Why was Anthony Edwards Late to Timberwolves vs Blazers Game?

Anthony Edwards Minnesota Timberwolves
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Edwards is a rising superstar in the National Basketball Association. He’s widely recognized as one of the top two or three young talents in the league and the main factor for why the Minnesota Timberwolves sit atop the Western Conference with just 20 games remaining on the season.

But much like many of the 21 or 22 year olds you might know, Anthony Edwards has plenty of growing up to do and he has proven that a handful of times both on and off the basketball court over the past couple of years.

As Ant’s star status grows, so do the number of eyes watching his every move. And the Atlanta kid has learned some of these life lessons the hard way, at times. But what happened at the start of the game on Monday night between the Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers was just… weird.

Anthony Edwards arrives too late for tip-off between Timberwolves and Blazers

Edwards was at Target Center on time and actually arrived looking very ready to hoop, as the Wolves’ social media account aptly pointed out when he walked into the arena. Ant warmed up and went through most of his normal routine. But when tip-off time came, there was no #5 Wolves jersey to be found.

Instead, Nickeil Alexander-Walker is listed as the official starter in last night’s game. The photos and videos of the event are funny because Edwards actually did arrive to the court before the tip physically took place, just not early enough to officially get on the court. So, as Rudy Gobert took the tip, you can see Ant at the scorers’ table already waiting to check in.

Of course, there are lots of logical explanations for what happened. The most obvious one is an emergency bathroom situation. We’ve all been there, when you’re in a place or circumstance where pooping is not possible… but your body doesn’t care.

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When that happens, you quickly realize that there will be a bathroom somewhere. The question becomes whether or not said “bathroom” will be an appropriate one (with a useable toilet) or an emergency unqualified bathroom that probably does not have a toilet. In these trying moments any “bathroom” you can find that avoids public eyes and isn’t your own shorts is considered a huge win.

But… Ant was asked after the game why he was late to take the floor and had no explanation other than he “lost track of time”. When pressed, that’s the story he maintained, even when asked directly if he had a bathroom emergency. He shut that easy and obvious excuse down too.

The entire situation just gets weirder from there. Chris Finch told media after the game that he had no idea why Anthony Edwards was late to the floor. Of course, that can’t be true because if it were, it’d be a really bad look. Your superstar player wasn’t available when the game started and, hours later, the head coach of the team still has no idea why? Come on…

Wanna get weirder? The tweet you see above from The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski is the only evidence I’ve been able to find all morning that Edwards actually addressed his tardiness after the game. The Timberwolves didn’t post his postgame scrum with reporters to their official YouTube channel, like they ALMOST ALWAYS do, and like they did with his teammates and head coach, following last night’s win.

Media members who normally post Ant’s postgame locker room scrum pretended it never happened. It’s as if the interview doesn’t exist. Finch also cancelled his KFAN radio interview this morning with Paul Allen. Coincidence? It’s possible. Of course, it’s possible this is all just a coincidence… but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

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

Marney Gellner sheds a little bit of light…

Anthony Edwards Minnesota Timberwolves
Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Those of us who listened to the Power Trip morning show on KFAN radio early Tuesday morning did get a small inside glimpse into what happened right before Ant showed up late. Longtime Minnesota sports sideline reporter and studio host Marney Gellner said she was sitting right next to the tunnel prior to tip-off, when Edwards urgently sprinted past her (in very non-Ant-like fashion) looking very disheveled.

“So where I sit is right off of the Timberwolves bench. I saw, when the lights were still down [in the arena prior to tip-off] but guys were like on the court, like starting to head out there and high fiving and greeting the other team and like it’s about go time. And I saw Ant come sprinting through the tunnel. His jersey, I remember specifically his jersey was totally untucked, which is a little bit unlike him. And he looked like he was sprinting, as opposed to the usual just kind of happiness and jogging out. And then the game started and he [wasn’t there]. So I thought he would give an explanation after the game and he was offered an excuse of the bathroom, I believe, by John Krasinski, and and said that was not the case.”

Marney Gellner on KFAN Radio

Ant is averaging 26.1 points per game, which ranks 12th in the NBA and he’s 5th in the league in usage percentage. But lots of dudes can score. Edwards sets himself apart with his willingness to play defense.

He’s just one of those rare phenom hoopers that gets just as much pleasure in locking down an opponent as he does scoring on them and the numbers show it. Ant ranks 12th in the league in defensive rating (109.2) and 3rd in defensive win shares (3.6), behind only Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns.

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But it seems something has been a bit off recently, since coming back from an All-Star game where Edwards faced a lot of criticism from NBA colleagues regarding his insistence to do everything left handed during the skills challenge on Saturday night.

He just had his first [officially recognized] child late last week, which can undoubtedly affect someone, so that’s worth noting. When I started this article, I thought it was just going to be quick and easy explainer post, but the circumstances are much more bizarre and mysterious than what I expected.

All night vs Portland (which was the 2nd night of a back-to-back) after arriving late to the court, Ant appeared passive and a bit disconnected for most of the contest. He came out a bit more aggressive in the 4th quarter but ended with 13 points on just 10 field goal attempts. He also left at one point in the 2nd half with a “left-elbow contusion”.

Also on the Power Trip morning today, Local CBS legend Mark Rosen admits he heard from a source he doesn’t really trust that Ant fell asleep and that’s why he was late. Again, why wouldn’t he just take the poop excuse? Especially if that’s what really happened? Same thing with Chris Finch, who would not be visibly irritated by a bathroom emergency, like he was when asked about Edwards’ tardiness postgame.

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