While Team USA was winning gold at the Olympics, their northern basketball neighbors were doing what they usually do: sitting at home. But Canada basketball's new GM Steve Nash -- now of the Lakers -- hopes to change that.
Nash might have spurned free agent overtures from Canada's NBA team, the Raptors, but his dedication to the country's basketball is steadfast: The point guard is organizing a camp for 20-25 of the country's top players to build an atmosphere towards qualifying for the World Championships in two years and the next Olympics in 2016. While Nash himself won't play, he hopes to be part of a movement towards making the squad relevant again. Nash apparently hopes to be the figure in charge of the same turnaround Jerry Colangelo oversaw with Team USA, building a core group of players committed to the national team program.
Nash also hopes to announce a coaching hire soon, with the most likely candidate former Raptors coach Jay Triano.
Canada hasn't been much in international ball recently -- its last Olympics appearance came in 2000, when it finished seventh, and the squad finished 22nd at the World Championships in 2010 after not qualifying in 2006. Canada's most-recent Olympic medal came in 1936 in Berlin.
But with 2011 first-round draft picks in Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph, as well as Miami's Joel Anthony and the Spurs' Matt Bonner, the team's has NBA talent, some of it young. If all goes well for Nash, he could organize a group capable of at least qualifying for, and possibly competing well in, major international competition.