Friday, May 16, 2008

Steve Nash is not walking through that door

Some day, he said in the tone of George in Mice and Men, there will be a story about Canada's national basketball team that doesn't have Steve and/or Nash in the lead paragraph.

The Nash question has kind of pushed everything else about Canada Basketball out to the perimeter, which is too bad. You can just hear it now, "Steve Nash isn't playing for the national team, so why should I care?" That serves to cut off any in-depth discussion about where Leo Rautins' program, with Wayne Parrish on the corporate side, is headed in the long run.

Canada needs a lot more than Nash. It needs cash, from the corporate sector, it needs to have a profile outside of hoopheads and it needs depth, especially at the wing positions. Point guard, as the story noted, wasn't even a weak spot for Canada at the FIBA Americas -- Jermaine Anderson did a superb job.

No doubt Nash coming aboard would be huge if Canada can get one of the last three spots in the Olympics, but he's 34, he's entering a season with the Phoenix Suns where he might be playing for his last contract (he can get out of his deal after this season, and given what's known about wingnut Suns owner Robert Sarver, who could blame him?). It's understandable if he passes.

In the long run, though, it's not about Nash. There's so much more involved in getting Canada back into the upper echolons of FIBA and everyone involved in the effort deserves a more in-depth treatment.

A little housekeeping: Carleton coach Dave Smart is back as a lead assistant. Ryan Bell and Aaron Doornekamp, along with his older brother, Nate Doornekamp, who plays from Bremerhaven in Germany, are on the 20-man training camp roster. As Mark Wacyk alerted everyone some time ago, incoming Minnesota Golden Gopher freshman guard Devoe Joseph is going to the camp. Has everyone seen the last-second shot he made to win OFSAA?

(Is it any surprise, by the way, that Steve Nash won the online staring contest on YouTube? He beat Jessica Alba's time, but you shouldn't rub it in -- it's not much of a man who trash-talks an expectant mother on the Internet.

Michael Grange has a blog post noting that some that MLSE corporate muckamucks were at Thursday's press conference. That's a good sign.)

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