Whenever an NBA player gets their first huge contract, there is always a risk of not getting what the team paid for. It could be the fact that so much money suddenly arriving gives an unrealistic sense of worth and/or entitlement. Perhaps it’s the fact that at the tender age of 21 years old, so much money opens doors and opportunities to make less wise and responsible decisions. It could even be something as simple as the lottery winner syndrome, where a sudden and massive amount of money changes everything, and not necessarily for the better.
Whatever the possible causes, Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star shooting guard Anthony Edwards and the Timberwolves have agreed to terms on a new five-year extension that will make Edwards a very rich young man. Now the question is, can Edwards handle the pressure of what that means to him, and to the team?
Before we address that matter, let’s turn back the calendar to a year ago, a time when Edwards was embroiled over his social media use that included ‘offensive and derogatory,’ language. While Edwards received a lot of social media backlash and a $40,000 fine from the NBA, there was a silver lining to that event. NBA legend Kareem Abdul Jabar offered sage wisdom to the younger Edwards and urged him to do more than lip service an apology.
Anthony Edwards grows up instantly
Now, I’m not trying to judge, or even play the conscience role of Jiminy Cricket to the young Anthony Edwards. But there is more to this story than a young man making a bad decision. For starters. when Edwards had the microphone and the opportunity to speak over the All-Star break, he stirred the pot with another controversial take. But this time? It resonated with NBA fans.
That was the first sign of Anthony Edwards realizing that he has a true platform to speak from and that he has a responsibility beyond his own individual life and needs, and must use his platform to speak for the fans and to give a voice to those who make the NBA such a fantastic professional sport.
Humble and grateful Anthony Edwards prepared to lead the pack
And now? Even as millions show up on the horizon, Anthony Edwards is taking his time, measuring his words, and sharing his thoughts of someone who is truly grateful to be blessed with such good fortune.
Can the Minnesota Timberwolves ask for more from their young star? As far as perspective and attitude, I’m not sure that it can get much better.
Now with Anthony Edwards extended for years to come, the Timberwolves can turn to other pressing matters. But make no mistake, Edwards’ extension is not just about money. It’s not just about the Timberwolves roster or the starting five players or even about optimizing rotations.
Anthony Edwards is just a very smart investment for the Minnesota Timberwolves. If the team has any prayers of attracting star NBA free agents in the future, then this team must make the team very attractive. Playing alongside Anthony Edwards accomplishes that.