Canada’s Murray withdraws from FIBA World Cup

Denver Nuggets star point guard Jamal Murray has withdrawn from Team Canada for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, citing a need for more recovery time following the run to the NBA title in June.

“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. “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.”

The decision didn’t come as a surprise as Murray didn’t travel with the Canadians for a series of warmup games in Europe beginning last week. He did take part in the team’s training camp in Toronto two weeks ago.

Murray, who tore his ACL in 2021, has two years left on his contract and is eligible to sign up to a three-year extension for up to $144 million with the Nuggets this summer. He also has the option to wait until next year to extend his contract and could make himself eligible for a five-year, $300 million deal if he makes the All-NBA team.

Canada hasn’t qualified for the Olympics since 2000 and hasn’t medaled on that stage since 1936. Even without Murray, the Canadians are fielding their strongest-ever team in his absence, led by All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

They can qualify for the Paris games next summer by finishing among the top two teams among the seven representing the Americas region in the World Cup.

“It’s still a dream of mine to represent Canada at the Olympics,” Murray said. “I will support the team every step of the way as they pursue this goal.”

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