America's coach.— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) August 24, 2023
Steve Kerr will represent Dub Nation as the Head Coach of USA Basketball at the FIBA World Cup. pic.twitter.com/Dj4P5kcaJH
“I was thrilled for [Popovich],” Kerr said about the new contract. “The great thing with Pop is that he loves it so much. He’s got so much energy.”
When it came to the rising tide of contracts and its effect on him, Kerr demurred.
“Yeah, potentially [good for coaches’ salaries],” Kerr said. “We’ll see.”
The skinny: Big gamble for the Dubs, not just because of CP3’s age, his injury history, his previous history with Golden State’s top guys or because we have no idea how coach Steve Kerr will split up his top guards’ minutes. But add the departure of Myers, who was so instrumental in keeping things running smoothly during the championship run, and the Dubs will have a lot of unproven parts to their core going forward. They’ve abandoned the two-track approach for the most part, leaning even more on their vets. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney could win a lot of games next season. But that (potential) bench after Paul and Gary Payton II is … thin. A team that struggled to get out of the first round last spring doesn’t look built for another deep run.
As Edwards’ star continues to rise, a part of the story that stands out is he was the last player to make Kerr’s starting five. 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.
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.”
In a few weeks, he will be eligible for a three-year extension worth about $173 million, but he doesn’t plan to sign one just yet.
“The real question’s not going to be this year — numbers-wise it doesn’t make sense,” Antetokounmpo said. “But next year, next summer it would make more sense for both parties. Even then, I don’t know.”
He added: “I would not be the best version of myself if I don’t know that everybody’s on the same page, everybody’s going for a championship, everybody’s going to sacrifice time away from their family like I do. And if I don’t feel that, I’m not signing.”
“As you know, Kobe played his entire 20-year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker,” said Vanessa Bryant in a video to fans posted at 8:24 this morning. “Since arriving in this city and joining the Lakers organization, he felt at home here, playing in the City of Angels. On behalf of the Lakers, my daughters and me, I am so honored that, right in the center of Los Angeles, in front of the place known as the house that Kobe built, we are going to unveil his statue so that his legacy can be celebrated forever.”
In case you missed it at Golden State of Mind:
The team had their first practice in Mall of Asia Arena — the venue in which they will face fellow Group C members New Zealand, Greece, and Jordan — on Wednesday night. Although media weren’t allowed to film the practice session itself, this author got a glimpse of one particular set Team USA was practicing.
“Open” is a fairly common set throughout the NBA, which is why Kerr chose it as one of the few actions he’s bringing over from his Golden State Warriors playbook to his Team USA roster.
If you’re not familiar with the Warriors’ sets, “Open” is the term Kerr uses for a classic 5-Out “Delay” set, notable for its spacing and a big man handling the ball up top. All sorts of action — backscreens, flares, pindowns, cuts, etc. — is then run for the other four players on both sides of the court.