Canada Basketball officially announced this morning that Nick Nurse will become the national team’s newest head coach, and Gordie Herbert as associate coach, as the country enters the FIBA World Cup this summer to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.
“I’m extremely excited, honoured, and humbled to be here,” said Nurse at OVO Athletic Centre this morning, who will be locked in to coach Canada through the 2020 Olympics next summer should they qualify.
"I’m looking forward to working with this talented group of young players, and to seeing what we can do on the competitive global basketball stage. I love the international game," – Nick Nurse per release from Canada Basketball
— Chicco Nacion (@chicco_n) June 24, 2019
Per Blake Murphy of The Athletic, Nurse said that he first considered the role before the playoffs started, but had to make sure his timeline along with family and Raptors priorities were aligned. Canada’s search for a new head coach began in March and went on longer than expected – waiting for Nurse may have been part of that reason.
This will be a pivotal year for Team Canada, with more NBA-level talent to compete than there are roster spots. The official roster hasn’t been announced yet, but the “usuals” are expected: Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Dillon Brooks, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell – with a likelihood that Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and newly-minted Knicks rookie star R.J. Barrett will join this summer as well.
"I think there's a lot of talent there. That's the big thing…I think one of the challenges we're gonna have is we're gonna have to make sure we piece it together right." – Nurse. Highlights the need for stylistic and skill versatility with short/challenging window.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) June 24, 2019
Ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Canada will play a slew of friendly-exhibition games in Australia in late August against Australia, New Zealand, and USA. This will be the first FIBA World Cup Canada has participated in since 2010, and the team will look to qualify for its first Olympics since Sydney 2000 Olympics.