Lobbying for Nash

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:09 AM ET

Philadelphia 76ers centre Samuel Dalembert, who became a Canadian citizen last summer and represented the country at the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifier in Las Vegas, said that he is going to do everything possible to get Steve Nash to play at the Olympics next summer.

Dalembert, who was honoured prior to the Raptors-Sixers game last night in recognition of is participation, said that he doesn't expect Nash to play at the final Olympic qualifier, which begins July 14 in Athens, Greece, but he is hopeful that two-time NBA MVP will play in Beijing if Canada does make it through the qualifier in Athens.

"It's a long season for him (in Phoenix)," said the Haitian-born, Montreal-raise Dalembert. "(But) we (Team Canada) would just love for him to give us like 20 minutes a game, no practice, nothing at all, man. If he can just give us 20 minutes a game, we'll be alright."

Dalembert said that he is confident that the young Canadian team, even without Nash, can qualify for Beijing and he plans to talk to Nash when the Sixers meet the Suns on March 1 in Phoenix.

"I'm hoping, man. I'm hoping (he'll play)," Dalembert said. "I'm going to do my best in the qualifications to put us in the Olympics. It's his last chance. He's not going to have another chance like that again. I think he knows that."

UKIC T.O. BOUND?

According to published reports, the Raptors have a reached a deal that would free point guard Roko Ukic next season to play for Toronto. The 6-foot-5 point guard plays with Lottomatica Roma of the Italian league. The native of Split, Croatia , was drafted in the second-round of the 2005 draft, but played the past two seasons with Tau Ceramica and Barcelona of the Spanish League.


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