A nasty national narrative takes off
A couple of days later, an article from Marcus Thompson and Shams Charania of The Athletic with a twisting headline suggests Anthony Edwards needs a larger pond.
The article was akin to salt on an open wound. Both Beverly and The Athletic article highlight that the lack of media exposure and nationally broadcasted games while playing in Minnesota would be detrimental to Anthony Edwards’ ability to be the best he can be.
While Minnesota isn’t the prized destination of the NBA, the idea being proposed is a glamorization and exaggeration of big markets in the NBA that is directly detrimental to the majority of NBA markets. It is a narrative created by national talking heads designed to push stars to teams in high-prestige markets but is a departure from reality. It is a narrative with an agenda, and it’s an agenda that has succeeded in the past. But make no mistake, it is an agenda that is not rooted in reality.
A special place to play in the NBA
Minneapolis may be cold, but it is far from being a small market. The idea you cannot become an icon here is simply ludicrous. The legendary PF Kevin Garnett won an MVP with the Minnesota Timberwolves. LeBron James became a global icon while playing in Cleveland, which is 19th in Neilson Media Market rankings while Minneapolis-St. Paul clocks in at 15. Center Nikola Jokic is perhaps the best player on the planet and carried the 16th-ranked Denver market to a title.
The size of an NBA Market is greatly exaggerated when it comes to success, but the organization in said market is paramount. If an organization can create a culture of winning, it often will oust the need to jump for greener pastures. Need an example? See the Spurs’ multi-decade dynasty while playing in the 31st-ranked market.
The reality of the situation is that the Minnesota Timberwolves have an opportunity. It is not the market, but the franchise that fuels success.