China-Bound Basketball Team Plagued By Problems

By Ben Hamill - August 08 2019

Success in sport is oftentimes all about doing the best with what’s available. Though not ideal, this is what Basketball Canada will have to do if it hopes to go big come China. Various top-players won’t avail themselves in order to attend this year’s pre-World Cup training camp, including leading hands like Dwight Powell, RJ Barrett and Tristan Thompson.

But, says Miami Heat Centre Kelly Olynyk, it’s not as if anyone was shown the door. Being there would mean being utilised. But at the same time, it’s not as if anyone can be forced to attend. Sometimes it’s necessary to make cuts to present company in order to create a new whole, instead of going with a patch-work approach of individualised talent all muddled together into a single incapacitated quilt.

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Injuries And Life – It Happens

Injuries are again shaping up to be public enemy number 1. Many of the players not participating have cited injuries as the main reason. Most are present, but not taking part. Which is of course a situation of neither here nor there.

Start of week and start of camp also marked Day 1 for incoming coach Nick Nurse. No worries here. Nurse is after all the very same who led the Raptors to their very first NBA title just weeks ago. Nothing like success to breed more of the same. And as for Nurse’s take on the many key absentees at camp, it all comes down to being happy about those that are there and the realisation that nobody can be coaxed or forced into playing and giving it their all. It’s a unique situation, said Nurse, but even so, the group of guys in attendance is “a helluva group” and that’s something to be excited about.

Focusing On Those Present

Team Canada General Manager Rowan Barrett said that once peace is made with the reality that it’s never not going to be a challenge to gather Canada’s best into a huddle each and every summer, things become a great deal easier. Life happens, said Barrett, whether it is a trade or a personal issue or a contract; something can always come up. It is what it is.

Focusing on the guys who did pitch up to the party is what’s going to happen next, said Barrett. He then referred to Thomas Scrubb to illustrate his point. Scrubb, said Barrett, despite having gotten married on Saturday past, had clocked in at camp. Whether there will be a honeymoon Down Under surrounded by brothers, a ball and a rim, or whether a postponement is in order; Scrubb is present.

And it’s the present that matters, after all.

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