Tuesday July 8 2008 – 10:55am Eastern
Seems like I may have hit a bit of a nerve yesterday with the Matt Bonner-to-Canada blog — a good nerve that is.
The response has been positive from most of the folks out there … as people seem keen on the idea of having The Red Rocket wearing a maple leaf.
Sources within Canada Basketball have told me that they are interested in pursuing this possibility. They feel it’s a natural fit … given that Bonner:
- Is marrying a Canadian (Toronto) girl
- Plans to live in Canada in the off-season (which he already is)
- Will own a home (and pay taxes) in Canada
- Has family that already lives in Canada
Plus, from what I’ve told, there may have already been a casual conversation with Bonner about this possibility and word is that he’s very keen on playing for Canada.
The one issue that Canada Basketball could run into is a FIBA rule that apparently allows only ONE “landed immigrant” on a team at any given time. With Samuel Dalembert filling that slot, perhaps adding Bonner would be difficult. I don’t know if there’s any wiggle room with that room or any negotiating that could go on. However, one would have to assume that Dalembert (and Bonner) wouldn’t play every single game; every single summer. Unless it were an important game like a qualifier or World Championship, one or both could could/would likely rest. So maybe that’s how it could work. We’ll see.
Whether or not this becomes a reality is anyone’s guess, but it won’t happen until AFTER the Olympics. There’s not enough time to get this done now. As excited as Bonner may be to play for Canada, his focus right now is on his August wedding. And Team Canada’s focus is on Athens … and then hopefully … Beijing. If this goes down, it will likely happen at some point over the winter.