How to turn Brits off b-ball

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is in Italy, head coach Jay Triano is in Africa, and who knows what direction the team is going.

But this much is known: Triano will be in Turkey later this month, as an assistant coach with the USA national team at the FIBA world championships, and the Raptors will be in London, England, March 4-5, 2011, to play two regular-season games against the New Jersey Nets.

The Raptors wouldn’t confirm the games against the Nets, as the full schedule won’t be released until Aug. 10. But a source outside of the team confirmed the games. The New York Post reported that the Raptors will open their season at the Air Canada Centre against the New York Knicks on Oct. 27.

Triano will replace USA assistant Mike D’Antoni, who is unable to travel because of back problems. The former head coach of Canada’s national team, Triano will join the U.S. team for its New York training and continue on the bench through the worlds, Aug. 28-Sept.12.

“I am very excited to be able to assist Coach K and gain valuable experience in trying to help them win the gold medal,” Triano said in an e-mail. “I had many years as a player and as a coach with Canada (three worlds as a player and one as a coach), but when they decided to go in another direction, I couldn’t stall my career or stop pursuing my dreams. I have had a three-year history with the USA select squad and many of these players were part of that program. You learn from all coaching situations and I am now afforded the opportunity to work with the coaches that were part of the gold medal at the Bejing Olympics.”

Triano was head coach of the Canadian men’s team from 1998-2004, posting a 49-39 record.


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