Time to Start Paying Attention to Team Canada


If you are planning on choosing Canada as your sleeper pick for the 2024 Olympic games, I am truly sorry, but it’s too late.

The secret’s out. Canada is legit.

Coming off a Bronze medal finish where they beat none other than the “Almighty” USA, Canada has put the world on notice.

The talent pool in Canada continues to grow, with more and more players from the country being selected into the NBA. Since the first two Canadian players entered what was then known as the ABA in 1947, they now have 24 players currently on an NBA roster.


The Bronze medal won by Canada this past summer is their most prestigious achievement since they took home the silver medal in the 1936 Olympics.

It’s fair to say it’s been a while.

Canada qualifying for the 2024 Olympics ends a 24-year-long drought, when Team Canada was captained by Steve Nash in 2000. Nash led the Canadian team to a prodigious upset over Yugoslavia, the defending champs, as well as wins against Spain and Angola.

However, they ultimately they fell to France in the first round of elimination games.

In 2023, Canada has made vast improvements as a basketball nation that were on full display this World Cup.


Not only was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander the best player on team Canada— he was arguably the best player in the whole tournament.

He averaged 24.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game on an astonishing 67.5 TS%. While this is certainly impressive, numbers can be ostensible. To truly grasp the gravitas of his performances, you need to look at his head-to-head matchups with other stars.

Canada was matched up against Slovenia, who possesses perennial MVP candidate Luka Doncic. The Canadians have the upper hand when it comes to NBA talent. Slovenia’s advantage comes in the form of experience with the FIBA game, especially in comparison to the newly formed rendition of Canada.

After the game, both stars made headlines. For Shai his read: Slovenia can’t handle Shai’s domination on the court. For Luka the headlines were concerned with other matters, reading: Luka Doncic gets ejected, Canada easily beats Slovenia.

All pettiness aside, Luka is one of the premier talents in the NBA and Shai emerging victorious on the international stage is a credit to his growth.

Canadians and Americans could argue extensively about the bronze-medal game— whether or not Canada could compete with Team USA’s top dogs back home. What is not up for debate, however, is who the best player in the tournament from North America was.

It was undisputedly Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Shai’s contribution to the bronze-medal victory consisted of a 31-point, six-rebound and 12-assist performance. His performance was a glimpse at what Thunder fans experience every gameday. Shai is a legitimate MVP candidate.

The totality of his game was on display in this tournament.

He was able to control the game to best suit him and his teammates. This skill is most commonly associated with slower-footed NBA players that possess a high basketball IQ. But don’t get it misconstrued, Shai does play at his own pace but his foot can also hit the gas pedal at any second.

Just ask Mikal Bridges.


Dillon Brooks was undoubtedly stellar for the entire tournament. He reached his apex against team USA.

He put up an unexpected and ludicrous 39 points on 87.1% TS. Two more points than his career high in the NBA. The States attempted to use Brooks’ reputation as a poor outside shooter against him by giving him plenty of space. This ploy backfired for the Americans as Brooks went seven for eight from beyond the arc.

Just as you expected, he was not quiet about it either.

Brooks also dominated the other side of the ball as well. His hard-nosed and infuriating defense earned him the honors of Best Defensive Player of FIBA World Cup 2023.

Perhaps the most shocking yet inclining aspect of Brooks play in the World Cup is his efficiency. Dillon Brooks ranked 36th in FIBA’s player efficiency rating, which is in stark contrast to last years NBA season where he ranked 326th in efficiency.

While one stat cannot possibly tell the entire story, those who watched this tournament have seen first-hand how impactful Brooks can be when he’s making his shots.

The idea to leave Brooks open existed prior to the Americans unsuccessful attempt. The Lakers employed this tactic in the last NBA Playoffs. This time things did not end as well for Brooks, who after his poor playoff performance was informed he will not be brought back by the Grizzlies.

Brooks’ excellent play this tournament has completely shifted the narrative. All of a sudden, his new $80 million deal isn’t looking so bad.


Basketball is growing at a rapid pace in the north.

The long-term future of basketball in Canada and across the world is very bright. Of more importance at this point in time, however, is the 2024 Olympics.

The United States roster will look drastically different come Olympic time, likewise Canada had some big names miss out on the most recent world stage.

Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Brandon Clarke, Shaedon Sharpe and Benedict Mathurin.

Murray is the only one of these players who made a three-year commitment to Canada Basketball.

Certainly in an event as important as the Olympics the names above will be welcome to suit up in a Canadian uniform. Especially with LeBron James recruiting his own Dream Team, Canada will look to put together a roster capable of upsetting the neighboring powerhouse.

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About Josh Douglas

Josh is a fan of shot creators, big guys that play like guards, and on-court accessories. He is an avid supporter of all things Clippers and 76ers. Josh writes about the L.A. Clippers.

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