A lot can happen in a week’s span. Last Tuesday, when the Orlando Magic visited the San Antonio Spurs, I had a chance to interview Magic forward Kris Joseph. Then, a training camp hopeful for Orlando.
Joseph was released from the Magic on Friday (as many teams trimmed their rosters to the league minimum 15 players), but while he was wearing a Magic uniform in San Antonio, I had a chance to speak with him about his Canadian cousin, San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph.
One of the first things I wanted to know from Kris was, what he thought of his cousin playing on the biggest stage in basketball, the NBA Finals last June.
“He was good in the minutes that he did get,” said Kris, “he played his role to a tee. He came in, he gave TP (Tony Parker) a break and he took care of the ball. He made some good plays.”
Kris also said he was rooting for his cousin to win the championship.
“Of course (I was),” said Kris of rooting for Cory and the Spurs, “the whole time throughout the whole playoffs.”
Another major stride Cory made in his development came over the summer when he represented Canada in the 2013 FIBA Americas tournament. Joseph was the leader for Canada as he averaged 16.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in eight tournament games for the Canadians. Kris said Cory’s performance over the summer should propel him into the coming season.
“It was major,” said Kris of Cory playing over the summer for Canada. “It was huge for him to be able to go out there and play a major role for a team like that, that was playing in the FIBA Americas. He did really well, as far as guards went, as player’s total he was the most consistent in every game and he shot the ball really well, rebounded, and defended. It transitioned well for him going into the preseason.”
Being just two years older than Cory, Kris said he continues to speak with Cory as often as possible these days and since college.
“I do often,” said Kris of speaking to Cory. “Since he was in college, we talk before games and after games. We’re very close.”
On Monday, Joseph and Kawhi Leonard (who were both drafted in 2011) had their fourth year options exercised by the Spurs meaning they’ll be in a silver and black uniform under contract until the 2014-2015 season. With Cory entering his third year, Kris thinks Joseph’s past experience he’s built up will allow him to develop even more in San Antonio as a new season approaches.
“A lot more playing time,” is what Kris thinks Cory will see in year three. “He’s gained experience playing on a veteran team. Guys at his position and just the vets that are just allowing him (to flourish) and obviously a future hall of fame coach in Pop (Gregg Popovich). So he’s going to do real well.”