'I'm the No. 1 option': Anthony Edwards claims alpha status over LeBron, Steph on U.S. Olympic team

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Anthony Edwards is not short on confidence. An emerging, swagger-soaked MVP candidate who just led the Minnesota Timberwolves to their first conference finals appearance in two decades, Edwards is set to take on a core role for the U.S. men’s Olympic team in Paris — and by core role, we mean, in his mind. Edwards believes he can be the alpha scorer on a roster that includes LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid and Kevin Durant. 

“I’m still the No. 1 option,” Edwards told reporters from Team USA’s training camp in Las Vegas on Sunday. “Y’all might look at it differently, I don’t look at it no different.”

Edwards was then asked what fulfilling the No. 1 role on a roster that includes some of the greatest players in history might actually look like, and he went even further.

“I just go out there and be myself,” Edwards said. “Shoot my shots, play defense and, you know. They’ve gotta fit in to play around me. That’s how I feel.”

They’ve gotta fit in to play around me


Imagine having the confidence, at 22 years old with a grand total of four NBA and five post-high-school seasons under your belt, to say, without a moment’s hesitation, that LeBron and Curry are basically going to Paris as your support staff. 

You can’t help but love this guy, because he has every right to be this brash. He just knocked out Durant and Devin Booker, two Olympic teammates, in the playoffs and was by far and away the best player on the court. He’s an electric scorer and rapidly developing creator who can dominate defensively as well. He can be the best player in the league one day soon. He legitimately believes that day has arrived. 

That said, we still don’t even know what the starting lineup will be in Paris, though Edwards will likely be in it. We could get our first look at a five-man starting unit of Curry, Edwards, Tatum, LeBron and Embiid when the Americans take on Canada in an exhibition tune-up Wednesday night. 

No matter who starts or plays what role, this U.S. team is absolutely stacked. And Edwards, again, has every right to believe he’s the best of the best, even if that’s probably not true. Yet. 

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