Anthony Edwards Will Be “The Guy” for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup

  • Edwards dropped 34 points on Germany in their final warmup game
  • An ESPN analyst said Edwards is becoming the face of the NBA
  • Team USA’s coach referred to Edwards as “unquestionably the guy”
  • Team USA is -125 to win the Gold at the upcoming FIBA World Cup
Anthony Edwards
Anthony Edwards is on the verge of becoming an American hero as he leads USA into the FIBA World Cup. [Image: / All-Pro Reels]

Anthony Edwards stars for USA

The list of plaudits for Anthony Edwards is continuing to grow as Team USA beat Germany to finish its exhibition matches a perfect 5-0.

quickly becoming the face of the team

Edwards, 22, dropped 34 points in the USA’s 99-91 win over the Germans, who are eighth in odds to win the upcoming FIBA World Cup. He helped the Americans recover from a 16-point second-half deficit and is quickly becoming the face of the team.

Even though Team USA is a -125 favorite (per FanDuel Sportsbook) to win the upcoming tournament, there has been a great deal of skepticism because of their roster, one that is bereft of superstars and experience on the international stage. Edwards appears to be taking the challenge personally and is quickly becoming the face of the group.

Taking center stage

Gone are the days of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and other heroes of USA basketball that knew international competition like the back of their hands. Zero players on the current iteration of the Stars and Stripes have any Olympic experience, and a majority are not even considered the best player on their NBA teams.

averaging a team-high 19.2 points and led Team USA in scoring in four of the five games

Instead, Edwards slotted in next to Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Brandon Ingram, and Jaren Jackson Jr. in what is increasingly looking like coach Steve Kerr’s optimal starting five. He finished the five-game warmup schedule averaging a team-high 19.2 points and led Team USA in scoring in four of the five games.

Former NBA champion and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins spoke glowingly of Edwards’ performances after his takeover game against Germany, suggesting that he could become the face of American basketball.

Whether or not he can ascend beyond the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Dončić, Steph Curry, and the other mainstays in the NBA, he has a golden opportunity to raise his profile when the World Cup tips off Friday. 

The USA only managed a seventh-place finish at the last FIBA Cup in 2019 after winning the Gold in the two preceding tournaments. It has also medaled in 13 of 17 tournaments, which puts a ton of pressure on a young group that has never been on the stage before. They’ll need a leader to guide them through, and Edwards looks like the guy.

NBA MVP chances growing?

Despite his outstanding performances, Edwards is only a three-year NBA veteran and has never won a playoff series. He’s now being asked to be the best player on a team that is expected to defeat every country in its way en route to an international Gold medal.

“Ant-Man” averaged 24.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. He has quite impressively taken on a greater defensive responsibility during his brief stint with Team USA and was a major part of the fourth-quarter defensive effort that helped the Americans rip off an 18-0 run to come back against Germany.

He genuinely believes he’s the best player in the gym every single night.”

“He’s unquestionably the guy,” Kerr said. “You can see he knows it. But now the team knows it, and I think the fans see it… He genuinely believes he’s the best player in the gym every single night. And he’s such a dynamic young player. I think he’s taking a leap.”

Meanwhile, Edwards was thrilled with his game against Germany and is looking forward to the USA’s first game against New Zealand.

“Man, this was fun,” said Edwards. “I ain’t have fun like this in a minute. So yeah, this was super exciting. We were down [16], so that was adversity.”

Edwards is already +6000 to win the NBA MVP in the upcoming 2023-24 season, which ties him for 17th in odds. As his stock continues to soar, it would not be a surprise to see him climb the table.

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