Will Canada Basketball's Jordi Fernandez be able to stay on job for Olympics?

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Jordi Fernandez is going to have an extremely busy summer. Canadian basketball fans hope it won’t be too rammed to keep him out of the Olympics.

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Fernandez did a masterful job as head coach of the senior men’s national team last summer, leading them to a bronze medal, as well as an Olympic berth at the FIBA World Cup.

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But reports this week from ESPN said the Spaniard is set to become the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Fernandez previously served as associate head coach of the Sacramento Kings, but will now have a far bigger role with a lot more commitments.

Could that force a major change for a second huge tournament in a row after Nick Nurse had to step down upon being hired by the Philadelphia 76ers following his firing by the Raptors?

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Sportsnet’s Michael Grange tweeted Tuesday: “My understanding is @CanBball has been kept in the loop regarding possibility of Jordi Fernandez getting a head coaching position this coming season, in this case with the Nets, as @wojespn has reported. The hope is Jordi will be able to stay on with men’s team for the Olympics.”

But you only had to listen to Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic about how things changed for him last summer when he went from associate head coach with the Memphis Grizzlies to head coach of the Raptors to understand Fernandez is going to have a lot on his plate.

“It was very hectic. So I was on my cellphone eight, nine hours a day, not texting, but actually talking,” Rajakovic said of trying to organize a move to a new city, hiring a coaching staff, making time to see players in person or at the very least talk to them.

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“I was trying to get the best coaching staff, the best people, the best experts on the team. That was No. 1. After that, go visit players, go talk to them, see their expectations, what they want, what they need,” he said.

“Then there was a decision after summer league, should I go home or not? I decided that yes, I should go home, spend time with my wife and son. But that turned out to be me showing at a coffee shop at 8 in the morning and leaving that same coffee shop at 5 p.m. and be on my computer planning for a coaching retreat and offensive and defensive playbooks and how we’re going to do scouting and all of that. Kinda like you’re putting the whole system in so it was a lot of preparation, lot of not enough time in the day.”

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Fernandez will have to move from the west coast, while NBA summer league goes from July 12-22, but Canada’s training camp opens a couple of weeks before that, with the Olympics in France starting on July 26.

Before the news of Fernandez’s new NBA gig broke, his Canadian captain, Kelly Olynyk, had high praise.

“I think he’d be great as a coach. Obviously, he’s been around the game a tonne, on the international stage the NBA level. He has that European feel for the game, which is huge because that’s the way the game is going and is right now,” Olynyk said.

“I think he’d unbelievable. He’s a great leader, a great communicator, you know, very high IQ, knows what he’s doing and he wants to do it. He’s younger, he can relate, but yeah, I think he would be good and I think anybody who gets him would be happy with what he does with their program.”

Hopefully, Fernandez’s time with the Nets goes better than that of Canadian hoops icon Steve Nash.

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