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July 17, 2008
by Jeff Briggs
Canada is currently playing in the FIBA Olympic qualifier in Greece, trying to qualify for the Bejing Olympics. Coming into the tournament, the biggest star on their roster, and only NBA player, was not Steve Nash, but rather Philadelphia 76ers center, Samuel Dalembert. Last year Dalembert took the steps needed to gain Canadian citizenship so that he could play for the national team. Now, after playing just one game in the tournament, Dalembert's services are no longer wanted.
Just before the team bus left for the arena to play South Korea, Dalembert and coach Leo Rautins had words with each other.
National team coach Leo Rautins confronted Dalembert as the team bus was about to leave for the arena, questioning his commitment to the team. Dalembert in turn challenged Rautins.
Dalembert did not get on the bus, and was not with the team for the game (a 79-77 win for Canada). The cause of the problems between Dalembert and Rautins are not entirely known, but it seems like without Dalembert, Canada's chances to grab one of the three final spots for the Olympics are low.