Ever since Andrew Wiggins was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2014 NBA draft and subsequently traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves before ever playing a game for the Cavs there have been question marks about his desire.
His heart and genuine love for the game was constantly questioned. Blessed with 6-foot-8 height and supreme athleticism, the game came pretty easily for him throughout his high school and AAU days.
Since he’s been a pro, Wiggins has been criticized for not living up to his No. 1 overall billing, but he’s hardly been a bust. The 19.3 points per game career scorer has numbers similar to a bevy of Hall of Famers. He was underserving of the negative criticism even prior to his NBA championship coming-out party.
His dad Mitchell, a former NBA player himself, called out ESPN’s Zach Lowe for comments made about his son following the Warriors winning the NBA championship.
On “The Lowe Post” podcast, Lowe recounted Mitchell approaching him at the end of Game 6.
“Michell Wiggins came up to me … after Game 6 of the Finals, saying, ‘I guess you’re gonna start writing nicer things about my boy now?”
“And I say, ‘Hey. man, I’ve written nice things! I thought the Warriors won the trade right from the beginning.’”
Mitchell, who enjoyed a solid six-year NBA career, was doing what any dad would do to defend their son or daughter against what he saw as slanderous comments. Lowe has been one of Andrew Wiggins’ biggest detractors.
Here are some of the negative tweets about Andrew Wiggins that the elder Wiggins was referring to.
From the great Zach Lowe, regarding Andrew Wiggins and his loafing, uninspired, slacker ways: pic.twitter.com/RRgYiPQOd7
— db (@DaBonK) September 21, 2018
In Bill Simmons podcast today, Zach Lowe says he believes Brooklyn is too smart to trade for Andrew Wiggins.
— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) May 21, 2018
Zach Lowe's 10 Things: "Bricky" Andrew Wiggins is becoming a problem (ESPN) https://t.co/KWUig38iH5
— ACB Jornada Virtual (@ACBJV) December 21, 2017
Lowe did begin to pivot more into Wiggins’ favor following the trade to Golden State, but dad only remembers the sheer negativity spewed about his son.
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Now Lowe has no choice but to write positive things about the former No. 1 pick, who, if not for Steph Curry, would’ve been the MVP of the Finals. His defense on Jayson Tatum was stupendous. The Boston Celtics’ first team All-NBA star shot a putrid 37.5 percent from the floor when guarded by Wiggins.
Lowe has company when it comes to making egregious statements about Andrew Wiggins.
FS1 talking head Nick Wright has lambasted Wiggins in the past. Former NBA player Baron Davis says analysts who make these kinds of statements should be held accountable.
In the NBA Finals, Wiggins’ length, strength and athleticism really bothered Tatum who enjoyed favorable matchups in the Celtics’ three previous series. Wiggins also chipped in offensively as he was the Warriors’ most consistent scoring option after Curry, averaging 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists and nearly two blocks per game. His epic Game 4 (17 points and 16 rebounds) and Game 5 (26 points and 13 rebounds) performances will forever be etched in Warriors lore.
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With his full arsenal on display, Wiggins showed us what so many knew he was capable of. That consistent unstoppable explosion that fans have always clamored for.
Mitchell Knows What It Feels Like To Come Up Big In A Game 5: Like Father, Like Son
In 1986, Mitchell Wiggins was a member of the Houston Rockets, who were led by the “Twin Towers” duo of Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson. They trailed the 1986 Boston Celtics 3-1 in the NBA Finals, needing a win in an elimination game to extend the series. The elder Wiggins came off the bench to score 16 points and grab seven big rebounds to help the Rockets extend the series.
Mitchell Wiggins, father of Andrew Wiggins, came off the bench for the Rockets in Game 5 of the 1986 #NBAFinals against Boston and helped lead Houston to victory with 16 PTS and 7 REB! #NBAVault #NBA75 pic.twitter.com/2neSjzIKge
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) June 13, 2022
And although they’d lose Game 6 at Boston Garden — a place that 1986 team had lost only once that entire season — he had his moment.
With Andrew winning it all over the same squad that obliterated his dad’s championship dreams, it’s safe to say the Wiggins crew got their redemption.