FIBA World Cup

Kyle Anderson excited to improve with China after nuclear Jordan Clarkson finale

JR Isaga

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Kyle Anderson excited to improve with China after nuclear Jordan Clarkson finale

LEARNING EXPERIENCE. China star forward Kyle Anderson reacts with his teammates in the 2023 FIBA World Cup


Naturalized Chinese star Kyle Anderson takes in his FIBA debut in the 2023 World Cup as one big learning experience, absorbing extreme ups and downs for a retooling Asian basketball program

MANILA, Philippines – Naturalized Chinese star Kyle Anderson was left lost for words after Jordan Clarkson’s timely scoring explosion to lift FIBA World Cup host Gilas Pilipinas to a 96-75 blowout in its last classification phase game last Saturday, September 2.

The Minnesota Timberwolves forward could only helplessly watch as his fellow NBA standout torched the Araneta Coliseum nets with 24 third-quarter points built on 5 threes on the way to a 34-point finish.

“Jordan Clarkson [happened], simple as that,” Anderson said to reporters with a shrug after the game.

“They went up 20. He hit [four] threes in a row, got some tough buckets. Got going. He’s a really good player.”

Anderson’s comments were as concise as they come, but they were already the perfect summary for the madness that occurred in Araneta. Defended or not, Clarkson simply found that coveted zone at the perfect time, and China just couldn’t recover after giving up a massive 27-3 third quarter run.

All in all, Gilas’ burial of China was just the rotten cherry on top of an underwhelming World Cup campaign for the Asian powerhouse, but Anderson – who just made his FIBA and China debut this tournament – is ready to go through the growing pains as long as his NBA schedule permits it.

“It’s tough. There are some really good teams out there. Lot of these teams have been playing together for a long time. I don’t want to make excuses, but I think we got a lot more work to do, and everyone knows that. We all know that,” said Anderson, who goes by the name Li Kaier in China.

“We’re going to get to work and I want to be able to continue to be a part of this for Chinese basketball. Just a lot more work to do. I’m actually excited to get to work.”

Unfortunately for China, Anderson will likely not be available to play in the next few tournaments like the Asian Games as he has to report back to Minnesota, which is currently led by the All-Star duo of Dominican Republic’s Karl-Anthony Towns and USA’s Anthony Edwards.

Anderson, however, is nothing but grateful for the entire World Cup journey, which saw him go through extreme ups and downs like a shocking scoreless debut against Serbia, before an immediate 22-point bounce-back against South Sudan.

“I loved the experience. Being around all these great players, competing with my team was awesome. Competing for China was awesome. The fans, they loved us, they supported us even through the tough times,” he continued.

“We just need to see where we stand and now is the time to make improvements and get better.” –

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