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Rockets guard Dillon Brooks welcomes more NBA players to Canada's Olympic team – Winnipeg Free Press

Rockets guard Dillon Brooks welcomes more NBA players to Canada's Olympic team – Winnipeg Free Press

OKLAHOMA CITY – As far as Dillon Brooks is concerned, this summer's Paris Olympics are getting a lot more fun.

Brooks will welcome more Canadian basketball players to the men's basketball team for the Summer Games, anything to help Canada get back on the podium after an 88-year medal drought. Brooks, from Mississauga, Ont., is one of 14 players who have committed to play for Canada this Olympic cycle.

“When you come and play for your country, it's all about pride, it's not about money and it's not about anything else except pride and representing your country,” Brooks said after his team's Houston Rockets game in Oklahoma City against the Thunder. “They've played Team Canada before and we need to get better.

Dillon Brooks will welcome more Canadian basketball players to the men's basketball team for the Paris Olympics this summer. Brooks drives to the basket past Sacramento Kings guard Keon Ellis, left, and forward Harrison Barnes during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, March 10, 2024. The Canadian Press/AP-Randall Benton

“It doesn't matter who's on the team or anything, we just have to get better and be ready.”

Brooks scored 39 points as Canada beat the United States 127-118 in overtime to win the bronze medal at the FIBA ​​World Cup in September. 10. Canada earned its first ever Men's World Cup medal despite the absence of several key NBA players such as point guard Jamal Murray of the NBA champion Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers point guard Andrew Nembhard, and small forward Golden State Warriors Andrew Wiggins.

He said he would be happy to add those three and more to help the Canadian men's team win its first Olympic medal in nearly a century. Canada won a silver medal at the 1936 Berlin Games, the first time basketball became an Olympic sport.

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“I said this after we won the bronze medal, 'It doesn't matter, we've got to get back up.' We've got to get better,” Brooks said. “So add Jamal, add Nembhard, add Wiggins.

“This will make our team better. These guys are selfless players.

Brooks' 39 points in the bronze medal game set the single-game scoring record by a Canadian player in a World Cup, surpassing the previous record of 37 points set by Carl Reed in 1954. He said it's good to be in the history books but he hopes it is. . The record does not stand still.

“I hope someone breaks it in the gold medal game,” he said. “I feel great. I played hard, and we played for each other. It worked for me and we kept finding each other.”

Murray stays aggressive – Murray is averaging 6.6 assists per game with Denver this season. After scoring 12 goals in a 125-119 win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night, he said it's ironic because he looks to pass less often.

“Honestly, it's more aggressive scoring,” Murray said. “He's not looking for the pass first. When I press the rim or the three or fast I think it makes the defense react to me first.

“And I got (MVP nominee Nikola Jokic) on my team, so my job is a little easier.”