Anthony Edwards Tells ‘Losers’ to ‘Beat It’; Clarifies What He Did/Didn’t Say to Steve Kerr
Anthony Edwards enters the FIBA World Cup as the face and leader of Team USA, a tournament that could launch his career into superstardom. But when the team first came together to start practicing and scrimmaging in preparation for this weekend, that wasn’t the case.
Anthony Edwards wasn’t in Team USA’s starting lineup right away
In fact, according to The Athletic, Ant wasn’t even in the starting lineup when Steve Kerr first divvied out roles for Team USA, at the start of training camp on August 3. Apparently, half of the team’s coaching staff didn’t think the former #1 overall pick was worthy of a starting job.
When training camp started in Las Vegas on Aug. 3, the coaching staff was in agreement that Brunson, Bridges, Ingram and Jaren Jackson Jr. should start. But when Team USA played its first scrimmage, it was Johnson, and not Edwards, out there with the starting five.
The room was split on Edwards, and it isn’t clear as to exactly why. At least some of the decision makers were confident Edwards would emerge as one of USA’s dominant players, looking at Edwards’ body of work in the Timberwolves’ spirited, five-game playoff loss to the Denver Nuggets in which he averaged nearly 32 points.Joe Vardon – The Athletic
Edwards didn’t want to come off the bench
So, as the story goes, Kerr sat Ant down before Team USA’s first scrimmage for a conversation about coming off the bench. He pointed to Dwayne Wade coming off the bench for the 2008 Olympic “Redeem Team” that featured LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in the starting lineup.
Wade led Team USA in points per game (16). He was used as the main source of offense for the 2nd team and he was on the floor late in closer, more meaningful games. But Ant isn’t stupid. The 2023 FIBA version of Team USA doesn’t have a Kobe, which is what he told The Athletic, when asked about his role when he initially arrived in Las Vegas.
On Thursday, Edwards said Kerr had called him before the start of camp and “he was telling me about coming off the bench.
“I mean, of course I wasn’t cool with it,” Edwards said. “If that’s what it takes, I mean, I am willing to do it, but nah, I’m never cool with that. … He said Dwyane Wade came off the bench when Kobe played. I was like, all right, we don’t have a Kobe, but all right. But it was cool.”Anthony Edwards (via The Athletic)
This story from The Athletic dropped on Thursday morning. Before noon hit in the central time zone, Bleacher Report aggregated it with the headline, Anthony Edwards: ‘Wasn’t Cool with’ Steve Kerr’s Plan to Bring Me off Team USA Bench.
Ant sets record straight on what he told Steve Kerr
In response, Edwards took to his Instagram story to set the record straight. He called the headline chasers from Bleacher Report “losers” and told them to “beat it”, noting that his quotes in The Athletic were only his thoughts, after being told by Kerr that he would come off the bench, not what he actually said to his Team USA head coach in the moment.
Anthony edwards Responds To bleacher report post about him being benched:— Jaden McDaniels GOAT (@JadenMcDanielsF) August 24, 2023
“I ain’t even say that to Steve man, that’s my dog we speak everyday….y’all some loser man, beat it”pic.twitter.com/NsKtQwUAZF https://t.co/DNzweMzqex
“Y’all losers beat it, man. Y’all taking that little comment too far. I didn’t even say that to Steve Kerr. I was only thinking that when he told me I was coming off the bench. Y’all doing too much, y’all going to far. That’s my dawg. Me and Steve Kerr locked in. Know what I’m sayin? We talk everyday. I hate y’all. Y’all always doing that, bruh. Damn bruh… it’s just an interview… Go on about your business, bruh. Ya’ll some losers man, beat it.”Anthony Edwards (via Instagram story above)
By the time Team USA played their first exhibition game, just four days later vs Puerto Rico, Edwards was in the starting lineup and scored a team-high 15 points and he hasn’t looked back. There’s no longer any doubt about whether or not Ant is a starter or one of the best players in the World Cup this summer.
I like that Edwards is willing to punch back clearly and defiantly in moments like this. He’s a great player and an awesome teammate. Thus, I can’t blame him for taking offense to how his quotes were twisted. Ant is as real as it gets and I appreciate that about him.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan