There is no doubting how much the experience of playing for the Canadian national team in the 2000 Olympics meant to Steve Nash.
That is part of the reason why the point guard has agreed to an administrative role with the club, as general manager for Canada Basketball. His selection to the post was made official Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre.
Affectionately dubbed “Captain Canada,” Nash raised the level of notoriety for the game of basketball during his performance in the Sydney Olympics – where the Canadians nearly reached the medal round on the back of his performance.
“Obviously I love the program,” Nash told Marc Stein of ESPN.com. “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.”
The point guard last played with the club in 2004, where he again was individually successful and was named the MVP of the Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament. That time, however, the team did not qualify for the Olympics.
The tide may be changing for Canadian basketball, however, as the team is hopeful that the continued progress of first round NBA draft picks Tristan Thompson and Cory Jospeh result in more success on the international stage.
The ESPN.com report noted that Nash will have a “strong say” in the selection of the team’s next head coach.
There is also no doubting the popularity of the selection, as The Globe and Mail in Toronto referred to Nash as “a basketball icon in his native country” when his selection to the general manager position was announced.
When he helped the Canadians to their successful run in the 2000 Olympics, Nash averaged 13.7 points per game and 6.8 assists per game. His best games came against Australia and Serbia and Montenegro.
Against the Australians the guard went for 15 points and 15 assists in a 101-90 win, and in the latter game Nash had the most well-rounded performance of his Olympics with 26 points, eight assists and eight rebounds during another Canadian victory.