Jamal Murray, who recently led the Nuggets to their first ever NBA title alongside Nikola Jokic, has announced he won’t be suiting up for Canada in this month’s upcoming FIBA World Cup.
The information was released this Wednesday morning as the Denver star had spent the past couple of weeks in Toronto preparing in his nation’s training camp. After he consulted with both his team’s medical staff, it was decided he would be needing more time to recover from a demanding past season.
“When I came into training camp, I wanted to see how my body would respond after a long and demanding season and if I would be physically able to compete at the highest level required for the World Cup,” the player said, only to realize he wasn’t fit enough.
Jamal Murray to miss the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup.
— Canada Basketball (@CanBball) August 16, 2023
The 26-year-old has spent the last two months resting ever since his club beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals in June. His teammate Nikola Jokic also decided he will be skipping the international tournament with Serbia to rest for the following campaign.
As the FIBA competition takes place from August 25 to September 10 in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, Canada needs to achieve a top-two finish among American teams to qualify to the 2024 Pari Olympics, a feat they haven’t reached since 2000.
“It’s still a dream of mine to represent Canada at the Olympics, and I will support the team every step of the way as they pursue this goal,” Murray said.
His nation has been placed in Group H at the World Cup and will compete against France on the inaugural day, Lebanon two days later and Latvia on August 29 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The next and final phase of the FIBA tournament will be held in Manila, Philippines.
Celtics newcomer Kristaps Porzingis also announced he won’t participate for Latvia this World Cup
Latvia will also be missing their most important star, as Kristaps Porzingis admitted that it was a “difficult” decision to sit out the competition. In his case, the new Boston player is currently recovering from a plantar fasciitis, and has his first priority set on having a strong NBA season.
The European big man explained that his decision was made after consulting with the medical and coaching staff of both the Celtics and the Latvian national squad.
“It is difficult, I feel very responsible to myself and the supporters of the Latvian national team, but a decision has been made that I will not play in the World Cup,” the player posted on social media.
“After several weeks of recovery and a repeat MRI examination, the plantar fasciitis of my foot still prevents me from being on the field in full readiness. This joint decision has been made by both the medical staff and coaching staff of the national team, as well as the Celtics team – with the advice and opinion that it is now necessary to continue the recovery process. Such a decision is not easy to make, but I promise that I will be there and support the team as much as I can. Our land – Latvia!” he wrote.