How Canada Is Stealing The NBA Show

By Ben Hamill - September 07 2020

How Canada Is Stealing The NBA Show

They’ve made for quite the week in the basketball spotlight – playing hard and fast and reviving once more the Canadian basketball Olympic medal flame of hope. They’re Jamal Murray, Lu Dort, Steve Nash, and NBA coach of the year Nick Nurse, and they’ve got their eyes on the qualifier and on the podium for Canada.

And that’s not to even mention yet Bridget Carleton’s incredible Women’s NBA season, or Kia Nurse’s emergence as yet another brilliant top option. Or the fact that the women – unlike the men – have already qualified. Which is all the more reason to expect a Canadian presence on next year’s Olympic podium.

Together, they’ve made for quite the basketball week – and it’s a week many are saying could have just signalled the start of an all-new Canadian basketball era.

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Dort All Balls To The Wall

Dort, for one, is a signal all on his own. His Oklahoma City Thunder may have fallen to the Houston Rockets by two points, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t create quite the stir since as early as the first-round series. Just ask Houston Rockets star James Harden, aka the player who suffered the most trouble at the hands of Dort.

According to Harden, it’s all “balls to the wall” with Dort. Which is why Harden sees a career among careers in Lu Dort. Harden may have averaged 29.7 points during that fateful first-round series along with having scored more than 30 points in at least 5 of the 7 games played for that series, but that doesn’t mean his life on the court didn’t suddenly become a whole lot harder with Dort around and on the constant guard.

James Harden noticed. Everybody noticed.

Nash, Murray, Making History

And then came the news as if out of the blue: Hall of Famer Steve Nash was hired on as new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Something not even Nick Nurse says he saw coming.

The 46-year-old will now become only the second Canadian head coach in the history of NBA and will be making his Nets debut alongside Kevin Durand and Kyrie Irving.

And then of course, there’s Jamal Murray. The first player since Michael Jordan (1993) to follow a 50-piece with 40 or more, Murray is incidentally also the first player since Allen Iverson (2001) to have racked up three straight 40-point playoff games.

Canadian stars are all over the basketball landscape right now. And it’s the type of presence that could very well be signalling the dawn of a brand-new NBA day.