Canada Gives U.S. Unlikely Assist
By PETE THAMEL
Published: August 27, 2010
Douglas C. Pizac/Associated Press
Jay Triano during the Vancouver Games torch relay. He’s a U.S. assistant at the worlds in Turkey.
ISTANBUL — There are plenty of small reminders that the United States no longer holds a monopoly on basketball.
The Americans are No. 2 behind Argentina in the FIBA rankings. The United States has not won a gold medal at the world championships since 1994. The current team even used a strategy long employed by opponents to slow more talented American teams, a 2-3 zone, to preserve a victory over Spain in Madrid on Sunday.
Another sign of a flatter basketball world has shown up on the American bench, where the Canadian Jay Triano will be an assistant coach for the world championships, which begin Saturday. The United States will open against Croatia. Triano’s hiring as a last-minute replacement for Mike D’Antoni, who had back problems, makes him the first non-American to coach for the United States national team.
“If anyone has taken the lead in the globalization in sports, it’s the N.B.A.,” said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball’s chairman. “This is a microcosm of what that represents.”
Other than Steve Nash, no one epitomizes Canadian basketball more than Triano.