Top News

NBA involvement in last-chance Olympic qualifier highly unlikely now

Nick Nurse would likely be unavailable to coach Team Canada at the Olympic qualifier next year if it conflicts with the Raptors season.
Nick Nurse would likely be unavailable to coach Team Canada at the Olympic qualifier next year if it conflicts with the Raptors season.

Canada’s last chance at a berth in next summer’s Olympics has been rescheduled and thus the likelihood of any NBA involvement is almost certainly gone.

Canada needs to win it’s six team-qualifier to get in and the chances of that happening were given a huge lift when Victoria was named one of the four tournament sites for the four remaining Olympic berths.

Under normal circumstances the tournament would not start until the NBA playoffs were over but that’s unlikely given the expectation that the 2020-21 season likely won’t be starting until December because of the coronavirus pandemic that shut the league down back on March 11.

Canada is in a group with Greece, China, Uruguay, the Czech Republic and Turkey and already had NBA commitments from the likes of Jamal Murray, Shae Gilgeous-Alexander, Dillon Brooks, R.J. Barrett, Dwight Powell and Chris Boucher among other Canadian-born NBA standouts. But if the tournament overlaps with the NBA regular season or playoffs as it appears it would, none of those players would be available.

There is also the likelihood that Nick Nurse, the head coach of Canada’s national men’s team will not be able to fulfill those duties as the expectation is he will still be running the bench of the Raptors.

The tournament will now be played June 29-July 4 in Victoria.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories