Today is one of those days where you wake up and are grateful that Anthony Edwards plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He was tremendous in Thursday night’s preseason finale, a 114-105 win over the Chicago Bulls, in which he scored 19 points on 8/13 shooting, grabbed five rebounds and dropped a dime over his 20 minutes. Edwards also did this:
Year 4 of the Anthony Edwards experience is going to be insanely fun. pic.twitter.com/bYVC0DM2ww— Kyle Theige (@KyleTheige) October 20, 2023
With Edwards being at the front of the NBA news cycle over the past couple months during his run with Team USA, we received a couple of gems that flooded social media and gave many people, including myself, much needed serotonin as the summer came to a close. The ones that stuck out to me (and inspired this article) were:
1) A clip of Edwards telling Jaren Jackson Jr. to ‘jump’ during a team USA practice
2) Ant completely destroying a German defender in an exhibition match back on August 20.
ANTHONY EDWARDS POSTER DUNK— Timberwolves Talk (@LetsTalk_Wolves) August 20, 2023
These two clips got me thinking about all of the ferocious slams that we have had the pleasure of seeing from the Ant over his first three years in the league. After some reminiscing in our Canis slack (and a lot of very, very fun YouTube video watching) these were the five dunks that I decided were the best in Anthony Edwards’ young career.
Before we get into it however, I just want to throw out a couple of disclaimers. The first is that I am only going with NBA dunks — so the Team USA one will not be on this list (even though it could be). The second is that I had a very difficult time ranking these and there were plenty more not on this list. The five that I am choosing is my opinion and if I left one off you can bet that it was an agonizing decision to do so - trust me.
With that being said, let’s get into the rankings.
#5: Poster Jam Over James Wiseman - January 25, 2021
Any number of dunks could have gone in this number five slot but this one does hold a special place because of the context. This was during both James Wiseman’s and Edwards’ rookie season in the midst of the pandemic. I think people tend to forget how little of a consensus there was this year around the No. 1 overall pick and who the Timberwolves should’ve taken. It is safe to say, however, that many people were dragging the Wolves for taking Edwards over LaMelo Ball and even Wiseman with their pick. This felt like a big middle finger to all those (wrong) analysts.
(Editor’s Note: If you are reading this on Apple News, please click here so you can view embedded videos important to the analysis, and enjoy the best overall reading experience.)
#4: Play-In Dunk vs. Los Angeles Clippers - April 12, 2022
Coming in at the number four slot is the dunk in the Play-In game against the Clippers. To give you a spoiler of the rankings I am creating, I am partial to poster dunks on people - this is the only dunk on this list that does not fit this bill. The reason I put this dunk was all because of the context. The Timberwolves were reeling in their first postseason game since 2017 and they needed a big comeback to get back into the game. This dunk gave the Wolves a four-point lead with four minutes to play. It capped a 16-2 run and got the Target Center on their feet reaching deafening levels of sound.
P.S. Kevin Harlan is the absolute BEST
#3: Poster Slam Over Jaren Jackson Jr. — January 27, 2023
Coming in at number three, the Memphis Grizzlies took a cold January trek up north to Minnesota only to be burned by the red hot Edwards. You can see the Georgia product sweep through leaving Dillon Brooks in the dust as he sets his eyes on Jaren Jackson Jr. Or, more accurately, the rim. Maybe this is why the Defensive Player of the Year didn’t jump in that Team USA practice.
#2: Double Dunk Over Sengun — January 21, 2023
Sliding in at the #2 slot is the double poster dunk on Houston Rockets center Alperen Sengun, which took place just one week prior to #3. While both dunks were impressive in of themselves, the fact that they happened to the same player in the same game is why they make it so high on this list. I had the pleasure of being in attendance for this game and both of these got the Target Center rocking.
P.S. As much as I love Kevin Harlan, I’m pretty happy with Michael Grady, too.
#1B: I Don’t Want to Talk About it — November 24, 2021
I may never recover from this. I will never stop petitioning to the league to change this to a basket. I have already written many strongly worded letters to this referee begging him to build a time machine to go back and change this call.
#1A: Yuta Watanabe Will NEVER Live This Down — February 19, 2021
Because of the dunk that I cannot even mention, this one easily takes the number one spot. In Ant’s rookie year he catches the defender out of position takes three dribbles and then decides that he wants to go to prison for the murder of Yuta Watanabe. To this day I will never understand what possessed Watanabe to jump... but I am glad he did.
That is all I have for you all today and I hope you enjoyed reliving some of the 22-year-old phenom’s best moments in his three year career. This was so much fun to reminisce and attempt to rank these five (six) dunks. I know that I missed some and I know that I had to make some tough decisions and so I would love to hear your passionate arguments of how bad I screwed up by not putting your favorite on this list. I hope I will have to revisit this list at the end of next year with my decisions being much tougher than what they were this time around.