When the dust settles on the 2020-21 NBA season, Monday night’s Minnesota Timberwolves “L” will be just another hidden addend to a long addition problem that shows only the final sum. Right now, that sum is 12 (with 4 wins) but Andrew Wiggins made the latest addition hurt a bit more than any of the 11 prior.
Three steals and another three blocks for Andrew Wiggins tonight. Up to 28 blocks on the season. Sixth in the NBA, behind five centers. Also had 23 points on 10/19 FG in his first career game vs Minnesota.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 26, 2021
Wiggins had a big game last night and has certainly been better in Oakland than he was in Minneapolis. But a lot of that is based on his new environment and different expectations, which Jon Krawczynski laid out beautifully this morning for The Athletic.
Postgame Praise… for Thibs?
After the Warriors dominated the Timberwolves, Andrew was doing his postgame interview and praising Golden State for their championship structure, organization and professionalism. None of that struck me as surprising, given we’ve heard the same things from many who have left Minnesota for more successful teams.
Wiggins did say, however, that it’s not the first time he’s played for a regime with such executive expectations. According to Andrew, playing for the championship-laden Golden State Warriors feels a lot like playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves under…. Tom Thibodeau.
“It’s different, because everything here is organized. You know what you’re doing every night,” Wiggins said. “You know what you’re getting yourself into, you know the minutes you’re going to play, you know your rotation.
“There was a couple years like that in Minnesota where everything, you know everything. That was with Coach Thibs. Thibs was very organized. Thibs was very clear, he was very straightforward. That’s one thing they do here. They’re very straightforward. They’re not going to sugar-coat nothing. There’s no trick questions, so it’s good.”Andrew Wiggins (quote via The Athletic)
I doubt Wiggins was trying to throw shade at any of the current or past Minnesota Timberwolves administrations but that’s certainly how it hit. Wiggins was here for Flip Sr, Thibs and the first 1.5 years of Gersson Rosas.
Time for reflection
Maybe the Rosas-run Timberwolves will someday be the type of “organized” and “straightforward” franchise Andrew is talking about. But these comments should open Karl, Ryan and Gersson’s eyes.
You can coddle, cuddle and give professional athletes everything they think they want, but at the end of the day, they want to win and they want successful careers. Players today may not always like the “be a pro” style of management, but that still seems to be what gains their respect.
You can’t find a better example of that than Andrew Wiggins praising the guy we though he helped run out of town.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan