Steve Kerr’s Brutal Honesty Shocked Anthony Edwards into Madman Worker He’s Become

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When Anthony Edwards was coming out of the University of Georgia, he wasn’t the undisputed #1 overall choice for the upcoming NBA Draft. Pundits were split on whether the Minnesota Timberwolves should take Ant, LaMelo Ball or big man, James Wiseman.

Steve Kerr sends wake up call to Anthony Edwards during 2020 pre-draft workout

But no matter where he was picked, Edwards got a wake-up call when he arrived in San Francisco for a pre-draft workout with the Golden State Warriors and their head coach, Steve Kerr. The Warriors were slotted into the 2nd pick in the 2020 draft.

During their workout, Kerr made it very clear to Ant that he was not in the shape he needed to be, if he was going to make it in the NBA. That, if he wanted to hang at this level, he was going to have to work a lot harder than what he was.

“I thought I was working hard. When he came, I was going through drills and he kept stopping them, like, ‘That’s all you got? That’s all you got?’ And I’m like, ‘Bruh, I’m going hard as you want me to go. What you want me to do? I’m sweating crazy.'”

Anthony Edwards (via ESPN)

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After the workout, Edwards went to dinner with the Warriors head coach, along with other top brass in the organization. Kerr told him point-blank that if their team had the #1 overall pick, they wouldn’t be picking him, which left Ant shell-shocked.

“He’s like, ‘Man, you’ve got to see Steph [Curry], KD and Klay [Thompson] work out. They still was continuously telling me, ‘You didn’t work hard enough. If we had the No. 1 pick, we wouldn’t take you.’ And I was just like, ‘Damn, that’s crazy.'”

Anthony Edwards (via ESPN)

Anthony Edwards used Kerr’s criticism to improve

But that’s one of my favorite personality traits of Anthony Edwards. When met with a challenge or criticism, Ant has shown an incredible willingness, even when caught off-guard, to look inward.

Edwards has been the biggest talent of his age group since he put on basketball sneakers. He was the #1 overall recruit in the nation (247Sports) coming out of high school in 2019 and the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft one year later.

Related: Patrick Beverley Believes Anthony Edwards’ Star Will Get Too Big For Minnesota

Yet, when Kerr questioned his work ethic and commitment to basketball, Edwards didn’t shut down or let it roll off his back, like many many many great young athletes would. Instead, he got into the car with his trainer, after meeting with the Warriors, and made a commitment to working harder.

“Me and my trainer riding home after dinner and we’re just talking like we got to pick it up. I don’t know how, I don’t know what we got to do, but we got to pick it up. After that. I became a madman at the gym.”

Anthony Edwards (via ESPN)

Edwards proves Kerr wrong again before FIBA World Cup…

Three years later and Anthony Edwards is one of the brightest stars in the NBA. The Warriors pick that year at #2 overall, James Wiseman, spent most of his first two seasons dealing with injuries, before Golden State traded him to the Detroit Pistons.

Kerr linked up with Edwards this summer, as the head coach for Team USA’s unsuccessful run during the FIBA World Cup. Again, Kerr doubted the now-budding superstar, choosing to bring him off the bench when Team USA first convened for a quick training camp, prior to exhibition games starting.

That didn’t last long. By the second or third practice, Ant was in the starting lineup. When the FIBA World Cup started, he was the team alpha and far-and-away their best player.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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