Sacramento Kings guard Cory Joseph has withdrawn his participation from Team Canada for the upcoming 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, the Toronto Star’s Doug Smith reports.
Joseph has been a fixture of the Canadian men’s national basketball team for nearly a decade, answering the call for almost every major international competition for Canada virtually every summer.
However, given the plethora of withdrawals for Team Canada ahead of training camp’s formal start it was reported by Sportsnet’s Michael Grange that he was having second thoughts on joining the team.
Joseph did end up reporting for camp and participated for Canada during its first two exhibition games in Toronto and Winnipeg. When it came time for Team Canada to travel to Australia for the remainder of its exhibition schedule, though, Joseph didn’t travel with the team and now, it would seem, that appears to be because he has decided he will not be with the team in China for the World Cup as it attempts to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Joseph joins a large list of NBA contingent who will not be in China for Canada either because of injury or other reasons, with the most recent to withdraw being R.J. Barrett (calf), Jamal Murray (ankle), Chris Boucher (personal reasons) and Kelly Olynyk (knee).
The FIBA World Cup will begin on Aug. 31 with Canada beginning play 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.