NBA Updates PH – Canada Basketball said on Wednesday (August 16) that Denver Nuggets star guard Jamal Murray will not play in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Jamal Murray, who is 26 years old, just won the NBA championship with the Denver Nuggets in 2023. He was supposed to be a top addition to the Canadian team for the tournament, which starts on August 25.
But after talking with his team and doctors, it was decided that he would not play in the World Cup so that he could heal from his long season in the NBA playoffs, which ended just two months ago.
“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 said in a statement shared by Canada Basketball.
“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.”
Jamal Murray made his comeback to the Nuggets this season, having fully recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury that he suffered in 2021 and 2022.
He played in 65 regular-season games before being kept out of the playoffs, so his knee didn’t have to work too hard during the team’s run for the crown.
“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,” the guard continued.
Jamal Murray is the second big name from the Nuggets not to play in the World Cup. Nikola Jokic of Serbia also chose to rest and not play for his country.
Conversely, Canada will still have NBA players on their team as they try to win the world title. Some players still committed to the team are Shai Gilgeous Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Nickeil Alexander-Walker of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks.
Canada will start the World Cup in Group H, where it will play France, Lebanon, and Latvia. All three of these teams won silver medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The 2023 men’s FIBA World Cup is a qualifier for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Seven straight Olympic spots are up for grabs.