Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash has agreed to join the Canadian men’s national basketball team as the general manager as it prepares for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.
Steve Nash is now the general manager of the Canadian men's basketball team. Barrett will be assistant GM, and executive vice-president.
— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) May 8, 2012
Nash will fill a similar spot to the one Wayne Gretzky had as the Canadian men’s hockey team prepared for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake—evaluating talent and putting the team in the best position to make a run.
What It Means
While the expectations for the Canadian men’s basketball team are low, the youth that will fill the roster will be better off for their experience under Nash. While they may not earn a medal, they will get the kind of teaching that most players dream of.
Nash told ESPN.com why he chose to accept the role with the team and what he will try to use his new position for:
Obviously I love the program. It was a huge part of my development as a player. Going to the Olympics (in 2000) was the best experience of my career. So if I can help other Canadians experience that, it would be pretty amazing. I want to try to lend my hand to help develop our system and change the image and reputation of this country internationally and be a resource for as many of our good, young kids as possible.
While this won’t catapult the team into serious contention, the team’s chance at winning games is likely to get better once a smart basketball mind like Nash gets involved. The hope is that he will help instill a strong defensive mindset into his team and hire a coach to run that style.
The talk is that the soon-to-be free agent will be on the move this offseason, but this is the kind of job that could show Nash there are other options.
If Nash falls in love with this job or does surprisingly well, I could see an organization taking a flier on the NBA great and asking him to be some sort of a talent evaluator.
While there is no doubt Nash wants to play in the NBA again, his age and a great opportunity might have him considering the other options that this GM job could open up.
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