What if Anthony Edwards is ‘Carry My Team to the NBA Finals Nearly Every Year’ Special?

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

It happened again last night. Anthony Edwards is in the midst of his NBA superstar coming out party this season. Veteran superstars around the league are giving Ant his flowers and talking about handing him the torch as the next face of the NBA.

Nonetheless, he’s hit some rough patches the last year too, both on and off the court. Edwards has been fined by the NBA for publicly complaining about referees and he’s dealt with baby mama drama off the court that has raised eyebrows around the internet too.

But every time you start to doubt him or even let yourself think about lowering Edwards’ career ceiling, he reminds you why he is on a completely different level than any other player to ever put on a Minnesota Timberwolves jersey.

Anthony Edwards reminds us of his greatness again

Wednesday vs the Memphis Grizzlies was one of those games. The Wolves were dragging on the second night of a back to back and struggling to keep up with a team that now sits 19 games below .500, one of those nights they definitely lose most other years in this franchise’s history.

Related: Anthony Edwards on Track to Make Team USA Olympic Roster

But not last night, not with Anthony Edwards on the floor. There were times in the 2nd and early 3rd quarters where Ant disappeared for stretches. When Memphis was trying to pull away midway through the 3rd, though, stretching their lead all the way to 11 points with just over 4 minutes left in the quarter, it was Edwards’ time.

After putting up just 9 points in the first half, Ant blew up for 25 points in the 2nd half. All but 4 of those 25 points came in the last 17.5 minutes of the game. He finished with 34 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds. But last night, as is often the case, Edwards’ late game heroics didn’t end on offense.

Most already know how good of a defender the youngster is. He relishes opportunities to shut down the NBA’s most talented players. On Wednesday though, he was tasked with stopping Jaren Jackson Jr, who was on his way to having a career night halfway through the 3rd quarter… until Ant was tasked with locking him down.

Edwards reminded reporters after the game that Jaren played with him and practiced with him all summer for the USA FIBA World Cup team so he knew what he was getting himself into and Jackson likely knew what was coming when Ant claimed him on the defensive side of the floor for the first time.

Anthony Edwards on his way to being best in NBA

And all of this culminates into the same thing we’ve already been saying about Anthony Edwards off and on over the past few months. This dude is special. How special? Like Kevin Garnett x10 special. Like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan special.

Ant has it all, the attitude, the mindset, the defense, the talent and most of all: a determination to be great. Sure, Minnesota sports fans know they have something awesome in Anthony Edwards, I’m not saying they don’t.

Anthony Edwards Minnesota Timberwolves
Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

But I can promise you that there probably isn’t a sports fan in this town over the age of 13 who has let themselves fully wander into the mindset of, “what if Anthony Edwards is at the beginning of a career that ends in GOAT conversations?”

No, seriously, have you let your mind go to that place? Because this is basketball, not football, not hockey or baseball. If Ant really is one of, if not THE future face of the NBA, and he loves Minnesota as much as he claims, then there is no arguing that we are entering the golden age of Minnesota Timberwolves basketball.

What happens to Minnesota Timberwolves if Anthony Edwards becomes a GOAT?

What’s that mean? If Anthony Edwards stays healthy, and blossoms into the top-3 NBA superstar that many are projecting, then we can expect the Wolves to be in the Western Conference Finals just about every season. Is that you I hear laughing through your screen?

Just think logically about what kind of future that would be. If this kid really is as superstar as he appears to be, and he can stay healthy, that future is probably inevitable. Period. Because this is the NBA, where the best players rule the league year-in and year-out.

Right now, we’re exiting the age of LeBron James, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, who have a combined 24 conference finals appearances during their careers. LeBron, who’s been the best player in the NBA for 20 years, has 12 conference finals appearances all by himself.

Before them, it was Kobe, Shaq and Tim Duncan. Prior to those dudes, it was Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon and Karl Malone. And before them it was Larry Bird and Magic Johnson… you could go on and on and on.

Related: Charles Barkley Would Give Anthony Edwards the Twin Cities and All Three MN Lakes…?

Individual greatness is so much of a factor in the NBA that eras with GOAT players like Jordan and LeBron are nearly impossible to beat. It’s why none of the other MJ era greats have championships and why today’s greats had to start forming super teams to beat LeBron. Once James got with an organization that cared in Miami, it was over.

So should Ant really rise to those kind of heights, like many are projecting, and the Wolves can keep him surrounded by talent, which they are clearly determined to do…. well that’s the type of team that gets multiple shots at an NBA title over a 5-7 year span. The type of success this town hasn’t seen since the Lakers left after their dynasty run in the 1950s. Believe that.

If you aren’t ready to let yourself think that far ahead or get too excited, I understand. This is Minnesota sports, where you can drive yourself insane thinking that positively. But if you believe that Anthony Edwards will reach his ceiling as a top-3 NBA player or even better (and how can you not after watching these clips) then there really is no other future that makes sense. Even if, as MN sports fans, it is difficult for us to comprehend such realities.

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