Helping Britain interests Nash: Reports

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

Say it ain't so, Steve.

Reports in both the London Times and Manchester Guardian quote the reigning NBA most valuable player and Canada's highest-profile player in the game of basketball considering a coaching or advisory capacity with the Great Britain basketball program for the 2012 Olympics in London.

"It is not out of the question," Nash is quoted in the Times. "If GB Basketball would have me, I would definitely consider being involved in some way, either as a coach or in some advisory capacity," the British passport-holding Nash said.

Of course Nash is merely stating an interest in an opportunity here. It's a long way from making a commitment -- a point Leo Rautins, head coach of Canada's national team is quick to point out.

Rautins believes Nash would do well in whatever basketball capacity he would be asked to fill, but what neither the Times piece or Guardian piece includes is the nugget that Canada Basketball has made preliminary overtures to Nash about a similar role here at home.

"I think he would be a great asset for Canada Basketball if he stayed here and did something like that," Rautins said. "Would I look at it as something terrible if he did (go to England)? No. Everyone does what they want to do.

"But I think Steve should look at it two ways. He has done a lot of good for Canada Basketball but at the same time there were times he was playing for Canada Basketball that things were not so good for him NBA-wise. I think Canada Basketball has been very good for him in terms of his development and his confidence."

"A lot of people saw him play there internationally when he was struggling NBA-wise. It opened a lot of doors for him and kept his confidence up at times when his confidence was where it could be."

Rautins bottom line: "There's an opportunity here too."

Britain has appeared in only one Olympics -- in 1948, also as a result of being the host nation. That year, the team lost all five of its games.

Nash, 31, holds a British passport by virtue of having an English father and Welsh mother.


Videos

Photos