World Cup Notes: USA, Edwards, Germany, Canada

Head coach Steve Kerr once again stressed the high level of international competition following Team USA’s upset loss to Germany, per Aris Barkas of Eurohoops.

This is not 1992 anymore,” Kerr said. “Players are better all over the world. Teams are better. It’s not easy to win World Cup or Olympic games.”

Kerr also gave the Germans credit.

Congrats to Germany, they were fantastic,” he added. “Every time we made a run, they got a great shot, an offensive rebound, a big play. I am proud of my guys, they fought and gave us a chance in the end, but we couldn’t exactly get it.”

Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards said the team lacked toughness in the semifinal loss, but he refused to use lack of size as an excuse, relays George Efkarpidis of Eurohoops.

We got out-rebounded all night. … They were more physical than us,”  Edwards said.

Here’s more from the 2023 World Cup, which concludes Sunday:

  • German head coach Gordon Herbert got a three-year commitment from his roster, which is filled with experienced veterans. The group’s continuity showed in the victory, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. “I think that helped us immensely,” Magic forward Franz Wagner said. “From the first day we got together this summer, we believed that we’re a special group and we can win against any team.”
  • Could the three-year blueprint be something the Americans emulate going forward? As Fischer notes, former USA Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski got three-year commitments from players when he took over in 2005. “I’m not sure how you would do that,” Kerr said. “If you wanna ask the same 10 guys to play every summer, I think that’s very unrealistic. Part of the deal with USAB is you pass the baton to the next coaching staff, the next group of players. It’s different than most countries. But we’re unique in that we have a deep talent pool and a lot of very worthy players. And I think those players and coaches all deserve to have the honor of wearing that USA jersey.”
  • Despite dropping its semifinal to Serbia, which will face Germany for a chance at gold, the Canadian national team is still determined to defeat the U.S. and claim the bronze medal, according to Barkas of Eurohoops. “It’s very important for the country, the players, the program,” head coach Jordi Fernandez said. “We are very emotional right now, but getting a medal will be very important for us and we know we can still get better. We want to leave this tournament hungry and thirsty for more.”
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