NEWARK, NEW JERSEY — It has been an up-and-down season for San Antonio Spurs’ rookie Cory Joseph. From getting minutes early in the season, being sent to the D-League Austin Toros to now getting spot minutes, Joseph has definitely been finding his way in the NBA.
Part of that is due to the talented duo at point guards San Antonio has on the roster. Tony Parker has been tearing it up for the Spurs and before his injury, T.J. Ford was steading the second unit. So saying it is tough to get any minutes as a rookie point guard with the Spurs might be an understatement.
But if you think his spirits are down, think again.
Joseph has remained confident in himself and has been taking time to learn from some of the best players in the league.
Check out what Joseph had to say about lessons learned, his critics, fellow rookie Kawhi Leonard and much more.
Jeff: Cory it’s been an up-and-down season for you. You got minutes on the court early in the season, sent to the Austin Toros but now you are back with the team.
Cory: You know I am feeling good obviously being back with the team. I’m just trying to learn. I got great mentors here, Tony (Parker), T.J. (Ford), they’re helping me a lot and I’m just here trying to learn.
What would you say has been your biggest lesson learned from Tony and T.J.?
Probably the speed of the game and getting my team in the right play, doing things in defensive situations. I mean just the whole pace of the game.
Heading into the 2011 NBA Draft, many felt you should have stayed in college yet here you are paving your way in the NBA. What do you have to say to those critics?
(laughs) Well you’re always going to have that. But you got to stay confident in yourself and that’s what I did and that’s what I am, confident in myself.
You may be learning some things from Tony and T.J. but what else have you picked up?
Probably on the floor, learning the pace. I am getting a lot better and more comfortable as the games go on and practice goes on.
How does it feel to play with the best trio in Spurs’ history with Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili?
Feels unbelievable. Obviously, as a kid you grow up and watch them, they’re great players.
Although he doesn’t play your position, what have you learned from Tim Duncan?
(smiles) Oh I learned a lot from Tim. Just in terms of what coach Pop (Gregg Popovich) wants and he has been here a long time with coach Pop so he knows him like the back of his hand.
Tell me how it feels to go through your rookie season with another rookie, Kawhi Leonard, and going through the same growing pains.
It feels great! Obviously to have another rookie here with you doing the same thing you’re doing, talks to you a little bit, helps ease the process. Kawhi is doing great right now.
So what is next for you as you develop?
Just getting better. Learning from T.J., learning from Tony. Just getting better. Just learning everyday and getting my body right and my mind right.
If you missed my recent Q+A with Tiago Splitter, you can find it by clicking HERE.