Canadian star Jamal Murray to miss FIBA World Cup

Murray will not participate in the upcoming FIBA World Cup in an effort to give his body more time to recover following an NBA title run with Denver.

Canada Basketball announced Wednesday that star guard Jamal Murray, fresh off an NBA title with the Denver Nuggets, will not be playing in the upcoming FIBA Men's World Cup later this month.

The 26-year-old, who was held out of the team's exhibition games against Germany last week, said in a release that his body was ultimately unable to compete at the highest level, having last played just over two months ago in the NBA Finals to cap a gruelling playoff run.

"In consultation with medical staff and the team, it is clear that additional recovery is required, and I have made the difficult decision to not participate in the tournament," Murray said in the release. "It’s still a dream of mine to represent Canada at the Olympics, and I will support the team every step of the way as they pursue this goal."

Murray is coming off an exceptional postseason with the Nuggets, raising his game to another level as he averaged over 26 points for the second consecutive playoffs. Alongside Finals MVP Nikola Jokic, the pair led Denver to the franchise's first-ever NBA title, while Murray became the ninth Canadian to ever lift the Larry O'Brien trophy.

Canada will be in tough at the FIBA World Cup without superstar Jamal Murray in the mix. (Getty)
Canada will be in tough at the FIBA World Cup without superstar Jamal Murray in the mix. (Getty)

His exceptional run, however, will come at the cost of the Kitchener, Ontario native suiting up for what was poised to be the strongest Canadian Basketball squad ever assembled. It's a particularly tough pill to swallow for a Canadian side with aspirations of competing in the Olympics for the first time since 2000.

"After numerous discussions over the last several weeks with Jamal and team medical staff, it became clear that additional recovery and rehab would prevent Jamal from joining our team for the upcoming FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup," Canadian GM Rowan Barrett added.

"With just over a week until we tip-off at the World Cup...we will be working through our remaining practice and exhibition game schedule to prepare us for the tournament-opening game against France,"

The World Cup is set to get underway later this month, with Canada's first game against France tipping off on August 25. They'll then prepare to face Lebanon and a shorthanded Latvian squad to round out the group stage.