Anthony Edwards’ offered a brutally honest reaction to Brandon Ingram’s struggles on Team USA this past week.
Ingram, arguably the New Orleans Pelicans’ most consistently great player, has had a ton of trouble finding his footing with Team USA in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
In a conversation with Joe Vardon of The Athletic, Ingram admitted that he was struggling with his play on the international stage.
“This is totally different than what I am used to,” Ingram said.
“The team is winning right now, so I can’t be selfish thinking about myself. But it’s a little frustrating right now for me, and I’m just trying to figure out ways I can be effective.”
Despite coming into the tournament with a ton of hype surrounding him, Ingram is averaging just under eight points per outing and is usually kept off the court in critical minutes.
Team USA’s head coach, Steve Kerr, acknowledged that Ingram was having a rough go.
“Nothing has really gone his way,” Kerr said.
“He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities, but I think that’ll change. I think his time is coming. He’s just gotta stay with it. The thing I’ve learned with FIBA is every night belongs to someone new.”
Unlike Ingram, Edwards is having a fantastic World Cup. He has been the American side’s best player by a lot.
Edwards offered a brutally honest take on Ingram’s struggles this past week, too.
“He gets paid the big bucks; like, he’s one of the best players in the NBA,” Edwards said.
“He’s a superstar in the league, so he can figure it out on his own, but it’s nothing like somebody staying your ear. They stay in my ear.
“So, just keep talking to him, ’cause you know, a couple shots might not go his way. He might get a couple turnovers and get down. I mean, I get down sometimes because I turn it over or miss a couple shots.”
This might be a good time for a bit of reflection for Ingram. Coming out of Duke many imagined him being a Kevin Durant-style player. To date, he hasn’t evolved into that yet. In fact, he has made far more headlines for his first love being a little person and his changing appearance than any substantive basketball accomplishments.
Damn what an offseason for DeAndre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns. https://t.co/061Of84hef
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 28, 2023
Ingram’s run with Team USA has just been more of the same.
That said, there is still plenty of time for him to course correct. The tournament isn’t done yet, and he can still become the player that the American side hoped he would be for them.
Will Ingram take Edwards’ advice to heart and step up for Team USA in the coming days? Time will tell.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.