How Andrew Wiggins went from frustration to key to champion.

This may sound crazy to someone who has recently joined the NBA, but there was a time when Andrew Wiggins was known. Maple Jordan – Canadian Michael Jordan. Until then, a young man playing high school basketball was considered the next basketball superstar, an ethnic talent who would dominate the NBA. With the exception of LeBron James in 2003, no other player of his age has approached the NBA with high expectations and world expectations in the 21st century.

Despite barely a fine college year, Wenger was selected No. 1 in the 2014 draft; The owner of the pick, Cleveland Cavaliers, had just brought back LeBron James and was looking for veterans, so he sent Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves to replace his then-star Kevin Lowe. The trade was unanimously considered a big deal for the wolves: Wiggins arrived to be the center of a reconstruction that included countless talented young talents such as Zac Lavin, Ricky Rubio and (a year later) Carl-Anthony Towns. Were Minnesota quickly became the most promising young team in the league, and Wiggins was a big part of that.

But his Minnesota career did not end there. Rocky of the Year, Wiggins soon made it clear that he would be a polarizing player: his supporters pointed to his 17 points per game and impressive defensive moments to show that there was something very good about it. Is, and that the rest of his game will come with time; Critics point to his formidable performance (45 ٪ 2 shots, 31 ٪ 3 balls), some rebounds, difficulty making (more turnover than assists) and defensive indifference in saying that Wiggins was a player who I used to put good marks in bad ones. Team, but with no real contribution.

As the years passed, the second story gained momentum. Wiggins improved his score over the next few years, but all his flaws remained the same, with no sign of real evolution. The apathy and lack of evolution soon made him hate the mob. To make matters worse, the team of promising wolves never made it, until the board tried to take a bold step to bring in Jimmy Butler. The move marked the first time in 15 years for the Wolves to play in the playoffs, but soon after it ended, it all went downhill, with Butler – reportedly angry at Wiggins and Towns’ lack of will and courage. I – forced to trade. With another reconstruction failure in Minnesota and the deregulation of all expectations, Andrew Wiggins – now on a much more expensive deal – has become a symbol of that failure.

Relief came only in the 2020 season. The Timberwolves’ desire with D’Angelo Russell, then in the Golden State Warriors, Wiggins was involved in the trade that brought the Point Guard north. Golden State won the Wagons and an invaluable draft pick, and the consensus at the time was that the Warriors were interested in choosing, not the player. Wiggins was the only deal needed to be included in the trade to beat wages, and that the Golden State would try to get him into another deal as soon as possible to give a good veteran to the California team. Will bring

I remember one of the few optimists at the time who thought Wiggins could offer fighters more than he thought with a change of scenery: with Curry and Thompson, Wiggins shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of scoring. Will have, and can focus. He did it with more efficiency. With Curry, Dreammond Green, and a moving ball attack, he won’t have to spend much time with the ball in his hands or be forced to create it for himself or others. That way, he could focus on what he did best – shooting from the dead zone, cutting to the basket, using his speed and athleticism to deal with the passing lines. His basketball lack of IQ, intensity and difficulty in defensive rotations was a problem, but if there was a team where Wiggins could pick up these qualities, it was a Warriors who was always praised for those qualities. ۔

For a year and a half, Wiggins and Draft Picks found themselves embroiled in all sorts of commercial rumors. There was a consensus around the industry that the Warriors planned to use these assets (and Wiggins’ salary) to get another star. Names such as Pascal Siakam, Bradley Bell and even Ben Siemens were considered supportive of fighters instead of Canadians. A trade seemed to be a matter of time, and living with these constant rumors could not be easier.

However, the Warriors had other plans, and they bet on what is most valuable to them: their culture and continuity, which has been able to outperform the players who have been there for many years. He also believed that doing so with Wiggins would greatly benefit the team from its athleticism, physical prowess and aggression towards the basket, the team lacks these qualities – and what your Big Three did. The natural decline with age can help reverse the injuries and injuries they see as part of their present and future, and they bet on that vision.

The path was gradual, blocked by curry and clay injuries, but symptoms began to appear. Outside shots improved a lot, and Wiggins traded his forced shots from the mid-range for more patient balls and more baskets near the edge. He was getting smarter and smarter on how to carry out the Warriors’ spin attack, and finding places to cut the ball and catch passes. He devoted himself to defense and eventually succeeded in becoming an asset to this side of the court, combining his ever-good individual defense with a more confident and intelligent collective defense to create chaos in counter-attacks. Used your physical gifts for There have been no major practical changes to Andrew Wiggins’ game, but accepting the role that has been firmly assigned to him – one that is well-suited to his abilities, and to a team whose players tell him that I can allow him to master that he performed well. The player on the court turned from water to alcohol.

The 2022 season was, of course, a milestone in this evolution. His emergence as a starter in the All-Star Game may have been due to a K-Pop campaign, but his participation in the All-Star Game was well deserved. After playing their part in the playoffs, with wins against Memphis and Denver, Wiggins will culminate in two decisive series against Mavericks and Celtics. It was Wiggins who was tasked with defending Luka Donikk in the Western Finals, and his success was an important part of why the Warriors dominated the series. Luka still had great performances because he was a monster, but his performance waned and Wiggins managed to suffocate the Slovenian to the point where he did not need defensive support from the lines that led to Dallas. Opened, killing the Texans’ premiere game and unbalancing the series. . Wiggins even had a 27-point, 11-rebound game in the series, including the most spectacular (and symbolic) sting of the season:

In the finals, Wiggins was again given the toughest defense job, defending Jayson Tatum. And just like against Luca, Wiggins was perfect, who completely eliminated Tatum and knocked the Celtics winger out of the series: Tatum after an average of 27 points per game with 45% shooting in the East. Terrible 22 points and fell to 37%. Reached the finals and Game 6 was completely lost. And it wasn’t just the defense that Wiggins wreaked havoc on: Wenger also dominated rebounds, with 16 rebounds per game and 13 rebounds in addition to an average of 9 per game, ironically for a player of his career. In the beginning it was against this kind of game. And Wiggins was instrumental in Golden State’s victory in Game 5 of the final. With Curry’s worst play and the team’s inability to bear the guilt, Wiggins took responsibility and exploded to 26 points and 13 rebounds, the best on the court. Clay Thompson was barely on the pitch and Dremond Green was missing in the first four games, Wiggins was comfortably the Golden State Warriors finalist and perhaps the second-best player in the playoffs overall – something that seemed unimaginable two years ago.

Wiggins is not and never will be the star he was expected to be, but he has become an invaluable asset to the NBA champions. In a way, he became a star in his role: defending the best opponents, using his athleticism constructively, taking advantage of the spaces created by Curry, and even when the team was in small quantities. Fire control if needed. When the team needed him to score an offensive superstar, he went there and did so. When, playing less, they needed someone to dominate the rebounds, Wiggins emerged. When Curry’s only bad game was, it was Wiggins’ best game. And when all was well and Golden State needed Wiggins to spin the ball, hit free kicks and not get in the way, he did. He may not be the type of player who changes franchises and takes the title on his own, but every champion team needs someone like that – and the Warriors got this crucial piece for the title where Everyone thought he was just deadweight.

And now, two years later, Andrew Wiggins is an NBA champion.

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