Our Canadian Mens National Team has been unsuccessful the past two summers. Make it two blotched attempts failing to qualify for the 2016 Brazil Olympics.

Now sources have told Hoops Hype Canada that Andrew Wiggins is fed up. A source close to Canada basketball says the budding NBA superstar informed Canada Basketball brass that ‘he doesnt want to play for Triano again”. A disgruntled superstar doesnt bode well for Canada basketball who are already in hot water with their supporters for lack of success and up in the air commitments from it’s NBA talent.

Andrew Wiggins may have grounds here. International basketball is business of results. Anonymous and mediocrity on the international stage usually calls for change. Whether the Canadian basketball federation has an appetite or even the ability to hire an accomplished international coach is a topic for another day. However you better believe that the rabid Canadian basketball community deserves one, let alone Andrew Wiggins and his peers.

Perhaps a full-time coach? One that would go from NBA arena to NBA arena, tracking or NBA talent much like Rowan Barrett Sr did during his sons freshman season south of the border.

Wake up Canada Basketball. It’s ime to identify and hire a individual that will do everything in their power to make and sustain success with our senior men’s team. Let alone just excite its pool of NBA talent to participate, Time for new insight, energy and enthusiasm.

An in-depth look at five international candidates who merit the opportunity to get the ball rolling in the right direction for Canada at the senior level;


Name: David Blatt Age: 57
Current Gig: Darussafaka, Turkey.

Blatt boasts a magnitude of coaching experience internationally. His resume has head coach stints in Russia, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Italy and the United States. The 2014 EuroLeague Coach Of The Year was fired from the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 30-11 record in 2016-17 and 83-40 (.675) record overall during his nineteen month tenure. While the Raptors and Cavaliers playoff series took place last spring, Blatt was ironically in Toronto simultaneously speaking at a Canada Basketball coaching clinic.

Blatt lost his job because he wasn’t on the same page as his best player (Lebron James) in Cleveland. Canada Basketball lost their best player (Andrew Wiggins) last summer because they weren’t on the same page as Wiggs.

David Blatt and Andrew Wiggins on the international scene. Why not? They probably have one thing in common—not fans of Lebron James.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Ettore Messina, Head Coach of CSKA Moscow gestures during the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four game 3rd and 4th place between CSKA Moscow v FC Barcelona Regal at O2 Arena on May 12, 2013 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Luca Sgamellotti/EB via Getty Images)

Name: Ettore Messina Age: 56
Current Gig: Spurs Assistant Coach

The Spurs coaching tree is always a hot commodity. Mike Budenholzer, Brett Brown among others. Nowadays it’s Ettore Messina. He’s the one who identified and signed Manu Ginobili at 21 years of age to a top flight Italian league contract. It later kick started a successful coaching career that includes four Euroleague championships as a head coach.

Messina this past summer took over the Italian National team for its Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The Azzurri lost to Croatia in the finals. No official word if he will return.

An accomplished and competitive coach like Messina you can only imagine his desire right now is for revenge. That is unless Steve Nash or Rowan Barrett pick up the phone and entice one of Europe’s greatest coaches EVER.

Gregg Popovich on Messina via the San Antonio Express:

“He’s one of the best coaches in the world,” Popovich said. “He’s very successful, a great technician, a great game coach. To be able to befriend him over the years and now work with him is a joy for me and really good for our organization.”


Name: Mike Malone Age: 45
Current Gig: Denver Nuggets Head Coach

Only candidate on this list holding down a head coaching gig in the NBA. With seven players under the age of 21 how long will Malone endure losing in the mile high if the Nuggets rebuilding program stalls. He will however be day to day in the trenches with Canadian rising star Jamal Murray working in Denver. Check this. His dad Brendan was the head coach of our beloved expansion Raptors during 1995. Malone’s Canadian connection doesn’t end there. He also served as an assistant to Leo Rautins when he was head coach of Canada in the mid 2000’s. With collegiate and NBA assistant experience under his belt Malone was head coach in 2014-15 in Sacramento. The same season they drafted Canadian Nik Stauskas. His time with the Kings was short lived, first season 28-54. Second season was unfairly dismissed with a respectable 11-13 record.

What separates Malone from Jay Triano is It didn’t take Malone long to get a second shot at head coaching in the NBA. Speaks volumes in terms of what separates the two.


Name: Jerry Stackhouse Age:42
Current Gig: Raptors D-League Head Coach

A intriguing candidate for various reasons. If your looking for someone full-time, a main fixture across NBA arenas tracking our Canadian talent, Stack has the intangibles beyond connections to get the nicest seats and freshest suits.

After spending 18 seasons as a pro and retiring, Stackhouse has been involved in coaching ever since. From the grassroots level with Adidas all the way to an NBA assistant in 2015-16 with the Atlantic Division champion Raptors. In 2016-17 Stackhouse made a lateral move within the Toronto organization taking the helm as head coach of the Raptors NBDL team the 905.

Familiarity with Canadian NBA and NCAA talent? Stackhouse has Canadian contacts as evident when he launched an AAU program in the Greater Toronto Area back in 2015. His AAU program also boasts the no.1 ranked prospect in the Canadian 2017 class Lindell Wigginton. Stackhouse has served as a mentor to Wigginton and has worked out with him the last two summers. If Steve Nash or Rowan Barrett call up Stackhouse it wouldn’t be the first time Barrett and Stack have spoken. When Stackhouse arrived on the Toronto AAU scene Barrett Sr and Stackhouse held an advanced discussion of a possible sponsorship scenario involving Barrett Jr and his travel team. For AAU purposes Rowan Barrett didn’t need Stackhouse but don’t fool yourselves, on the senior men’s international stage Rowan Barrett could definitely use a 42 year old basketball lifer like Stack.

Mike Fratello

Name: Mike Fratello Age: 60
Current Gig: FREE AGENT

Spent parts of 16 seasons as an NBA head coach. He has a 667-548 record, but his teams have never advanced past the conference semifinals. He has coached the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Memphis Grizzlies. Fratello is a nicely-aged Italian-american from New Jersey who currently provides for the Brooklyn Nets broadcasts on YES Network as well as nationally broadcasted games on TNT. He has the nickname ‘The Czar of the Telestrator’, a testament to his uncanny ability to draw plays and accurately describe the action on the court visually.
Prior to his broadcasting career, Fratello was one of the most respected and successful coaches in NBA history. Fratello’s last NBA gig was with the Grizz in 2006. In 2010 he was appointed bench boss of Ukraine. A solid five year run that came to an end this summer but included a birth to the World Cup of Basketball and a sixth place finish at the Euro Basket.

If defense wins championships is the mantra and slowing things down things is the direction our federation wants to go with, then Fratello is the guy. His teams played at the league’s slowest pace, a Mike Fratello staple since the early 1980s. His general coaching philosophy has been to play deliberate, defensive-minded basketball.

Now for the record Jay Triano has pioneered a path in Canadian basketball history, first as a player at Simon Fraser University, later for a decade as the leader on the national team, and even at the helm of the Toronto Raptors as the only Canadian head coach in NBA history.

Damage is done now, in the famous words of Shaquille O’Neal, Triano is ‘barbeque chicken’ to the Canadian basketball community. Electing to go with Aaron Doornekamp over Wiggins in a must win game versus Venezuela two summers ago may have forever tainted his legacy. It definitely created trust issues.

The ball is now in your court Canada basketball…