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Among the Americans, the champions are in the staff!

Young, athletic, endearing, very talented but still (almost all) devoid of an NBA ring: this is how to qualify the American players of this Team USA 2023 World Cup version. With the exception of Bobby Portis Jr.winner of the title with Milwaukee in 2021, no player from the American formation has yet won the Holy Grail of the North American championship.

On the other hand, on the side of those who give instructions from the bench, rings are not what is missing! Head coach of the American team, Steve Kerr won nine (!), five as players and four as coach of the Warriors. His assistants won six more: three for Erik Spoelstra as a Heat coach, and three for Tyronn Luetwo as a player and one as a coach of Cleveland in 2016. Finally, let’s not forget Mark Few. If he has never won the NCAA title with Gonzaga, the 60-year-old technician has never lost more than… 11 matches during a season, in 24 years on the “Zags” bench!

In short, at Team USA, the biggest “winners” are in the staff, and that’s of course great for the players.

It’s quite nice to leave our respective habits for a summer, and find ourselves in a different environment, with little time to find solutions. Steve Kerr is doing a great job of putting us in the best position to make the best use of our qualities. I really like his approach, and we have a staff of hell », say for example Bobby Portis Jr.” Mark Few has been doing a tremendous job at Gonzaga for years. Tyronn Lue, successful player and coach. And then Erik Spoelstra, his CV speaks for itself. »

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Enriching for everyone, in every way

For the main stakeholders, it is also obviously an enriching experience. When Mark Few, the only non-NBAer of the selection, spoke of a ” great professional development “, Steve Kerr speaks to him squarely of an experience ” that will be remembered for the rest of our lives “, while Erik Spoelstra appreciates the ” sense of sacrifice » which must be shared to make the national team work.

I bet if you ask Erik, Ty and Mark their opinion, they will tell you the same thing: we love what we do. And we are lucky to do what we love. It’s a unique coaching experience, different from the NBA. Personally, I didn’t want to say to myself ‘I had the opportunity to do it, and I didn’t do it’. “Adds the Warriors coach, when his Heat counterpart insists on” the importance of being fully invested in the band, doing whatever it takes to go home with the gold around your neck. »

The final word for Tyrese Haliburton, which probably sums up the state of mind of all these young players in the American selection. ” I love being surrounded by great basketball minds. It’s fascinating to see them deep in thought sometimes. For example, we do a defensive exercise, and I look at Spo’ and Ty and I see that they are stirring their brains, that it heats up in their mind “Concludes the leader of the Pacers. ” I had some good matches against these coaches, but I also want to get their respect here. »

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