. But I want to make history. I know we have a lot of guys in the league right now like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jamal Murray and Tristan Thompson and Kelly Olynyk. We all want to make history.
Storyline: Olympics
This past weekend’s viewership of the 2020 NBA All-Star events were up double digits in comparison to last year. In Canada, the simulcast coverage of the 2020 NBA All-Star events were up 28% in average audience compared to last season. Nearly 3.5 million (!) Canadians watched at least some portion of the NBA All-Star events, up 14% from last year. In addition to that, the hours watched for all programming was up 37% compared to last year.
He is travelling with three of his cabinet ministers but the celebrity element goes to Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, who Trudeau invited to join the delegation. Ujiri was raised in Nigeria, and played professional basketball in Europe before becoming a player scout and executive in the NBA. Ujiri, whose foundation Giants of Africa uses basketball as a means to educate and enrich the lives of African youth, was planning to travel to the continent to promote his own work, but he joined the Canadian trip after Trudeau asked him to come.
“I have relationships with leaders here and anyway we can help, anyway I can help, it’s a big part of making the world better,” Ujiri said. He said he has already had several conversations with Trudeau and with Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister for families, children and social development, about how he can use his work as an ambassador for sport to help. Hussen is also on the trip.
“I’m not sure. Right now, (the Timberwolves are) struggling a little bit so we have to get back and (we’re) trying get in a playoff run,” Wiggins said. “That’s my main goal right now. And after that I’m going to decide on Canada basketball. “I never really got a chance to talk to too (many) of the guys, you know. I have great respect for coach (Nick) Nurse and I plan on having a conversation with him eventually.”
Nurse, the Raptors coach who also leads the Canadian team, said he had talked a bit to Wiggins about the possibility of playing and expected a decision shortly. “We’re trying to get all the … best players in, all the best Canadian guys, and it looks pretty good,” Nurse said. “Most of them are already on board and excited about playing. It’s a heck of an opportunity. It’s a chance to go to the Olympics, and you get to play the qualifier in your home country.”
Even if he does decide to play, he may make his signal behind the scenes in the coming weeks and let the world know when he arrives at training camp. For now, Wiggins is keeping his cards close to his chest. “I’m not sure [about the summer],” he said Saturday after recording his first career triple-double in a Timberwolves loss to the Toronto Raptors. “Right now my team is struggling a little bit [they were five games out of the 8th seed in the West as of Sunday] so we have to get back and try to get in a playoff run. That’s my main goal right now. And after that I’m going to decide on Canada Basketball.”
The Celtics play in Toronto on Christmas Day. Kanter wants to go. And he’s planning to reach out to a certain Canadian politician for some help. “I have a phone conversation with Justin Trudeau,” Kanter said. “So, that’s gonna be very exciting.” Yes, that Justin Trudeau. The prime Minster of Canada. “So, I’m literally gonna ask, like, ‘Hey, I’m coming to your country. Is it OK for me to come?’ ”
Thompson was hesitant to talk about this summer at Monday morning’s shootaround, saying: “I’m just thinking about tonight, playing against the Raptors at home at 7:30 at Scotiabank Arena. So that’s where my mindset is at. I’m happy Nick Nurse is the coach.” But it’s unlikely Thompson or Miami Heat centre Kelly Olynyk — who could opt out of his current deal and so would also be without a contract — will play in the June 23-28 tournament.

Jamal Murray commited to play for Canada

Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray has confirmed his intention to play for Canada next summer – first at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Victoria, B.C. in late June, and then in Tokyo should the men’s team earn one of the six remaining spots in the 12-team Olympic tournament.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 107 more rumors
TNT and ESPN don’t even broadcast in Canada. They do not get the benefit of access to the largest swath of Raptors fans — Canadians. The Raptors, by the way, could still be a very good team in the East this season, but from a ratings standpoint, they do not have a star like Leonard nor are they expected to repeat as champs. That’s the problem. “What a lot of people like to cling to is because the Raptors don’t play in the United States, it makes them ratings challenged,” Vertino said. “But my argument would be they’re a compelling team and they play a great and exciting brand of basketball, and to me, maybe we can flip it and say, ‘Maybe we can open some more eyes here that weren’t going to watch in the first place. They’re on this platform for a reason.’”
Mike Ganter: Nick Nurse with some strong words on Canada’s inability to attract available talent: “I think the biggest thing is we need an introduction, some of the guys need an introduction to the national team, right? I think the guys who are here right now have all played a little bit, continue to grow as they stay together, but some of the guys we need to see, I dunno, I guess they need to find out why or why not they’re gonna play or commit to playing.”
Storyline: World Cup
Nurse said he intends on playing a bigger recruiting role. It was tough this time around, he said, because he had his hands full with the Raptors’ lengthy season. “I think I have got to try and develop some relationships with some of these guys and see where they are at,” Nurse said after practice. “But I need more information. I need a better understanding of why or why not? Will they or will they not participate, and why or why not?”
Storyline: World Cup