After making some cherry-picked headlines earlier this week from an interview with ESPN’s Alex Scarborough, I expected Anthony Edwards’ post-draft selection media availability to be... interesting. There was foreshadowing about his lack of focus and dedication to the game of basketball based on the vibe from the ESPN article. So in his first chance to talk with us after being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, I was curious to see what he was like.
Did he have a good smile? A strong (virtual) handshake? Does he really lean forward when you talk to him? Or will he look you in the eyes and tell you he’ll work hard to justify his contract? These are all important signals of a surefire superstar, of course.
All kidding aside, what I ended up seeing and hearing was much different than what I may have previously expected from the recently turned 19-year-old.
On his feelings and emotions he felt after being drafted:
Anthony Edwards shares how he felt right as he was drafted. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/OJViWLCxk9— Lernernerner DiCapricorn (@Y0Leo) November 19, 2020
So what? He’s not much a crier. He still appeared to soak in the moment and all the emotions that came with this moment. With paintings of his deceased mother and grandmother on a couch to both sides of him, this was surely a special moment that he dedicated to them.
What representing Georgia in the draft means to him:
Much like Minnesota’s 2019 rookie, Jarrett Culver, Edwards attended college in the backyard of his hometown. He’s definitely proud to represent Georgia, but more importantly knows he’ll have to get to work to do right by them.
Pressure of being the #1 overall pick:
Minnesota isn’t necessarily a place known for pressure and high expectations (no offence everyone, I’m a foreigner!), but good for Mr. Pressure and Mrs. Expectations because Edwards isn’t phased by them. Especially with his self-proclaimed “superstars” by his side.
The lessons he learned from Coach Tom Crean:
It appears last season was the first season that Edwards learned how to watch film. Depending on who you ask, that may or may not be a good thing for his development. Either way, our player development staff will have their work cutout for them.
The best life lesson he’s received so far:
In many other interviews that he’s done over these past nine months, he’s often referenced the importance of smiling and pushing through the tough moments in life. He may also have had a 6th sense about The Unicorn incoming.
What he focused and worked on during this offseason:
What did @theantman05 work on during this offseason? Listen below as he gets a lot more specific about what he's changed. It'll really bode well for his role on the @Timberwolves ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/C4zaLo0EaQ— Lernernerner DiCapricorn (@Y0Leo) November 19, 2020
I love that Edwards was willing to get a little deeper into his answer here. The “1% better everyday” is a great mentality for someone like him with so much more potential (sorry, I had to say it) to unlock. It was also awesome for him to identify that catching & shooting was important to him because given his role on this team, we’ll need him to be ready.
On the additional preparation time leading up to the draft:
Anthony stays true to the “1% every day” mantra here and knew how to properly utilize the time prior to the draft. Jarrett Culver may have to wrestle him for that gym rat title soon.
What he learned about the Timberwolves front office and culture:
It wasn’t much, but Anthony gave a little bit of insight about his meetings with our team. He specifically says “they had everything mapped out, a game plan, they had everything for me.” Clearly he was not a last minute draft night decision without a specific vision for how he would fit into our team’s future.
How he feels he will fit with KAT and D’Lo:
Whether someone from our front office spoon fed him this or not, it was awesome to hear Edwards reference a little bit more about Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. Knowing our personnel inside and out will be key to our team’s synergy.
How much fun he’s going to have being part of a young core:
Maybe one of my favorite answers from Edwards in regards to playing with a young core (Ricky Rubio shoutout): pic.twitter.com/9AVTRASwt0— Lernernerner DiCapricorn (@Y0Leo) November 19, 2020
I love this. Anthony rattles off 5 different Timberwolves players off the top (how many people in
Canis Hoopus the world can do that?) which again, shows to me that he was ready to be here. He also runs with the bit of info I dropped to him about Ricky Rubio so that’s instantly 100+ CH points to him.
What he will bring on the defensive end:
Want to hear more about what Anthony Edwards thinks about defense? pic.twitter.com/R0MAsAByrb— Lernernerner DiCapricorn (@Y0Leo) November 19, 2020
One of the biggest question marks, among many, is Anthony’s ability and willingness to play defense. It was clear by this answer that he knows what he needs to do, so the proof will be on court. Will he really do as he says? Being locked in for the entire game? Will he really try to be the best rebounding guard? If he doesn’t, he may have a one-way ticket to a nearby island.
Who he most looks forward to playing against in the NBA:
Say what you will about who Edwards thinks is the best player in the league, but it’s hard to fault him for wanting to test himself against one of the most dangerous players in the game. Even if that player has one less Achilles (wishing him a speedy recovery!).
Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to ask him what his Canis Hoopus handle was before time ran out. I also think his invitation to our Canis Zoomus got lost in the mail (thanks again Uncle Rico for leading this and all those who joined). I will say though, the overall vibe I got from Edwards was confidence and willingness to put in the work. Again, time will tell if he’s able and willing to do what needs to be done both on and off the hardwood, but this interview surely left me encouraged. I hope it did for you as well.