Minnesota Timberwolves superstar guard Anthony Edwards will be wearing a new jersey number next season.
According to our friend Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, the 2020 No. 1 overall pick will wear No. 5 next season, the number he wore growing up, in high school and in college. The Wolves’ existing owner of the No. 5 threads — Kyle Anderson — will switch back to No. 1, which he wore in the first eight seasons of his career. If I were Ant’s teammate, I’d want to jersey swap with him, too. That framed No. 1 jersey would look awesome as a basement wall/mantle centerpiece.
Edwards discussed his decision to change his jersey number with Stadium’s Shams Charania.
JUST IN: Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Anthony Edwards is changing his jersey number to No. 5.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 1, 2023
“Whole different player” – Sitdown at @Stadium on decision to change from No. 1 to 5, goals for next season, aiming to push Karl-Anthony Towns to MVP-type year and more: pic.twitter.com/N9QR07FCbs
“Five has just always been my number,” Edwards told Charania, noting that now-Milwaukee Bucks guard Malik Beasley wore No. 5 when he was drafted and that Slow-Mo took it last season after signing with the team.
“For sure. A whole different player,” Edwards said, scratching the back of his head with a patented smile, in response to a question about if he would be a better No. 5 than No. 1. “A lot of athleticism, a lot more dunks, just a different level of play because I got my number on my back now.”
In classic Ant fashion, he spent the majority of the rest of the interview talking about his teammates, explaining that his goals for the team are to win 50 games, help the Wolves get Karl-Anthony Towns to an MVP level, push Jaden McDaniels to become the best 3-and-D player in the NBA, and see Rudy Gobert get back to being the Defensive Player of the Year.
The No. 5 jersey has added significance for Edwards, who told Evan Daniels, formerly of 247 Sports, back in 2020 that he lost both his mother and grandmother on the fifth of the month in the same year when he was in the eighth grade.
“Edwards has dedicated his career to them. His mother and grandmother both died on the 5th of the month. In their honor, he’s worn the No. 5 jersey throughout high school and now in college. Edwards said it gave him an edge to work.”
“‘It drove me,’ he added. ‘I already had a chip on my shoulder because nobody really knew who I was but that really drove me to really work hard.’”
Krawczynski also noted that Edwards has structured some of his business efforts off the floor around the No. 5.
“He wears a chain with an AE5 medallion around his neck. His business pursuits with Holland are grouped under AE5 Enterprises. His grassroots basketball program with Adidas is called AE5 Basketball. It was only a matter of time that the jersey matched.”
Edwards is set to wear No. 10 for USA Basketball when he competes in the FIBA World Cup, which starts later this month, but don’t be surprised if he makes an effort to swap with Brooklyn Nets star Mikal Bridges for that No. 5 jersey to build momentum heading into the 2023-24 NBA season.
The late, great Kobe Bryant famously wore No. 10 for the stars and stripes, so Ant would certainly be in good company if he stuck with it. However, we’ve seen in recent years Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant both debut their new numbers on the world stage for USAB before switching over in the NBA, and Ant has the opportunity to do the same this fall.
Time will tell which path he follows, but if wearing the No. 5 threads helps Edwards feel at home and take his game to another level from what we’ve already seen, Timberwolves fans are in for a treat this upcoming season and beyond.