Despite a thoroughly underwhelming showing at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, there aren’t any plans for major changes to the Canada Basketball program.
General manager Rowan Barrett arranged a conference call shortly after Canada’s final outing at the World Cup and fielded several pointed questions about the lack of NBA talent on the 12-man roster that ultimately represented Canada at the World Cup. When asked directly about his resignation, he balked.
"I don't have plan to resign at this point,” Barrett told reporters. “We'll be going home and looking at what we’re doing."
In response to the lack of participation from Canada’s top talent, Barrett pointed out that other national programs suffered similar problems with respect to NBA players. To that end, Toronto Raptors championship head coach Nick Nurse is expected to intensify recruitment efforts starting with the upcoming NBA season, although the responsibility still ultimately falls on Barrett to recruit.
One major issue with potentially removing Barrett is that his son R.J. was just picked third overall by the New York Knicks. With there already being so much difficulty in attracting top talent, alienating R.J. would be counterproductive. R.J. was seemingly committed to this year’s tournament had it not been for a leg injury, but he does intend to play in future events.
Barrett has served in Canada Basketball leadership structure since 2012, when he joined the program as assistant general manager. He succeeded Steve Nash in the role of general manager in March.
Canada finished 2-3 at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, as only two out of the 17 Canadians playing in the NBA showed up for the tournament. However, there remains an outside shot for Canada to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo through a qualifying tournament held next summer.
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