It was announced this past Monday that Jay Triano will head up, pardon me co heading up, the Team USA Men's Select team this summer.
Huh, USA Basketball has faith in Jay Triano.
Check that. USA Basketball has had lots of confidence in Triano's coaching acumen. He's been a coach of the Selects in 2007 and 2008 while also being a member of the USA Basketball's coaching staffs that include the 2010 FIBA World Championships.
So what does mean for Canada Basketball?
What that means that there needs to be an effort to lure Triano back into the CB family.
I think it's a no brainer that after this summer Canada Basketball needs to make every effort to get Triano back into the head coaching position with the Senior Men's National Team. With the new direction that the program is looking to go in with the retaining of Steve Nash as the general manager, I think this is the next logical step.
As I has talked about in the three part series I did a few weeks ago on The Nash Effect, Nash's involvement will be marked by an infusion of our talent that may not have been involved in the past to help better the team overall. I think part and parcel to that involvement of new talent is the involvement of coaching talent and that means a very good possibility of Triano being involved with the program in some form, hopefully as the skipper.
Like Nash, Triano holds a pretty hefty resume that include being a star player at Simon Fraser, two appearances in the Olympics as a player in 1984 and 1988 and then as a coach in 2000 as well being an NBA head coach. His accomplishments speak for themselves and he brings added credibility with the recent stints with USA Basketball.
Whatever his overall record with the Raptors in his three years (where he was given the equivalent of a Neon to race in the Indy 500), Triano is still a very respected and respectable coach. He'd have to be to a member of the USA Basketball staff I'd think considering the vast amounts of available coaches. He has a presence and a mystique about him that I think the program needs right now.
Think of him as the career military man that was a lieutenant in for a few wars and was promoted to general. He's going to be able to train newbies and squeeze every once of effort from everyone under his charge. He may not be liked by everyone but that won't matter because he'll hold a no nonsense approach that will command everyone's attention and respect first and foremost.
Now I've always like Leo as a person and he was always very good to me whenever I talked to him or asked for any time considering that I'm not "big media" but I'm sorry to say but Leo did have what Triano had. And you can say that it showed in who didn't come into camp year in and year out. Leo will be marked as the guy that had to pick up the pieces after the Nash/Triano fallout, unfair or not, and he didn't have the pieces to compete. He also had the misfortune of having coached the SMNT during a serious spike in Canada's elite talent, talent that for the most part did not play for Canada. Leo was just in the wrong situation that never seemed to get much better despite high hopes and overachieving.
After the Leo Rautins Era of the Senior Men, Triano will not only be a throwback to a more prosperous time for the program but a step into a new future.
With all that said does that mean that Triano is a lock for the head coach position?
No, of course not. There are some big names out there that could fill the spot and probably do an admirable job. But whatever the decision is moving forward I think one thing is clear - Canada Basketball needs to make a play for Triano. And they need to do it in earnest after this summer is over.