'Don't close any doors' Canadian captain Olynyk says of adding reinforcements for Olympics

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Kelly Olynyk is the captain of the Canadian men’s basketball team, which means he has a lot of say. But he’s not the type to overstep or make headlines. Which is why when you ask him a question many in this country are debating, he’ll provide an excellent, diplomatic answer.

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The question, of course, is whether or not the Canadian team should take on reinforcements in the form of NBA players like Jamal Murray, Andrew Nembhard, Andrew Wiggins, Bennedict Mathurin or others, or stick with the group that won bronze at the FIBA World Cup last summer and qualified for the Paris Olympics.

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“I mean, it’s obviously up to some other people (like general manager Rowan Barrett and head coach Jordi Fernandez) and everybody’s got to talk about it and make the best decision we can,” Olynyk told Postmedia recently.

“We want to field the best team possible. But it’s got to be the best team we can field as well.”

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What Olynyk seemed to imply thee implied there is FIBA basketball isn’t all about just stacking the most talent and taking the court. The United States has learned that lesson many times. Talent is key, for sure, but so is having a cohesive group where all the parts fit and roles are known.

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“So it’s hard to say at this moment,” Olynyk continued. “(Plus), you don’t know, knock on wood, even the guys who came last year, if they are able to participate again (because of possible injuries or contractual issues). So, it’s kind of don’t count your chickens before they hatch and don’t close any doors as well. That’s kind of the stance we have to have right now,” he said.

Olynyk has been playing for Canada since he was a teenager. Back then many of the country’s best had declined to suit up many times on many occasions. That’s changed, he pointed out. “It’s great to hear guys want to join, that’s also a positive,” Olynyk said of the interest.

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