LOS ANGELES (NBA) - If the Toronto Raptors fly the flag as Canada's only team in the NBA, many fans could adopt the Los Angeles Lakers as their second favorite side.
Not only have the Lakers now got the most famous player in the nation's history at the Staples Center in Steve Nash, but they also have one of their most promising in Robert Sacre, a second round pick in this year’s draft.
The club has announced it has signed the 2.13m power forward/center.
Sacre played for Canada at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and will be in the mix when national team coach Jay Triano picks his squad for next year’s FIBA Americas Championship in Venezuela.
He could end up featuring for Canada at the inaugural FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, too, if they qualify.
Sacre recently attended the senior squad’s five-day training camp that was held in Toronto and run by Triano and Nash.
He is the second prominent player from Gonzaga to join the Lakers in recent times with France international Ronny Turiaf having also suited up for the team.
Known for his shot-blocking at Gonzaga, the 2.13m Sacre was the 2012 WCC Defensive Player of the Year as well as an All-WCC First-Team honoree while averaging 11.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks .
He ranked second all-time in Zags history in career blocks with 186.
The Lakers liked what they saw when Sacre started all five games for the Lakers' 2012 Summer League team in Las Vegas and averaged 9.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 30.0 minutes.
"We’re just thrilled that he signed and we think he has a great chance to make an impact this year,” Sacre's agent, Keith Kreiter, said.
"He feels he’s a perfect fit. He brings energy, he’s a terrific defender, he can step out [and shoot], he has a little punch to his offensive game and he's a chemistry guy."
For any player to put on a Lakers jersey, it's special.
The club has a rich history and many of the game’s biggest stars have suited up for the team.
"I think he's just thrilled to be part of the Lakers' tradition," Kreiter said.
"It's one of the most storied franchises in the history of basketball.
"He’s old-fashioned. He loves to win, comes from a good program and he’s well-coached, so he feels like this could be a perfect fit."
Sacre will also rub shoulders on a daily basis with Nash and that’s never a bad thing for any player.