Minnesota Timberwolves: On Wiggins, Noel, and Tuesday’s aftermath

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 6: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 6: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A quick spin around the league unearths plenty of Minnesota Timberwolves-related notes, including on Andrew Wiggins’ comments, Tom Thibodeau’s firing, and Nerlens Noel’s health status.

Tuesday nights in OKC aren’t always eventful — trust me, I know this firsthand — but this Tuesday was eventful all the same for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The game, of course, was exciting in and of itself, with the Wolves defeating the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena for the second time in just over two weeks, and again escaping with a close and hard-fought win.

In the third quarter of the game, Andrew Wiggins tried to cram a dunk over Thunder big man Nerlens Noel. Unfortunately, Wiggins’ off-arm hit Noel in the face and appeared to knock Noel out. He was unable to brace himself as he fell and his head slammed against the floor.

Then, this happened.

Dennis Schroder apparently thought he heard Wolves players laughing on the bench and became salty towards Minnesota’s entire squad. Jeff Teague wasn’t interested and was ejected after an elbow to Schroder’s back followed by a two-handed shove.

Wiggins was asked about Schroder after the game and he replied in the following fashion…

At first glance it may sound like he called Schroder “gay”, intending to insult the Thunder guard. Social media outrage followed, with outlets such as ESPN and the Associated Press reporting that that is indeed what Wiggins said.

Wiggins, however contends that he instead stumbled over his words.

Plenty of reporters who cover the Wolves, as well as OKC-based ESPN reporter Royce Young, have come to Wiggins’ defense and said that they didn’t hear him say “gay”. Strangely, Young’s byline is included in the ESPN article.

This whole thing is a mess, as the fantastic Awful Announcing points out. It would seem out of character for Wiggins to use a slur, but only Wiggins can really know what happened. It would be a surprise to see him be fined for it, but we’ll see what the NBA comes up with.

As for Noel, he was released from the hospital on Wednesday and has been diagnosed with “only” a concussion.

For as bad as that looked — rarely are guys knocked out cold on the court like that — this has to be considered best-case scenario for Noel. Here’s hoping he recovers in short order.

As for the Wolves, they’ll have two days off before putting their three-game winning streak on the line against Dallas on Friday night at Target Center. Minnesota is currently in a three-way tie at two games behind the Lakers for the No. 8 spot in the West, and the Mavericks are only one-and-a-half games behind the Wolves.

Next. Ranking potential Timberwolves coaching candidates. dark

If there are any additional developments in the Wiggins situation, we’ll be sure keep you covered.