Unlikely 2021 Season Stops for Olympics

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All the Jamal Murray mania and Canadian basketball excitement that swept the nation last month took an unfortunate blow on Friday night when Adam Silver told NBA TV it’s “unlikely” the NBA season will stop for the 2021 Olympic games.

“We’ll consider it. I think it’s unlikely at the end of the day that, if we start late, we would stop for the Olympics,” Silver told NBA TV.

“It’s not just a function of stopping for the period in which they are competing over in Tokyo, they require a training camp and then they require rest afterwards.”

Not only is it unlikely that Canada will have NBA players at the Olympics, but the news of a late start to the 2021 season will likely prohibit Canadian NBA players from participating in the FIBA qualifying games scheduled for late June 2021. The Canadian Men’s National Team still has yet to qualify for the Olympics and without its top players and head coach Nick Nurse, it’s unlikely Canada would even qualify for the Tokyo games.

The biggest competition for Team Canada will likely be the Greek team, who will also be without their top player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, but considering the depth of overseas talent, Team Greece still poses a significant challenge for Team Canada.

Numerous Canadian NBA players including Jamal Murray and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had previously announced their intention to play at the 2020 Olympic games. Nurse said last month that he was under the impression Murray would play in 2021, but that was under the impression NBA players would be available for the games.