Veteran Canadian point guard Cory Joseph will not play in the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.
Joseph was a full participant in training camp, and he even appeared in an exhibition game against Nigeria two weeks back, before parting ways. It was rumoured that he would eventually rejoin Team Canada, who are currently playing additional tune-up games in Australia, but Joseph has evidently dropped out.
The 28-year-old guard has been a staple of the Canadian program for over a decade. Joseph’s attendance at the national level has been commendable, and he was even named captain of the 2015 FIBA America’s team that fell just short of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
It’s unclear as to what circumstances led the Sacramento Kings guard to change his mind, but Joseph now joins a staggering list of notable NBA players who have decided against suiting up in this year’s tournament. Other names include Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray, Kelly Olynyk, Trey Lyles, Dillon Brooks, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Chris Boucher, who are all missing in action for various reasons.
Fortunately, the Canadian team is rather deep at point guard, as head coach Nick Nurse can still rely on the likes of Kevin Pangos, Andrew Nembhard, Aaron Best, Phil Scrubb, Brady Heslip, and perhaps Kaza Kajami-Keane, who turned his ankle in Canada’s 122-88 victory over New Zealand on Tuesday.
Canada opens their tournament against Australia next Sunday at 3:30 a.m. ET.