''They gotta build him a statue'' - Obst much more than just a shooter
MANILA (Philippines) - If the world didn’t know Andreas Obst before the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, it certainly does now. Especially after the Germany guard broke the internet with his breakout showing against United States.
Obst destroyed any notions that he is just a shooter by putting his entire game on display in playing a leading role in Germany's stunning 113-111 victory over USA to reach their first ever World Cup Final.
He was arguably the best player of maybe what will go down as the best game in FIBA history. The game of his life.
"I actually have no words for this, to be part of that and what we achieved today. Tonight is just amazing for basketball, for German basketball. It was really tough and it means so much to the group. We fought every second and now we are happy to be in the Final," said Obst, who won the TCL Player of the Game award.
Obst drained 4 three-pointers in scoring 24 points to go with 6 assists and 1 steal. In doing so, he showed that his game is not just shooting - driving to the basket to score or pass; feeding passes to his teammates with his excellent understanding of space and movement within the offense; and some good defense - including a big charge at the end of the third quarter.
The Mall of Asia Arena crowd was even chanting "MVP MVP MVP" when Obst was taking free throws at the beginning of the third quarter.
"We knew he was a shooter, we knew him as a sniper," USA star Anthony Edwards said of Obst. "The game plan was to take him out of the game and, you know, he ended up getting off tonight."
German head coach Gordie Herbert has coached Obst for the last two summers and insisted he is far from a one-tool player.
"Andi is one of the best shooters in FIBA. He can do more than just shoot as you saw tonight. He can drive. He can make a play. The biggest thing about Andi is he gives Dennis Schroder and Franz Wagner space to play. He creates space," Herbert told the post-game press conference. "You have seen an evolution in Andi's game since (FIBA) EuroBasket last year and now. He's more than a shooter and he's become a good defender."
Obst's main calling card naturally is his pure stroke from the outside. The 27-year-old led the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 in three-pointers made with 52 while shooting 48 percent from long range.
He has shot 38 percent or higher in every league or club competition since the 2017-18 season except for hitting 32 percent in the German league in 2019-20. Obst drained 49.8 percent of his shots from long range over 41 games in the German league in 2020-21.
Still, being able to make big shots on such a big stage shows how great Obst is.
"Just unbelievable," Franz Wagner said about Obst. "To be a shooter like that and everybody knows that you're a shooter and to still shoot like that is extremely difficult."
The three-pointer heard around the world was his backbreaker with 74 seconds left to give Germany a 111-107 lead. Obst caught the inbounds pass and waited for Haliburton to fly by him and then calmly drained the triple.
"I've been playing with him since I was 16, so I know what he can do. And they gotta build him a statue," Johannes Thiemann said.
That will make Obst's performance even more memorable than it already is.