Jamal Murray pulls out of World Cup for health reasons

Aug 16, 2023, 10:10 AM

Jamal Murray...

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The FIBA World Cup begins in little over a week and Team Canada has long been one of the teams to keep an eye on, but they became less interesting on Wednesday.

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray has pulled out of the tournament, citing discussions with the staff about the way his body was responding.

“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,” said Murray in a news release from the 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. 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 2023 tournament is set to go on from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10, featuring the best 32 men’s teams in the world. It’ll tip off in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, with the end of the competition happening in Manila.

For Murray’s part, he played 85 games this past season coming off knee surgery. He only played in a handful of back to backs and the spread out nature of the playoffs is likely one of the reasons the Blue Arrow turned so consistent in those high pressure moments.

“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, General Manager / Executive Vice-President, Senior Men’s Program in the news release. “With just over a week until we tip-off at the World Cup, based on a shared commitment to continue building and improving every day, we will be working through our remaining practice and exhibition game schedule to prepare us for the tournament-opening game against France,”

Canada is slated to play three games in little over 96 hours to begin the tournament and they can directly qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with a top-two finish amongst teams from the Americas at the World Cup. They’ll continue on with a sick roster led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Rj Barrett and Kelly Olynyk.

Murray last played for his home country in 2015 at the Pan-American Games, and his three-year commitment that he announced in the summer of last year to Team Canada seems to be on hold. Though the olympics are next summer in Paris.

How injured or how bad Murray’s body really is, isn’t known but he certainly looked in peak form the last time he played for the Nuggets. In Game 3 of the NBA Finals, he and Nikola Jokic became the only teammates in basketball history to record dueling 30-point triple doubles in the same game. For his part, Jokic also pulled out of the tournament for Serbia, meanwhile, Vlatko Cancar suffered a serious injury in prep for the competition for Slovenia.



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