Earlier this summer it looked as though Canada Basketball had lost yet another big star during its rebuilding process, but Montreal's Kris Joseph says the split is only temporary.

The 6-7 wing, touted by some as a future NBA draft pick, abruptly left camp last month just before the squad headed overseas for exhibition games.

As he works out in preparation for his junior season, Joseph tells that rumours of his divorce from Team Canada are greatly exaggerated.

"I'll definitely be back in the white and red someday, hopefully playing in the Olympics," he said from his dorm room.

The Syracuse forward was all set to embark on the tour with the Canadian Men's Developmental Team in mid-July, and he took part in a few practices at the Air Canada Centre.

Then suddenly, it was all over, just when hopes were building that he might be one of the rare college players to score a roster spot.

Joseph says he's focusing on a possible breakout year for Syracuse,

but he expects to be back with Team Canada someday.

The first hint of trouble came on the third day of practice, when Joseph tweeted about "politics" at Canada Basketball.

The next day reported that Joseph looked "noticeably annoyed" during camp drills.
"I wonder what was eating him up," asked blogger rbala.

Finally, on July 15, Joseph and Team Canada Head Coach Leo Rautins reportedly had a long talk at the side of the court before Joseph left camp.

His name was removed from the team's roster, and he returned to Syracuse to continue working out.

Rautins didn't say much about the parting of ways, other than saying that he wished "nothing but the best for Kris."

As for Joseph, he said his departure was by mutual agreement.

"There were a lot of rumours that I just quit the team," Joseph said. "No one really knows what happened in terms of that. "I just sat down with Leo and we decided to part ways."

His next chance to don the red and white will come in the summer of 2011 when Team Canada tries to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.

Only three teams from the Americas qualify automatically and with the U.S., Argentina and Brazil at the top of the heap, Team Canada will need all the help it can get.


Stay tuned to for Part II of our exclusive interview with Kris Joseph. We discussed his training regimen, his successful showing at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy, and his decision about whether to declare early for the NBA draft.


The Scoop and Kris Show with Donna Ditota (Part 1)

Post date - August 12, 2010


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