Author of a Game 4 concluded in “double-double”, with 17 points and 16 rebounds, Andrew Wiggins is definitely changing the story of his career.
The one who was considered a talented player, but without niaque, even downright lazy during his years at the bottom of the hole in Minnesota, is now praised as a model teammate at Golden State. In this finale, he’s even Stephen Curry’s first mate.
“I was just on a losing team”
Finally recognized by the general public for his talents on the boards, more than his mere status as former number 1 in the Draft, Andrew Wiggins appreciates the road traveled since his difficult beginnings, in transit between Cleveland and Minnesota, while LeBron James operates his big comeback in Ohio…
“I will never say that I haven’t been competitive during my career. I was just on a losing team [à Minnesota] », he explains on Yahoo! Sportd. “I was scoring more and doing a bit of everything, but now I’m on a winning team. So everything I do, people appreciate it a little bit better and that’s what winning brings. Nobody respects losers and I really feel that. Everyone says they want to be seen as a “winner” but not everyone can do that. People respect the “winners” and I’m happy to be in this situation. »
As often in the NBA, Andrew Wiggins inherited a label (that of a soft player who relies too much on his qualities, athletic and technical), and it is very difficult to part with him!
In any case, on closer inspection, he has always been very efficient when it came to playing against the Cavs, the franchise that did not want him after the Draft. With two consecutive career bests, at 33 then 35 points, he was on a mission each time against Cleveland.
“I had actually circled the date of their arrival on the calendar. I knew exactly when they were coming, that’s for sure. I was ready. »
“I have always been competitive and I always wanted to win”
With 30 points on average his rookie season, then 27.5 his second, and finally 32 the third on his direct duels against the Cavs, including this career record of 35 points at 12/19 on shots (beaten since), Andrew Wiggins had shown his competitive heart. Even if we could reproach him for not doing as much against other franchises.
“I wanted to show them what they had missed, show them that I was doing better there. It was my state of mind at the time. It was always fun and fun to play against a team that traded you. It was not an easy experience but it kept me motivated and competitive. »
Kindly mocked by Stephen Curry and Draymond Green in the locker room after his career high 16 rebounds, because his previous “career high” peaked at only 11 takes, Andrew Wiggins can nevertheless keep his smile from ear to ear.
The Canadian kid, gifted but reserved, who never could arrive in the NBA on tiptoe finally feels understood, and estimated, at his fair value… “I’ve always been competitive and always wanted to win. It should never have been questioned.” concludes the one who celebrated his first All-Star selection.
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