Kings’ Cory Joseph will play for Canada at 2019 FIBA World Cup
Sacramento Kings point guard Cory Joseph is set to play for Team Canada at the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup, which will take place in China.
Canada coach Nick Nurse confirmed the news:
“Cory Joseph is in and ready to go,” Nurse said in an interview with the CBC ahead of Canada’s training camp in Toronto.
Sportsnet’s Michael Grange reported Saturday that the new Kings backup point guard was “definitely having second thoughts” about participating, much like many others who have backed out of their previous commitment.
The soon-to-be 28-year-old has been a regular contributor to the Canadian national team since 2011. Joseph just signed with the Sacramento Kings as a free agent after two seasons with the Indiana Pacers. Joseph played all 82 games for the Pacers and averaged 6.9 points, 3.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds, most of them coming off the bench behind the recently retired Darren Collison.
Joseph can help Canada make its first Olympic appearance in the sport since 2000 by acquiring an automatic berth by finishing among the top two teams at the Americas Division at the World Cup. He said he was excited about that possibility during an interview in 2018, via The Canadian Press:
“Just from talking to some of the guys, we’re excited, it’s a great opportunity for us to do something that maybe has never been done by Canada. It’s been a long time since we’ve been to the Olympics, with (Steve) Nash and whatnot,” he said at the time.
With other high-level prospects like a young RJ Barrett pulling out from consideration, along with Andrew Wiggins, it will be a tall task for Joseph and company to pull it off on the world stage.