Minnesota Timberwolves fans will forever be grateful for Thursday, August 20, 2020. It was on that day that the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery took place, and the Timberwolves officially earned the right to make the number one selection in the upcoming draft in November.
Of course, they would use their top pick to select Anthony Edwards out of the University of Georgia. It is a move that only continues paying off for Minnesota, as Edwards continues putting distance between himself and his draft classmates as the years go by.
Now the foundational piece of the Timberwolves franchise for the next generation, Anthony Edwards is heading into his fourth season where he will undoubtedly keep building off his tremendous year in 2022-23. However, his talent was not always so clear to outsiders as it is now.
At Timberwolves media day on Thursday, Edwards talked about his experience playing with Team USA at the World Cup and being coached by Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr. Edwards’ overall feelings toward Kerr are positive. However, he shared a story that revealed Kerr was not always a believer in Edwards.
Steve Kerr was not always a believer in Anthony Edwards
In 2020, the Warriors ended up with the second overall pick after the draft lottery. As such, they were having to heavily consider drafting Anthony Edwards if he was not taken first by Minnesota. Edwards detailed how Kerr criticized his work ethic during predraft workouts.
“I was going through the drills and he kept stopping them, like ‘that’s all you’ve got?'” said Edwards. The commentary on his effort did not stop there. Edwards revealed the conversation continued at their dinner that night, with Kerr saying “you didn’t work hard enough. If we had the number one pick, we wouldn’t take you.”
Edwards revealed that it was those comments that lit a fire in him to want to intensify his workouts. He said that after hearing what Kerr said, he became “a madman” in the gym, and started working until he was fully exhausted.
In all, this memory for Edwards is something that undoubtedly helped him become the player he is today. He is of course blessed with more natural talent and ability than most, but hearing an NBA coach telling him he was not trying hard enough seemed to give him a solid reality check.
Timberwolves fans can thank Steve Kerr for poking the bear and helping give an ultra-competitive player an even greater edge.