Friends, Anthony Edwards is an All-Star.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam have been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as injury replacements for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game. pic.twitter.com/JEkb07WPYa— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) February 10, 2023
Edwards has taken the proverbial “leap” this season, posting per-game averages of 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.7 steals. Those are all career-highs, as we’ve watched a 21 year old kid come into his own both with his play and as a leader.
In a season that could have easily gone off the rails and devolved into a disaster after Karl-Anthony Towns went down with a calf injury, Ant has stepped up and played like a legitimate superstar. Since Towns went down, Ant is averaging 26.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. During that time frame, the Wolves are 7.1 points per-100 possessions better with Ant on the floor than with him off.
More than anything, I’m just happy for Ant. He said all of the right things after he wasn’t initially selected, even going so far as to campaign for fellow injury replacement De’Aaron Fox, but you can tell he’s excited. He’s a smart kid, internally desiring this accolade but publicly saying all of the right things.
That looks like someone pretty pumped about the news they just received.
For Ant, this is still just the beginning, but making his first All-Star team as a 21 year old is quite an accomplishment. He still has a ton of room to grow, but there are few things better for Ant than getting to spend a weekend around the best players in the world. It’ll be an awesome experience for Edwards, who has absolutely earned this the hard way. He’s come a long way, and has done nothing but put his head down and work to shed the ridiculous narratives that surrounded him pre-draft.
Teams are worried about Anthony Edwards' drive and enthusiasm for winning, per Bleacher Report— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) September 28, 2020
"Dion Waiters has been used by skeptics as a comparison or low-end outcome for Edwards ... Scouts and executives have mentioned that his teams haven't won at any level." pic.twitter.com/AZRhPqryxi
Now, the fun begins. There are few players whose game and personality is more tailored for an All-Star Game setting, where thunderous dunks and long-range shooting reign supreme. Rest assured, Ant knows that, and is going to show up ready to get buckets. You think Ant cares that he was an injury replacement? I’m going to say no. I cannot wait to see how many times he pulls up for three.
Anthony Edwards’ plan for the All-Star game: “Get in the game and shoot all the shots.”— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) February 10, 2023
Said he’s gunning for MVP
It’s going to be so cool to see Ant on the biggest stage with players that are now his peers. He’s no longer just the up-and-coming, high-flying guy that everyone sees has a lot of potential. He’s no longer just the future, but also the present. He’s going to be catching lobs from the likes of Luka Doncic and throwing them to players like LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Lastly, let Ant shoot! The Georgia Bulldog says he wants to participate in the three-point contest, and I can’t think of many better combinations of personality and shooting talent for the league to highlight during their marquee event. Edwards might not fit the bill of your standard three-point contest participant, but he’s a good spot-up shooter whose overall percentage is dragged down by the difficulty and volume of the pull-up attempts he takes.
Edwards said he does want to participate in the 3-point contrast— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) February 10, 2023
Anyways, this is an awesome accolade for Ant, and I think I speak for all of us when I say I cannot wait to see him perform in Salt Lake City. It’s hard to be anything but happy for him, and his teammates feel the same way.