Canadian basketball list is impressive, concentrate on that
|Toronto Star 17 Jul 2019 at 10:47|
I don’t really give a rat’s butt who isn’t on the list of invitees to the senior men’s basketball camp. This shouldn’t be about him or them or whoever. So if you want to vent about Andrew Wiggins or whatnot, find some place else to do it. I honestly don’t care at the moment.
That said, as it is a group that is very intriguing and it will come down to who wants to spend five weeks or so traipsing around the world playing basketball for their country.
I would hope there’ll be a fascinating turnout of a couple of dozen of the 29 players invited and the competition for spots should be wildly intense.
I’m also not naïve enough to think that’s going to happen. If I had to guess – and right now that’s entirely what it is, a guess – I bet 18 or 19 would be a legitimate number of players who show up on Aug. 4 for the next day’s first practice.
Players will back out and lay the responsibility on their NBA or club teams, there could very well be some nagging injuries make the risk less worth taking and some guys will just say it’s too much time and thanks but no thanks.
The reasons they should play are simple.
They will become better players training with fellow NBAers rather than doing some individual skills work, which they can certainly do here.
They will become better players playing against better competition under tougher circumstances and with something on the line than they ever would being with their teams or their trainers and a bunch of guys in some open gym run.
They will become better teammates because they may not be the only star on the court, they will have to share responsibility to reach a common goal and that’s a lesson everyone can benefit from.
But who isn’t there will be a story for the first day or so and then it should disappear; withdrawals from the World Cup are going on all over the world – Ben Simmons in Australia, Anthony Davis with the United States just in the last week – and it’s a simple fact of life.
And after we get through the “who’s not here, who’s not playing” portion of the summer, Canadian basketball fans should be rightfully proud of the overall calibre of athlete we’re producing. Whichever portion of that list of 29 eventually shows up is one thing, the depth of the original list is really quite stunning. It would have been unfathomable even five years ago to think they could get nearly 30 players of that quality and from such a variety of teams and personal situations.
That should be a big part of the story today; the other bits will unfold in a couple of weeks when it comes down to really get to work.