Despite a disappointing showing in the lead-up to the 2020 (but 2021) Olympics in Tokyo, Team Canada announced on Monday that Raptors head coach Nick Nurse will continue on as the leader of the roster from the bench. The announcement has Nurse locked in for the next quadrennial, which means he’ll be the men’s national team for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup and the next Olympics, hosted by Paris in 2024.
Here it is from the man himself:
“We’re watching games on TV… the same theme kept coming up. They stay together, they play together. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 16, 2021
Nick Nurse tells @tim_micallef about his decision to commit to coaching @CanBball's men's national team for the next three years. pic.twitter.com/7p9wEIll47
Canada did not make it into these most recent Olympics, despite a roster filled with NBA-calibre players — including R.J. Barrett, Andrew Wiggins, Lu Dort, and former Raptor Cory Joseph. As Sportsnet’s Michael Grange gets at here, part of the problem is a lack of continuity, which was obviously not helped by the pandemic and the weird shifts it caused to the NBA season.
The return of Team Canada would be the first time the men’s national team has competed in the Olympics since 2000, back when Steve Nash was approaching the peak of his powers. Can Nurse help put the pieces in place to make it happen? Given the burgeoning talent on the roster and Nurse’s proven track record, one can hope.