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Canada Rumors

Do you consider yourself a tastemaker or pioneer culturally in the sense that you represent Montreal while playing in the NBA? Luguentz Dort: Definitely. I just feel that, one, I’m a French speaker and I represent Montreal just from that. And I’m Haitian-Canadian. … The Haitian community is big in Canada, and wherever I go, I always have that with me. Not only do I say that I’m Canadian, but I also say that I’m Haitian. And so I always carry that wherever I go.
The Canadians, after a brutal 2019 World Cup that went so poorly they couldn’t qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, hosted the last qualifying opportunity for the 2021 Games last June. Andrew Wiggins (more on him in a minute), Powell, Joseph, Barrett, Dort, and Alexander-Walker were all on the team, but they still lost to the Czech Republic and failed to make it to Tokyo. “People would say to us, ‘Well, how are they gonna beat you? You got a few NBA guys and all that stuff,’” Nurse said. “(The Czechs) have been together like 10 years, they had, had their entire team back from the 2019 World Cup, which finished fifth, and I mean, like, they’re really good and they played together forever.”
Only 12 players go to the World Cup or Olympics, and there are two players committed to Team Canada who are on European pro teams (Kevin Pangos, Melvin Ejim), so there is some room to maneuver by a player or two when it comes time for Nurse and Canada’s deep thinkers to submit a final roster. “Going right to him (Murray), I would say that’s a little bit of a tough one,” Nurse said. “I would say he is fully committed. He came to all the camps. He really wants to play. He’s got a lot of season left. He’s got a playoff run left. I think if he comes through healthy and he’s good I think so (for Murray) at the World Cup.” Nurse also said Mathurin, who was on the Canadian World Cup team in 2019, “has expressed a strong interest in playing this summer.”