USA and the World Cup: A mission for 12 emerging players | Basketball | Sports

There are 12 starters who are the favorites. The United States appears in the FIBA ​​World Cup tournament that begins Friday in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines with another brand-new team. None of the 10 players coached by Steve Kerr have played in any senior first-team event, and many have never set foot in the youth ranks before. Until the preparatory round, they had never tested the chemistry on…

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There are 12 starters who are the favorites. The United States appears in the FIBA ​​World Cup tournament that begins Friday in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines with another brand-new team. None of the ten players coached by Steve Kerr have played in any senior first-team event, and many have never set foot in the youth ranks before. Until the preseason, they had never really tested their chemistry on the court or their coexistence in the locker room. It is a young group (the eldest of whom are Bobby Portis and Josh Hart at 28 years old) and they have no experience in FIBA ​​competitions. None of the NBA's biggest stars appear in their ranks. However, they are the most feared, and are the first to win gold in any group.

“It's the toughest competitor there is in the world, a great team with 12 great players. “They're above the rest,” said Spain coach Sergio Scariolo. “As far as talent, the United States can make five teams quite capable of winning gold. This is a team full of high-level basketball players who don't have the status and star recognition among a less understanding public, because not everyone follows the NBA like those of us who do it professionally. But it's also true that even though every time they had a team that could win every game by 30 points, they didn't always achieve that. “Sometimes there is room for competition.”

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Through this rift, opened by a sometimes highly individual style, several generations that aimed for the top fell. Without going any further than the last World Cup, when the United States national team fell to its worst historical ranking, which is seventh place, after two consecutive victories in the 2010 and 2014 editions. This is precisely the big challenge that Steve Kerr faces, which is raising awareness of team play. Which multiplies the benefits of each piece, satisfying the ego so that it adds to the goal of the union.

More than playing on the hardwood, in the United States the star is on the bench. Kerr, 57, is a legend who has amassed nine NBA championship rings: five shortstops between the Bulls and San Antonio, and four as coach of the Warriors. In December 2021, he was named coach of the United States until 2024, succeeding another legend, Gregg Popovich, who was his assistant on the national team. “I'm sure this group will represent our country well with the effort, talent and commitment to winning together. “Everyone will play for many years in the NBA, but now it's about forming bonds with your teammates and feeling those moments in the locker room,” he explained before tuning in. The match, which included an 88-98 victory over Spain in Malaga..

In that event, Jalen Brunson (26 years old and 1.88 meters tall) excelled with 23 points, which is one of the numbers on which Kerr wants to build the idea of ​​solidarity. It's not just about being very good, which is the case for Bronson, it's about making others better. The guard has already left behind impressive performances, such as the 48 points he scored with the Knicks last April in Cleveland, and in his previous four-year stint with the Dallas Mavericks he earned praise from Luka Doncic. But now he's at the helm of the United States and faces the challenge of making Meccano a success. He assumes the glue job: “My personality is completely different if you compare it with other high-level players. I try to be someone else, live a normal life and stay away from vanity. I can't run the track in two seconds and not be in amazing physical condition. I have to be smart.” “He's great, he deserves all the money he's asking for,” Doncic said when the Knicks signed Brunson to a four-year, $100 million contract.

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Next to him jumps 22-year-old Anthony Edwards, 1.93 meters tall, from Minnesota, whom Kerr described as “the standard.” “He knows it and the team knows it. He believes he is the best on the field every night. We see it every day in training. He is jumping,” comments the coach on the US national team No. 10, all Stars This year, for the first time, the top scorer of the previous round of the World Cup (19.2 points on average) and another young man blessed with gold through his franchise: 260 million for five seasons.

Also highlighted will be goaltender Austin Reeves, a revelation for the Lakers the past two seasons and blessed by LeBron James, and power forward Paolo Banchero, who was named NBA Rookie of the Year with the Orlando Magic and who he chose to play for. North American team after previously being selected with Italy in the recent EuroBasket tournament.

The United States shares the group with Greece, New Zealand, and Jordan. The five-time world champions, like Yugoslavia, are proud to reach the historic record of sixth star alone and make up for the disappointment in China 2019. “They are a reference,” warns Spaniard Jordi Fernandez, Canada’s coach and first assistant at the Sacramento Kings. “Every time they compete, they are “A new team. Now they have a big challenge again. If they have a good moment as a team, it will be very difficult for anyone to beat them.”

United States of America 12

Rules and accompaniment: Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana), and Austin Reaves (Lakers).

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eaves: Mikal Bridges (Brooklyn), Brandon Ingram (Pelicans), Josh Hart (New York Knicks), Cam Johnson (Brooklyn).

Attack strength and positions: Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis), Paolo Banchero (Orlando), Walker Kesler (Utah), and Bobby Portis (Milwaukee).

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