OLYMPIC LEGENDS - JAY TRIANO
Basketball took center stage in Canada early this month when the sport's federation announced that Steve Nash had taken a new role with the men’s national team.
The two-time NBA MVP is to serve as the general manager and will try to help the Canadians reach the Rio De Janeiro Games.
Nash played at the Olympics himself, at Sydney 2000, and he took his instructions from another of Canada’s all-time greats in Jay Triano.
Triano was indeed the coach of the national team in those days.
Before that, however, he twice represented Canada at Olympic Games and had good results.
In 1984, he turned out for Canada at the Los Angeles Games and led the Canadians in scoring as they equaled the country's best-ever finish by coming in fourth.
Canada had also ended up fourth at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.
Triano averaged 14.6 points per game that summer in LA.
In a Quarter-Final with special significance against Italy, the country of his great grandfather, Triano exploded for 25 points.
Next, in the Semi-Finals against a United States team that had Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullen and Sam Perkins, Triano made seven of his 15 shots from the floor and finished with 16 points but the heavily favored USA won, 78-59.
Triano then had 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal in thebronze-medal game against the former Yugoslavia but Canada fell, 88-82.
Croatia legend Drazen Petrovic played for that Yugoslavia side.
Four years later and Triano played for Canada again at the Seoul Games.
Again leading Canada, this time with an average of 16 points per contest, Triano was the face of Canadian basketball.
The Yugoslavians again ended their medal hopes, though, with a 95-73 victory in the last eight.
Triano endured his worst game of that Olympics against the Yugoslavians, making just two of 11 shots from the field and scoring five points.
He hit back with a vengeance in the next two clashes.
Triano tore apart a Spanish that had the legend Epi, scoring 27 points in a 61-99 Canada victory.
In the battle for fifth place, despite Triano's 29 points, Canada fell 106-90 to Brazil, who were led by a 41-point Oscar.
As the Canada coach in 2000, medal hopes were high but this time France proved to be their undoing.
Les Bleus won their Quarter-Final, 68-63.
Triano moved from strength to strength in the years that followed.
After being an assistant coach of the Toronto Raptors, he was promoted to the head coaching position.
Now, Triano serves as the vice president of pro scouting for the Raptors.
He became involved again in international basketball, working as an assistant coach to Mike Krzyzewski with Team USA at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
Triano will again be with the Americans at the London Games.
No one knows exactly what is in the future of Triano, but one certainty is that he will remain involved in basketball.
Now that Nash has become the GM of the Canadian national team, don’t be surprised if he asks Triano to lead the national side again.
Canada have been without a coach since Leo Rautins decided, following last year’s FIBA Americas Championship, to step down from the position.
Article courtesy of FIBA