Miami Heat forward Joel Anthony is playing a role he’s used to at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship.
The small role he has become so accustomed to with the Heat has become his current role with Canada, as he has played in 41 minutes of the Canadians’ three games thus far, averaging 2.7 points and three rebounds a game. These are pretty standard numbers for Anthony, as he averaged 9.1 minutes, 1.4 points and 1.9 rebounds last season with Miami.
Being the second oldest player on the team at 31-years-old, Anthony spends a lot of time on the bench, but it seems as though he’s come to accept his role on the team of young stars.
“It’s not an issue of whether you’re going to play or get minutes, the most important thing is that we went out to win a championship,” said Anthony.
The Canadian National team is currently led by San Antonio Spurs point guard Cory Joseph, who’s averaged 16.3 points and 5.3 assists in three games thus far in the tournament. Canada is currently sitting in second place behind Puerto Rico with five points on two wins and one loss, respectively. Uruguay, Jamaica and Brazil round out the rest of their group. Canada is set to finish up group play on Wednesday when they face off against Uruguay.
Anthony feels confident about Canada’s chances of making the 2014 FIBA World Championships, especially with the return of up-and coming stars like first-round NBA draft picks Anthony Bennett and Kelly Olynyk, who could not compete in the tournament due to injury.
“I think that in the short term we can compete to be one of the best teams,” Anthony said. “At first, our goal is to qualify in this tournament and by next year we’ll have more guys and we’ll see how we acclimate ourselves. We’ll certainly have a strong team capable of playing with any of the other teams in the world.”