Nuggets' Jamal Murray Commits to Playing for Canada in 2020 Olympics Push

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2019

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Denver. The Nuggets won 116-104. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Canada did not have much firepower at the 2019 FIBA World Cup this summer, but Jamal Murray is looking to change that. 

The Denver Nuggets guard took a "leadership" role Tuesday, announcing he plans to play for Canada in the country's push to make the 2020 Summer Olympics:

Jamal Murray @BeMore27

Playing for my country is always an honour and I want to take the step and leadership role to commit to @canadabasketball this summer. I want to play my part to help push our team into the Olympics and compete at the highest world stage. Let’s go Canada🇨🇦🇨🇦

Murray hasn't represented his country since the 2015 Pan American Games, which took place before he'd even stepped foot on the floor at Kentucky. 

Canada has seen an increase in the quality of players the country has produced but has not gotten much buy-in on an international scale. Andrew Wiggins, RJ Barrett, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tristan Thompson, Dwight Powell, Kelly Olynyk and Trey Lyles are among the notable NBA players from Canada.

None of those players were on the country's FIBA World Cup team. Cory Joseph and Khem Birch were the only two current NBA players on Canada's World Cup team. 

Canada has not qualified for the Summer Games since 2000 when they placed seventh. FIBA announced earlier this month that Canada will host one of the four qualifying tournaments for the final spots in the Olympic field. The six-team tournament will take place June 23-28 in Victoria, B.C.

With Murray in the fold, it's possible other notable players will choose to join and make Canada a formidable opponent not only in the qualifier but the Olympics itself.