Kings associate head coach Jordi Fernandez will replace Nick Nurse of the Sixers as the head coach of the Canadian national team, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Canada Basketball has officially confirmed the news, indicating in a press release that the leadership change will take place immediately. Nurse, who coached the Raptors – Canada’s only NBA team – for five seasons before being dismissed this spring, subsequently stepped down from his position with the national team. Fernandez will take the reins for the 2023 World Cup, which begins in less than two months.
Fernandez, who was born in Spain, was an assistant coach on the Nuggets’ staff from 2016-22 before joining the Kings under Mike Brown last year. He’s considered a rising head coaching candidate, having interviewed for the coaching vacancies in Phoenix and Toronto earlier in the offseason.
Here are a few more updates from around the international basketball world:
- After playing a regular season game in France in 2020 and again in 2023, the NBA is on track to return to Paris in 2024, according to a report from L’Equipe, which states that the Nets and Cavaliers are the teams expected to compete in that game. There’s hope that French phenom Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs will play a game in Paris as soon as 2025, per L’Equipe.
- Izan Almansa, a 6’10” Spanish big man who spent the last two years with Overtime Elite and projects to be a first-round pick in 2024, has signed with the G League Ignite, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Almansa, the last prospect to join the Ignite for 2023/24, will be part of a star-studded group that includes potential top-five picks Ron Holland and Matas Buzelis.
- Gianni Petrucci, the president of the Italian Basketball Federation, wasn’t thrilled by Paolo Banchero‘s decision to play for the United States instead of Italy at the upcoming World Cup, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport that the Magic forward “fooled us.” However, Petrucci clarified that he was more upset about a lack of communication from Banchero rather than the decision itself. “It was a legitimate decision, but he could have made a call to communicate that to us,” Petrucci said, per BasketNews.com. “Instead, we learned about his decision from the newspapers.”
- German forward Louis Olinde, who has spent the past three seasons with Alba Berlin, is hoping to make the move to the NBA this offseason, writes Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com. According to Urbonas, Olinde has worked out for the Warriors and Thunder and has a session lined up with the Trail Blazers too. The 25-year-old is also expected to play for the Suns at the Las Vegas Summer League.