Denver Nuggets’ prominent player, Jamal Murray, has made the tough decision to withdraw from participating in the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup, citing the extensive physical toll taken during Denver’s NBA championship campaign. Murray’s choice not to compete was confirmed through a statement released by Canada Basketball on Wednesday.
Expressing the rationale behind his decision, the 26-year-old shared, “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.”
In consultation with medical experts and the team, the consensus emerged that Murray requires additional recovery time, leading him to opt out of the tournament. Despite this setback, Murray remains committed to his aspiration of representing Canada in the Olympics and pledged his unwavering support for the team’s pursuit of this goal. Follow your favourite basketball team with attractive betting odds from Nextbet.
Canada is set to be among the 32 teams participating in the FIBA World Cup, scheduled from August 25 to September 10. Success in this tournament could directly propel the Canadians to the 2024 Paris Olympics by securing a top-two finish among teams from the Americas.
Rowan Barrett, the team’s general manager, reflected on the situation, stating, “After numerous discussions over the last several weeks with Jamal and team medical staff, it became clear that additional recovery and rehab would prevent Jamal from joining our team for the upcoming FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup.”
The competition commences with Canada, currently ranked 15th in FIBA’s world rankings, facing off against France on August 25. The Canadians’ journey also includes matches against Lebanon and Latvia in Jakarta, Indonesia, with the ultimate aim of advancing to the final phase in Manila, Philippines.
Though Murray’s absence is a loss for the roster, Canada’s lineup boasts an impressive array of talent. NBA players such as Nickeil Alexander-Walker, RJ Barrett, Dillon Brooks, Luguentz Dort, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kelly Olynyk, and Dwight Powell remain integral to the team’s aspirations. Additionally, Purdue center Zach Edey, the reigning NCAA National Player of the Year, is poised to contribute his skills to Team Canada.
Murray’s absence comes on the heels of an eventful season. After missing the previous season due to an ACL injury, he played a significant role in 65 regular-season games for the Nuggets in 2022-23. During the championship run, he further demonstrated his prowess by contributing to 20 playoff games, averaging an impressive 26.1 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds over 40 minutes per game. Get the latest updates from the world of basketball only on Nextbet Sports, one of the best basketball gambling sites.