Nuggets standout Jamal Murray will not play for Canada in the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup, citing the physical drain that resulted from Denver’s NBA championship 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,” Murray, 26, said in a statement released by Canada Basketball on Wednesday.
“In consultation with medical staff and the team, it is clear that additional recovery is required, and I have made the difficult decision to not participate in the tournament. 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.”
Canada is one of 32 teams taking place in the World Cup between Aug. 25 and Sept. 10. The Canadians can advance directly to the 2024 Paris Olympics with a top-two finish among teams from the Americas.
“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,” said Rowan Barrett, the team general manager.
Canada, 15th in the FIBA world rankings, opens group play against France on Aug. 25 and also will face Lebanon and Latvia in Jakarta, Indonesia, in its quest to qualify for the final phase in Manila, Philippines.
Even without Murray on the roster, the Canadians have an impressive group in their camp, including NBA players Nickeil Alexander-Walker, RJ Barrett, Dillon Brooks, Luguentz Dort, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kelly Olynyk and Dwight Powell.
Purdue center Zach Edey, the reigning NCAA National Player of the Year, also is set to play for Canada.
Murray played 65 regular-season games for the Nuggets in 2022-23 after missing the previous season due to an ACL injury. He added 20 playoff games, and he averaged 26.1 points, 7.1 assists and 5.7 rebounds over 40 minutes per game during the championship run.
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