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The Way of Wiggins

Some helpful suggestions for Andrew Wiggins entering year 3.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Houston Rockets Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Dearest Andrew,

The first day of the NBA season is fast approaching. I hope that you have all of your supplies, you’ve done your summer reading, and you have your freshest outfit all picked out. It should be flashy, it should be eye-catching, and, if at all possible, reflective. Maybe something like...

Oh, looking FRESH.

Yep, that’s it. That’s exactly what you need. An outfit that says, “I’m Andrew Wiggins and I’m here to 720 dunk on all your faces.”

It’s important, Andrew. This is YEAR 3, good sir! I capitalized that to emphasis its importance. Let me yell it again. YEAR 3!!! Yes, you’ve had some promising seasons. Rookie of the Year wasn’t bad, your three-point percentage got better as last season wore on (let’s just look past December’s 17.1% and January’s 21.6%, okay?), and scoring 20 ppg is a feather in your very fashionable hat. All good stuff for a kid that had his first beer six months ago (probably not).

But so much of this season is riding on your skinny shoulders. Yes we have a large KAT, and a bouncy LaVine, and a Spanish Unicorn that will definitely discover his shooting touch in year six*, but we’re looking to you to be the superstar that we know you can be. Superstars get stats, Andrew. Vegter21’s research lab (and came up with these.

*please, please, please, please, please

I know, I’m not a math guy either, however I think we can learn some things here. Let’s go slow to make sure we get it right.

  • More field goals attempted and made a higher percentage = good
  • More three-pointers attempted but made a lower percentage = bad
  • More free throws attempted with a consistent percentage = good
  • Less rebounds (both offensively and defensively) per game = bad

Keep on keeping on with the shooting percentage, being aggressive on drives to the basket, and increasing points per game. That’s great stuff. Take a moment and bask in the glory.

Now, let’s have a serious talk about 3-pointers. I know, it’s a touchy subject, and you were doing better in the second half. Let’s take a look by month:

  • October - 0% (we’ll go ahead and throw this one out)
  • November - 32.5% (not bad, heading in the right direction)
  • December - 17.1% (Thanksgiving hangover? But you’re Canadian. Boxing Day issues?)
  • January - 21.6% (definitely Boxing Day issues)
  • February - 38.1% (Birthday Month!!!)
  • March - 42.9% (legal alcohol boost)
  • April - 36.8% (delayed hangover from birthday month)

There are signs of promise there, really. But if we can get February/March Wiggs rather than December/January Wiggs, that would make things a lot more wide open for the large Feline and yourself. The three-point line pump fake to dribble drive to 720 dunk on Ibaka’s face will forever be named “The Wiggins,” but you need to frighten defenders with your scoring range before it can happen. Feel me?

One more thing, and this one is a biggie. It’s your desire. Despite the stats, despite the athleticism, despite the promise, there are rumblings out there that you don’t really care that much. I think it’s your demeanor (as well as your rebounding numbers) that cause people to question whether you have the “IT” factor to be the superstar that we all want you to be. Yes, there were flashes of nastiness and yelling to the rafters last season—there’s only so much exposure one can have to KG before the madness starts infecting you—and that’s a good thing. We want you to demand the ball, to take the final shot, to make the Wolves YOUR team. We want you to stop being the “promising young talent” and to be the bright, fashionable, freak of nature STAR that you’re meant to be.

We have some suggestions:

Superstars need Shoes Let’s start talking with the shoe companies. You’re a star on the rise, you need a shoe that demonstrates this. Something flashy, something bold, something that looks like it’s from the mid-90’s, something that protects your ankles so much that it goes to mid-calf. What’s that? You already have something in the works?

Damn, Andrew?!?! I have no idea what those are. They’re like overprotective swim socks. But, if you’re trying to make a bold, superstar-like statement, I think these are the ticket. The Big Ticket, if I may. Chef Curry’s are out. These are the new “gotta-have-em.” Straight fire.

Sponsorship — I know that you did something this summer with BW3’s, but it was weird. National Chicken Wing Day? With only a left hand? Superstars don’t lose, Wiggs. If you’ve been watching summer camp footage, superstars block fourth graders’ shots out of the gym for all to see. For our dear readers, if you haven’t seen it, this is what we’re discussing:

We feel like there are far greater sponsorship opportunities out there. The most obvious that comes to mind is A&W—All American Food. Wiggs, there’s something we have to admit. You’re Canadian. As Minnesotans, we inherently can’t trust you. Being a representative of A&W, an All American food provider, we will be able to look past your Torontonian heritage and see you as a proud hot-dog-slinging, corporate lackey. Plus, the A&W/AW connection is too easy. Preliminary ads are already in the works in the Vegter21 laboratories.

“Need a new, A&W root beer/cream soda swirl float? AW will mix it up for YOU.”

Bold Statements Bold players need to make bold statements. You’re a tree of many layers, Mr. Wiggins (s/o to the Canis comment section). There may be a tough, exterior bark, but we need to dig deep to see some of those inner rings so that many, shinier rings appear in our future. In YEAR 3, you’re one of our leaders. We need you to step to the mic, and proclaim something aggressive. Something that the team can rally behind. Something that causes Marv Albert and Chris Webber to act slightly dickish.

This. Is. Perfect. What does Marv know about basketball anyway? Throw it in his face this season, you beautiful tree. What if you said something like, “I love Minnesota. They treat me nice up there. I plan to be there a very, very, very long time”

Ummmm, yes! Please and thank you. How about you further renounce your Canadian citizenship with something like this:

“After much thought, consideration and speaking with my family, I will not be participating in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament with the Canadian Men’s National Team in July. As my third NBA season approaches, I understand my increased role with the Timberwolves and dedication to the upcoming season must have my total focus. We are building a championship contending team, which has always been my goal. This was definitely not an easy decision and I fully support and wish Team Canada nothing but success this summer.”

Oh, you already said that? I think that’s great work. That’s really great. You emphasize your commitment to the Wolves, you acknowledge the importance of YEAR 3, and you drop a “championship contending team” on us in the middle. I guess I’m unsure why I just wrote a thousand words of advice to you, Andrew. This was a complete waste of time. It seems like you’re way ahead of me and all of my guidance.

You know what? Do you, Andrew. Be the star that we all want you to be. Keep working on those three’s, the handle, and making Marv Albert look like a dumb-dumb. It’s 2016/2017, the year of the Wiggins, and there’s so much more to come...



Editor’s Note: We’re excited to introduce our friend Vegter21 as one of the newest contributors at Canis.