And just like the prodigal son he's returned ... and I'm sure he came to get down. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Yesterday, Canada Basketball made the rumours official and introduced Jay Triano as the head coach of the Senior Men's National Team. And the appointment of Triano brings more than a recognizable name, he also brings a little something called credibility to the program. Can Ball Ray drops his two cents into the bucket on Triano's biggest asset before any games are played here ...
Yesterday, Canada Basketball held a press conference at the Air Canada Centre to announce what was likely the worst kept secret the last few months - that Jay Triano was again going to man the helm as the head coach of the Senior Men's National Team.
Of course I say worst kept secret only because the speculation of Triano coming back on board with CB began to swirl like a tornado when Steve Nash was announced as the general manager. And with the return of the prodigal coach finally being official and not rumour, basketball fans across the country can look forward to the future.
And what a bright future it looks to be but we cannot overstate the importance of this return of Triano to the National Program. There are some important things that we fans need to be aware of that this hiring does for the whole situation of Canada Basketball.
We can all agree that the Men's program is the center piece of our National Program, in spite of the fact that it is not held in the same regard internationally as our Women's program at this point. How the Men's Team fares in competition is what will determine a few very important things for our National Program as a whole such as interest and sponsorship dollars.
I think Triano is an obvious step in the right direction to generate both but of course both will not come without results and that will start with getting the right players. And Triano has already got those it seems.
Now to get and keep these guys the new coach should have something the old one didn't have. I think the biggest thing that Triano has going for him when getting players, particularly in the early stages of this rebuild, is his credibility. He's been a coach at a high level and has seen success, particularly at the international level. He's a guy who's known and respected within the coaching community. Of course, Nash as his back up doesn't hurt also but regardless the credibility from the bench boss is there.
I'm sorry to say, Leo never had that on this level. (Of course he was also following in the footsteps of a very successful Triano who was outed in a particularly bad way but hey, that's neither here nor there. I don't think it's his fault but he just didn't have the coaching chops to compete with Triano's legacy.)
It's the resume that Triano brings to the table that will first, prompt prospective players sit up and take notice that the National Program is serious in it's new direction and second, will demand that they make a decision to either be a part of the rebuilding process or make way for those that do. And from what I've been gathering by way of the social network super highway, these players are incredibly jacked to be a part of the program.
That's something that seemed to be lacking in the last few summers if I recall.
Now of course people will begin to examine and analyze his hiring to death I'm sure in the next few weeks and then pick it all up again next summer when the team tries to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championships. That's what people of our ilk do (and by our ilk I mean us like minded basketball fans who want to see the National Program soar beyond the sputtering of the last few summers). That's just how we, as eager and optimistic yet somewhat jaded, fans of the game roll. And that's OK.
One thing's for certain though, this new head coach is not going to need to do much more than state his name to get the support he needs going forward from fans and critics alike.
That's what credibility gets you.
With Triano as the head coach, and the Senior Men's National Team getting getting the best players now, what is the first thing that he should address looking forward to next summer?
Defense - You can never start early or get enough defense. (36 votes)
Offense - The international offense is all motion and getting on this is step one. (13 votes)
Getting other players in - There are some key players missing from the camp list and getting them for next summer is a key. (59 votes)
Support - He's here, the players are showing up, now it's time for the people. (21 votes)
129 total votes