Why Raptors fans will miss Cory Joseph

TORONTO, ON - MAY 01: Cory Joseph
TORONTO, ON - MAY 01: Cory Joseph /

Why Raptors fans will miss Cory Joseph

The recent acquisition of C.J. Miles via sign-and-trade has many Raptors fans excited about the addition of a lethal shooter to surround DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry. However, with the great news came a sour taste, as Raptors fans saw fan favourite Cory Joseph traded as part of the deal.  Ever since Cory Joseph signed with the Raptors two offseasons ago, he has cemented himself in the hearts of Raptors fans for various reasons. It is safe to say that the Raptors will miss Cory, but here are the three biggest reasons how CoJo endeared himself with the fans, and why he will be missed.

The Championship Pedigree

Cory Joseph spent his first 4 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, winning a championship in 2014. Not only does this mean that Cory knows what it takes to win a ring, but also that he got to spend 4 years developing his skills under one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, Gregg Popovich.

PORTLAND, OR – DECEMBER 15: Cory Joseph /

Being a Popovich disciple always showed on the court come playoff time. While Joseph’s stats stayed relatively consistent between the regular season and the playoffs, the extra gear was still evident, as he often times looked like the most poised Raptor on the court, and off the court.

There was no better example of this than the clinching Game 6 in the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs. The Raptors had just seen their 25-point lead disappear, and trailed by 2 with just over three minutes left. Cory Joseph was extremely vocal in the ensuing timeout, and Dwane Casey inserted him into the lineup. This jumpstarted an 11-2 run led by Joseph that all but sealed the deal.

The Raptors have often struggled to keep their poise in close playoff games, and having a high IQ player of CoJo’s calibre was something fans appreciated down the stretch.


Despite his 6’3, 193 lbs frame, time and time again Cory would put his head down and stick his nose in the paint among the big men, taking hit after hit. Cory would have it no other way. He’s relentless, and he’s proud of the toughness that he wears on his sleeve.

Not only was Cory unafraid to get in the paint, he was extremely effective finishing at the basket as well. In 2016-2017, Cory shot 55.4% from 6 ft or less, the second highest mark amongst NBA back-up point guards (trailing T.J. McConnell’s 55.8%), and falls just shy of Kyrie Irving’s 55.9%, whom some consider the toughest finisher in the league.

Fans love rooting for the little guy, and when the little guy gives everything he has and more, it’s hard for the fans to not rally around the player. When praised about his toughness, Cory’s response was always one that Raptors fans loved: “I’m Canadian, I’m supposed to be tough”.

The Hometown Kid

“Cory Joseph, from Pickering!”. This is something that Raptor fans have gotten used to hearing from Matt Devlin ever since Cory Joseph signed with the Raps in the 2015 off-season.

TORONTO, CANADA – MAY 7: Cory Joseph
TORONTO, CANADA – MAY 7: Cory Joseph /

From the day Cory signed, there was a buzz in the city, and the country. Canadian basketball talent was finally being infused into the NBA. To have a valuable Canadian contributor on Canada’s only team was something that every fan was proud of.

This could be unwanted pressure for many athletes, but what made Cory so loved was that he embraced it. He came into work every day, worked hard and was a consummate professional. He represented Canadians the right way.

When Cory was demoted midway through this season for Fred VanVleet, he told Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun: “I don’t know why people want me to be like a hater or something, or (sulk). That’s not me. I’m not a hater, nor do I sulk, that’s un-Canadian-like. I don’t do that.”

He represented Canada whenever he could. He embraced Toronto, even choosing to wear #6 to honor “The 6”, and Drake. Canadians embrace our own, and Cory Joseph was one of us.

I think it’s safe to say that all Raptors fans will miss Cory Joseph. Not just on the court, but off the court as well. What will you miss most about Cory Joseph? Let us know in the comment section below.

More from Raptors Rapture