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Anthony Edwards says he did not make comments to coach Steve Kerr about coming off Team USA’s bench

Anthony Edwards is 22 years old, but he is already an NBA All-Star. As his stardom continues to rise in the NBA, Edwards is also on a mission to become one of the best basketball players on the international stage.

Edwards is playing for the U.S. men’s national basketball team in the FIBA World Cup. But the Team USA head coach recently informed the young Minnesota Timberwolves star that he would not be in the starting lineup.

He was told that he would instead come off the bench, and Edwards reportedly took exception to hearing the news and expressed his apparent displeasure to Team USA head coach Steve Kerr.

“I mean, of course I wasn’t cool with it,” Edwards said via The Athletic. “If that’s what it takes, I mean, I am willing to do it, but no, 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.”

But Edwards later took to Instagram to clarify that he did not make those statements directly to Kerr.

He said those were simply his thoughts when Kerr informed him that he would be coming off the bench.

“I was thinking that when he (Kerr) said I was coming off the bench ….Y’all doing too much, y’all going too far. That’s my dog, Steve Kerr locked in…we talk every day… Y’all some losers.” Edwards said in an Instagram Story post.

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Edwards, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2020, was not initially on the floor with Team USA’s first unit during a scrimmage against Select Team. The Select Team features younger, up-and-coming NBA players.

Cade Cunningham plays for the Select Team and was the top overall draft pick one year after Edwards. Team USA suffered a decisive defeat at the hands of the U.S. Select Team in a scrimmage of two 10-minute periods this month.

Anthony Edwards layup

Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Brandon Ingram, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Cameron Johnson made up Team USA’s original starting lineup.

In 2008, Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade played a role similar to what Edwards is slated for. The American men brought home the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. Miami Heat head coach and current Team USA assistant coach Erik Spoelstra spoke about the parallels between Edwards and Wade.

“It’s hard not to look at Anthony Edwards and not see Dwyane Wade in him. And I’m not a guy for comparisons. … I’m not, but the way he moves, the way he competes, the way he electrifies a crowd … yes, that reminds me of No. 3,” Spoelstra said this week when asked about which player on the current Team USA roster that reminded him of Wade.

Erik Spoelstra and Anthony Edwards talk before a game

Wade came off the bench when the late Kobe Bryant was playing for Team USA. Bryant won a gold medal in 2008 and during the 2012 Olympics Games while playing for Team USA.

Edwards did eventually make his way into the starting lineup. Team USA has won five games in a row since Edwards became a starter, including impressive victories over Germany and Greece in exhibition contests.

Edwards led the way with a game-high 34 points in the comeback win against Germany.

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