Q&A with Cory Joseph - Post-practice scrum
Cory Joseph, fresh off an NBA championship run with the San Antonio Spurs, answered questions from the media after the Canada Basketball Men's National Team practice session.
Q: What NBA championship experience do you bring here?
A: I want to translate what we do in San Antonio to over here and bring that same hard work mentality here.
Q: It is the start of a golden age for basketball in Canada. As a bit of a older guy, when you look at the younger guys, is it hard not to forecast ahead and wonder about the success you guys might be able to achieve?
A: We know we have a lot of talent but we haven’t done anything yet. We have to put it together. Last year, we went down to Venezuela and didn’t do as well as we wanted to and we got set back on our feet. We have to qualify for the Olympics and do well. That’s what everyone is expecting of us and that’s what we are expecting of ourselves.
Q: How much of a leadership role do you have to take with this group?
A: I feel like I can be an extension of the coach on the court. I’m just trying to lead this team to get W’s.
Q: How comfortable are you getting in the leadership role?
A: I’m definitely comfortable in the role. I’ve been doing it all my life, in different programs.
Q: What have you learned from your teammates in San Antonio that’s rubbed off on your game?
A: Over my three years that I’ve been with San Antonio, I’ve made great strides in improving my game and being a professional. Those guys are complete professionals and they take care of their bodies and I’ve learned about that a lot this year.
Q: What is the biggest difference between the NBA and FIBA rules?
A: It’s a different style of game. The Spurs kind of play an international style of the game, so it’s not much of a difference for us but there is definitely a difference.
Q: How hard is it to get around the FIBA style of defence?
A: They can just pack the paint and there’s no 3-second defence call so you have to learn how to attack in different ways. You have to move the ball, get the other team on their feet and still get into the paint.
Q: Does the international game help you in the NBA?
A: For sure. It helps me when I’m trying to drive and I have to make quick decisions. You can pick up different things no matter where you are playing.
Q: How do you stay fresh after a long NBA season?
A: I’m 22 years old! You make me sound old. I’m a young guy, I’m in good shape, I take care of my body. I make sure I sleep well and eat well and I’ll be fine. I’m young!