Tuesday May 8 2012 – 10:57pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
The news that I first reported nearly 6 weeks ago was finally made official on Tuesday as Canada Basketball announced Steve Nash as the General Manager of their Senior Men’s Team.
With the 2-time MVP now in charge, Canada gains a shot of adrenalin – and most notably, credibility – at a time when it was/is MOST needed. Though the Canadians will not be suiting up in the London Olympic Games this summer, the future of the program is truly about 2013, 2014, 2015 and (hopefully) Rio De Janeiro in 2016.
Nash SHOULD be able to ‘rally the troops’ and bring together the best of the best that Canada has to offer and his name alone will help sell the game of basketball and the Canadian team overall to the corporate communities in this city and province … let alone all provinces from cost to cost. Private donations have reportedly already come in but big businesses are sure to come knocking (even if it is ‘slowly but surely’ — that’ll be better than the ‘few and far between’ that has become the norm of late) as the hype builds.
That said, at the end of the day, Nash and the team will be judged by their wins and losses.
Paul Jones and I had a chance to chat with Captain Canada on Tuesday afternoon:
The other part of the announcement by Canada Basketball was the naming of Rowan Barrett as Assistant GM.
Barrett, a former National Team player as well (and former Nash teammate) will likely carry the brunt of the load for Canada as Nash will remain quite busy for 7-8+ months of the year for at least the next 2-3 years (the length of time that most people believe Nash will stay in the NBA before he retires). Barrett will be the hands-on, day-to-day face of the Men’s program — likely more-so than Nash himself.
Barrett left a managerial position with a Toronto branch of the Royal Bank to take on this full time job with Canada Basketball.
Jonesy and I had a chance to chat with Barrett as well:
The first order of business for Nash and Barrett may be finding their new head coach; the man that will take over for the now-departed, Leo Rautins.
Strong speculation continues to swirl (as I reported back in March) that Jay Triano could be the front runner for the job but many believe IF he is the man that ultimately takes over, his post will come AFTER he fulfills his commitments with the U.S. team (who he has worked with/for over the last few years) conclude following the London Games.
If Triano is offered the job it would be his second stint as head coach of Team Canada … and his relationship with Nash, of course, is well-documented.
A new era has begun for Canada. Hopefully, it works.