Kings Reflect on Canadian Roots in Return to Toronto
Sacramento is a global team.
From Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica representing Serbia to Cory Joseph donning the Canadian colors, the Kings represent multiple countries from across the world.
Along with Harrison Barnes representing the United States, Bogdanovic, Bjelica and Joseph participated in the 2019 FIBA World Cup this past summer.
"It means everything," said Joseph after Wednesday's game in his hometown of Toronto.
"It's a great moment for me. I'll always remember for the rest of my life...it's always an honor to play for Canada and my country."
Joseph played in five contests for Canada this past summer, averaging 15 points and 4.8 assists on 46 percent shooting.
In addition to Joseph, assistant coach Roy Rana not only brings his Canadian roots to Sacramento as well, but a vast knowledge of the game.
"His path from coaching high school hoops in Toronto to joining Luke Walton’s staff with the Kings is unprecedented," said SportsNet's Michael Grange.
Rana's path to the Kings includes a bronze model at the Under-16 Worlds and gold with the under-19s in 2017. He's coached the World Team at the Nike Hoop Summit since 2011 and been a visitor to multiple NBA teams' coaching staffs.
"It is no exaggeration to say that there is not an elite Canadian basketball player in the game today that [Rana] hasn’t worked with at some stage in his career,” Grange continued.
Joseph and Rana both returned to Toronto for the first time as members of the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, as the Kings fell to Toronto 120-124.
"It feels good," Rana said before the matchup.
"It feels good to be back, to see a lot of friendly faces and to be back in the Scotiabank Arena. It's cool."
Rana describes his early experience with the Kings as "extremely rewarding" as the team continues to grow and develop with the new coaching staff.
"Coach Walton and I have a really great relationship," Rana continued.
"We're building it. It's going to take some time, but we're building it."
Sactown hits the hardwood again when they play the Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.