“You Ain’t Working Hard Enough” | Steve Kerr’s Pre-Draft Advice, Memory Of Lost Ones Propelled Anthony Edwards To Stardom

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Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve seen the special talent that Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards possesses. It’s the type of talent that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound uber athletic Edwards is averaging 20.3 ppg in two NBA seasons and has displayed an array of basketball moments that lets you know he’s the future in the “Twin Cities.” 

While Edwards has long been blessed with God-given talent and elite abilities, his lack of conditioning got called out during a pre-draft workout with the Golden State Warriors.

In a recent interview Edwards told TNT’s Kenny “The Jet” Smith that the Warriors workout was no joke and he struggled to complete it.

 

“I’m doing this drill that they say Steph be doing. I’m running, touching the line, shoot. You’ve got to make five in a row. I couldn’t do it. I’m too tired. I’m like, man, it’s too much. But I’m not saying this, so I’m just jogging. After the workout, Steve Kerr comes to me like, ‘You can’t go any faster?’ I thought I was going pretty fast. He was like, ‘Nah, do it again.’ So now I’m trying to sprint, and now I’m looking all crazy. Missing left, missing right. So then we go to dinner, and he’s telling me, ‘Man, if we draft you at No. 2, you’ve got to be a hard worker. You ain’t working hard enough.’”

The Warriors ended up drafting James Wiseman with the No. 2 pick after the T-Wolves took Edwards with the top overall pick.

 

Edwards Has Great Work Ethic: Something He Picked Up From Mom And Grandmother

While his conditioning may not be the best, from all reports, Edwards has a solid work ethic. He was a star football player prior to becoming an NBA prospect and many believed he’d be on the gridiron playing for Kirby Smart, not on the hardwood playing for Tom Crean.

Tragedy helped groom Edwards at a young age. When “AntMan” was in the eighth grade he lost his mom and grandmother from cancer eight months apart. An older sister also passed, so he had to grow up and mature much quicker than anticipated. That helped shape the young budding star we see today.

 

In an interview during his one year in Athens, Edwards talked about those experiences.

“That just made me go harder because I know they would want to see me at the top, so that made go harder really that’s all that was. Now I got to take care of my family.”

He also wears the No. 5 to honor mom and grandma, who both passed on the fifth day of the month. Edwards believes not working hard is disrespectful to the groundwork they both laid for him coming up.

Edwards Will Be Best T-Wolves No. 1 Overall Pick

The Timberwolves have a history of drafting some quality players. Of course, Kevin Garnett is the greatest to ever grace the court in the “Twin Cities.” But KG wasn’t even the top overall selection when he was drafted. That distinction goes to Karl-Anthony Towns (2015) and Andrew Wiggins (2014).

Wiggins was drafted by the Cavaliers but traded soon afterward. While both Towns and Wiggins enjoyed moderate success, Edwards will supplant both sooner than later as the best top pick the franchise has ever made.

In fact, in his second season, Edwards, along with KAT, helped lead them to the playoffs and a No. 7 seed, before they fell 4-2 to a very good Memphis team in the first round. Edwards showed he’s ready to lead the franchise.

He always had the goods and the desire, but that meeting with Steve Kerr about his motor and how stamina improves his effectiveness as a player (especially late in the game) played a vital role in the burgeoning star you see today.