Steve Nash was named general manager of Canada Basketball‘s senior men’s team Tuesday.
Reportedly, the governing body had their eyes on Nash to become the GM of the team for quite some time. Team Canada has not made an Olympic appearance since the 2000 Games in Sydney.
During the 2000 Games, Nash led Canada to seventh place. Canada‘s women’s team also have not played in the Olympics since 2000, but they still have a chance next month to qualify for this year’s upcoming 2012 London Games.
At this time, team Canada‘s sights are set on the Olympic podium in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“Steve’s passion, drive, thoughtfulness and profound basketball IQ give us an absolutely incredible opportunity to leverage the wealth of emerging talent to get back to the Olympics and make some real noise once we do,” said Wayne Parrish, President & CEO of Canada Basketball, he announced during a media conference today.
“We believe this is our equivalent to the moment more than a decade ago when Wayne Gretzky took charge of our hockey fortunes leading up to the Salt Lake City Olympics. In a basketball context, this is one of the most important moments in the history of the sport in Canada since the day Dr. Naismith invented the game.”
Steve Nash is focused and determined to help develop the sport of basketball in Canada. He made the following statement: “I’m thrilled to be able to take on this challenge, we have lots of work to do and I’m excited to get started. With the talent we are developing in this country, Canada has an opportunity to become one of the top basketball nations in the world. There is no reason why, if we nurture and support these great young players and give them the tools they need, that we can’t be a medal contender at the Olympics.”
The presence of Nash amongst Canada Basketball opens up the likely hood of more corporate sponsorship opportunities. Canada Basketball has struggled with money issues for a long time. Phoenix will likely make Nash an offer, and he’ll move on. Many believe that Nash might not decide to take less money and chase a title with a contending team, instead, come to Canada and play for the Toronto Raptors and try to help bring young players along with him , contributing to the growth of the sport in Canada.
The impact of Steve Nash playing for Toronto would be massive. More seats would certainly be sold at the ACC, season seat holders would likely increase, jersey sales would be through the roof! Canada holds Nash high on a pedestal as is, but to see him finish out his career with Canada’s only NBA team would be a dream come true for thousands of Canadians.
With more Canadians tuning in to catch Steve Nash the exposure to young children goes up and the sport grows from the roots. If Nash truly wants to grow and develop the sport within Canada, he needs to accept and embrace the difference his presence will make.
Will his new role with Team Canada effect his decision to sign with a team this season? Tell us what you think the future holds for Nash on Twitter @EliteSportsBlog