Team Canada head coach Nick Nurse says reports that point guard Cory Joseph has withdrawn from participating in the FIBA World Cup are “incorrect,” according to Australian broadcaster John Casey.
Sportsnet’s Michael Grange also reports Joseph’s representatives have said the same thing.
Nurse also reportedly told Casey that Joseph has a flight booked to China.
On Tuesday, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star reported that Joseph would not be participating. Canada is currently in Australia for some tune-up games before the tournament begins on Aug. 31 in China, but Joseph is not with the group.
Joseph has been a consistent presence on the men’s national team for the last decade, but is one of the last NBA players remaining on the current squad. Whether because of injury or other reason, R.J. Barrett (calf), Jamal Murray (ankle), Chris Boucher (personal reasons) and Kelly Olynyk (knee) have all withdrawn from the tournament. Khem Birch, a centre for the Orlando Magic, is the only other active NBA player still on the roster.
The FIBA World Cup will begin on Aug. 31 with Canada’s first game on Sept. 1 against Australia at 3:30 a.m. ET. In order to qualify directly for the Olympics from the World Cup, Canada would need to be one of the top two finishers from the Americas region in the event.
With files from Steven Loung.