Anthony Edwards’ Leadership Might Be Taking Another Step Too

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves came into Target Center for Game 6 knowing they needed a win or their season would end. And with their backs against the wall, they punched back. Hard. A 45-point drubbing of the defending champion Denver Nuggets, to force a game 7. Anthony Edwards was, once again, was the catalyst.

Drafted as the first overall pick during the 2020 NBA Draft, Anthony Edwards is still a youngster when it comes to professional status. At just 22 years old, it’s hard to remember that he was able to legally experience his first alcoholic beverage just one year ago. The way in which he carries himself among older and more established teammates is a sight to be seen.

Anthony Edwards leading the Minnesota Timberwolves in Chris Finch’s absence

Chris Finch has a torn patellar tendon and he’s relegated to a spot off the end of the bench, where the scorer’s table can protect his knee from flying objects and/or players. That has left assistant coach Micah Nori as the main voice, and the coach who walks the sidelines and barks at players and refs.

And it’s possible Finch’s physical disabilities in this series have helped elevate the voice of Anthony Edwards. Earlier in the series, we saw him tell teammate Karl Anthony Towns to stop fouling during a postgame press conference, something he has clearly been saying to KAT behind the scenes for quite some time.

But then, there were moments throughout Game 6 where Ant could be found either coaching up the entire team on the bench during timeouts, or even pulling teammates aside and coaching them up individually. We’re talking veterans like Rudy Gobert, guys who came into the league when Edwards was playing AAU ball.

We’d all be happy if Anthony Edwards were to simply pour in buckets and dominate the opposition. Add in the killer instinct and an impossible confidence. Even better, that’s a superstar talent. But we have a dude who is even more than that. He appears to be a true leader of men, too.

At 22, there’s plenty of reason for Ant to stay quiet and absorb. Be a kid and make mistakes that he can blame on his youth. And he’s certainly done some of that, don’t get me wrong. But even that, he’s brushed off with a level of cool rarely seen from other superstar athletes.

That’s just who Anthony Edwards is. When you cash just about every check you have ever written and do it with a level of impossible “it” factor, your star starts to rise at impossible speeds, and that’s what we are seeing with our favorite Georgia kid.

Leadership comes natural for Anthony Edwards

There are personalities in sports that simply aren’t capable of leadership. That doesn’t mean they can’t contribute at a high level. Most great athletes aren’t great leaders. Most people aren’t great leaders.

That’s what makes Ant so special. He meshes an innate leadership ability with rare talent that allows him to truly stand out among even the most talented peers. Guys like that get addressed by singular names like Kobe, LeBron, or Jordan.

Related: Jamal Murray Refuses to Give Anthony Edwards His Flowers

At every opportunity, Anthony Edwards has offered his advice or thoughts, and he does so while understanding the situation. It’s clear he has fun, but the competitive drive fuels him, and his desire to be the best isn’t something that will be held down by those around him not giving their best as well.

With one final chance to close out the series against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, Anthony Edwards will have another opportunity to lead. He noted Mike Conley’s presence as imperative for the Game 6 victory, and called him the team leader.

Edwards certainly knows when to defer to others, and that further highlights self awareness. The Minnesota Timberwolves will need the best of Edwards once again, and that means leading regardless of the time he has spent on earth or in the league.

Related: Timberwolves Linked to Potential Trade For All-Star PG

As he addressed his teammates postgame, Anthony Edwards knew what was at stake and knows what’s required of him in Game 7. As the leader of this Minnesota Timberwolves team, he’ll be ready to go.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: