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Nick Nurse steps down as Canada Basketball head coach

The Philadelphia 76ers new head coach will not lead the Canadian men’s national team through the FIBA World Cup nor the 2024 Olympics.

Canada Basketball holds a press conference to announce the 14 man roster of the FIBA Basketball World Cup ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers with Rowan Barrett, General Manager / Executive Vice-President, Senior Men’s Program and Nick N Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers’ new boss Nick Nurse has stepped down from his head coaching position with Canadian Men’s National Team, according to reports from Sportnet’s Michael Grange, who says that the “time commitment after taking over Sixers HC job [is] too much.”

Sacramento Kings’ associate head coach Jordi Fernandez will take over the post, as first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski. Fernandez recently finished his first season as lead assistant to Mike Brown in Sacramento following six seasons as an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets. He has garnered more attention as of late, interviewing for head-coaching jobs with Milwaukee, Phoenix and Toronto — for Nurse’s old job.

Nurse has led the Canadian team since 2019, a post he served while also head coach of the Toronto Raptors. This was an unexpected pivot for the Canadian national team, who released the following statement following Nurse’s firing from Toronto back in April:

“Canada Basketball and our Senior Men’s National Team coach, Nick Nurse, are focused on this summer’s FIBA Basketball World Cup and qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics.”

“Nick will continue to be our head coach, as we work to achieve our goals this summer and next.”

It might be worth noting that Canada Basketball men’s team shares a practice facility, the OVO Athletic Centre, with Nurse’s former employer, the Raptors. That might have gotten awkward.

Nevertheless, the team will move on with Fernandez to the 2023 FIBA World Cup taking place this August through September in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. In 2024, Canada will compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic men’s basketball tournament — their first time qualifying for the competition since 2000.

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