Content With Not Contending

Basketball CanadaWhen you compare and contrast the way we view our national basketball team with the way we view our national hockey teams, it's more than a little shocking. The FIBA Americas Olympic Qualification tournament starts today for our men's basketball team as we try and qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Have a look at our roster.

You won't find Steve Nash on that list, by far the greatest player this country has ever produced. You also won't find Jamaal Magloire, the other Canadian NBA veteran. There are recent college stars like Denham Brown, Carl English and Juan Mendez, and NBAer Sam Dalembert, but our best team won't be on the court in Las Vegas, and we're okay with that. Canadians are content with not contending when it comes to international basketball tournaments.

If one great NHLer bowed out of a major international tournament, we'd try him for treason. Every blogger in this country would call him out and claim it was his duty to represent Canada. We care about contending in hockey. It's too bad we don't care about contending in basketball, too.

Steve Nash, where are you?

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I agree with most of what you've said Mike except I'm in no hurry to call Nash out on this one.

He has proudly represented this country on numerous occasions and I think he has earned a little leeway.

The person who should be most criticized would have to be Magloire, who has yet (I don't think) to represent the country in international competition (at least not since he joined the NBA). There has always been an excuse.

Imagine if he had been on any one of those Nash-led teams, we would have had much more success.

August 22, 2007 @ 12:26 PM

Toronto Mike

I agree, Nash has been good to Canadian Basketball. I was asking the same questions and praising the dude four years ago:

Magloire's continuous absence is really mind boggling.

August 22, 2007 @ 1:20 PM

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